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AirCo DH.9

United Kingdom (1917)
Picture of AirCo DH.9 Light Bomber Biplane Aircraft
Picture of AirCo DH.9 Light Bomber Biplane Aircraft Picture of AirCo DH.9 Light Bomber Biplane Aircraft

The planned successor to the Airco DH.4, the Airco DH.9 failed in most respects.


Detailing the development and operational history of the AirCo DH.9 Light Bomber Biplane Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 5/16/2018. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com

The AirCo DH.9 was a further revision of the DH.4 bomber - again headed by famous aviation engineer Geoffrey de Havilland. Design of the new aircraft was handled by the de Havilland company with serial production managed through the Aircraft Manufacturing Company, better known under the acronym of "AirCo" or "Airco". The model was first flown in July of 1917 and introduced into service that same year. It managed only a short post-war career as it was retired from notable service in 1920. 4,091 of the type were ultimately produced.

The DH.9 shared a few of the major design qualities found on the preceding DH.4 including the undercarriage, tail unit, and wings. The DH.9 differed from the DH.4 in that it positioned the gunner and pilot closer together to better communications between the two and was fitted with a more powerful engine. The new fuselage was also intended to streamline the aircraft and take away stresses from the engine. Initial tests revealed that the base DH.9 was simply too underpowered and not much of an upgrade over the DH.4 (which it was meant to replace) thus the system was redesigned as the DH.9A. The DH.9A model attempted to address performance issues and defensive drawbacks by incorporating a lengthened wingspan and a fixed forward-firing machine gun for the pilot. A trainable machine gun was found at the rear gunner/observer's cockpit for protecting the aircraft's critical "six" position.

Not a spectacular aircraft in any one regard, the DH.9 managed a rather poor service record in World War 1 with more losses due to mechanical and performance issues than actual enemy fire. Notable deficiencies in the series lay in its limited service ceiling, fuel consumption at altitudes higher than 10,000 feet, and general engine reliability. If there was one role that the DH.9 proved at least somewhat adequate in was in coastal patrol assignments when hunting down German U-boats - there was a reduced chance of running into enemy aircraft or ground-based fire in this role. Though generally inadequate over most fronts, the DH.9 was naturally more successful in poorly defended areas during the course of the war, this to be true in the Middle East Theater over Palestine and also over Macedonia.

The DH.9 series saw some life after the war in the civil transportation market with many countries. Final production of the DH.9 extended into 1920 - the United States manufactured the DH.9 with the help of the Engineering Division and designated the aircraft as "USD-9" (1,415 were produced by the U.S.). An American-produced engine - the 400 horsepower Packard "Liberty" - was used to power these DH.9A models.


Picture of the AirCo DH.9 Light Bomber Biplane Aircraft
Picture of the AirCo DH.9 Light Bomber Biplane Aircraft



Any available statistics for the AirCo DH.9 Light Bomber Biplane Aircraft are showcased in the areas immediately below. Categories include basic specifications covering country-of-origin, operational status, manufacture(s) and total quantitative production. Other qualities showcased are related to structural values (namely dimensions), installed power and standard day performance figures, installed or proposed armament and mission equipment (if any), global users (from A-to-Z) and series model variants (if any).






Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed Rating
Hi: 120mph
Lo: 60mph
    This entry's maximum listed speed (113mph).

    Graph average of 90 miles-per-hour.
Relative Operational Ranges
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Graph showcases the AirCo DH.9's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era Impact
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production Comparison
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units
4091
4091


  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.


Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
  Compare this entry against other aircraft using our Comparison Tool  
Supported Mission Types:
Air-to-Air
Interception
Unmanned
Ground Attack
Close-Air Support
Training
Anti-Submarine
Anti-Ship
Airborne Early Warning
MEDEVAC
Electronic Warfare
Maritime/Navy
Aerial Tanker
Utility/Transport
Passenger Industry
VIP Travel
Business Travel
Search/Rescue
Recon/Scouting
Special Forces
X-Plane/Development
National Flag Graphic
National Origin: United Kingdom
Service Year: 1917
Classification Type: Light Bomber Biplane Aircraft
Manufacturer(s): Aircraft Manufacturing Company Ltd (AirCo) / de Havilland - United Kingdom
Production Units: 4,091
Operational Status: Retired, Out-of-Service
Global Operators:
Afghanistan; Australia; Belgium; Bolivia; Canada; Chile; Denmark; Estonia; Greece; India; Ireland; Latvia; Netherlands; New Zealand; Paraguay; Peru; Poland; Romania; Saudi Arabia (Kingdom of Hejaz); Spain; South Africa; Soviet Union; Switzerland; Turkey; United Kingdom; United States
Structural - Crew, Dimensions, and Weights:
Unless otherwise noted the presented statistics below pertain to the AirCo DH.9 model. Common measurements, and their respective conversions, are shown when possible.

Operational
CREW


Personnel
2


Dimension
LENGTH


Feet
30.41 ft


Meters
9.27 m


Dimension
WIDTH


Feet
65.35 ft


Meters
19.92 m


Dimension
HEIGHT


Feet
11.29 ft


Meters
3.44 m


Weight
EMPTY


Pounds
2,235 lb


Kilograms
1,014 kg


Weight
LOADED


Pounds
3,799 lb


Kilograms
1,723 kg

Installed Power - Standard Day Performance:
1 x Armstrong Siddeley Puma water-cooled inline piston engine developing 230 horsepower.

Performance
SPEED


Miles-per-Hour
113 mph


Kilometers-per-Hour
182 kph


Knots
98 kts


Performance
RANGE


Miles
503 mi


Kilometers
810 km


Nautical Miles
437 nm


Performance
CEILING


Feet
15,518 ft


Meters
4,730 m


Miles
2.94 mi


Performance
CLIMB RATE


Feet-per-Minute
540 ft/min


Meters-per-Minute
165 m/min

Armament - Hardpoints (4):

STANDARD:
1 x .303 Vickers machine gun in fixed, forward-firing mounting.
1 OR 2 x .303 Lewis machine gun(s) in rear cockpit position on trainable Scarff ring mounting.

OPTIONAL:
External bomb load up to 460 lb (209 kg).
Visual Armory:

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Variants: Series Model Variants
• DH.9 - Base production model based on the earlier DH.4 with decreased area between pilot and gunner positions of which over 3,000 produced.
• DH.9A - Improved powerplant
• DH.9B - Civilian Conversion Model to accommodate pilot and two passengers.
• DH.9C - Civilian Conversion Model to accommodate pilot and three passengers.
• DH.9J - Updated powerplant (Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar III radial piston engine generating 385-hp); Pilot trainer.
• DH.9J M'pala I - Conversion for South Africa fitted with Bristol Jupiter VI radial piston engine generating 450hp.
• M'pala II - Conversion model for South Africa fitted with Bristol Jupiter VIII radial piston engine generating 480hp.
• Mantis - Conversion model for South Africa fitted with Wolseley Viper piston engine generating 200hp.