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Hafeli DH-2

Armed Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft

Switzerland | 1916

"The DH-2 was the second attempt by Arthur Hafeli to produce a workable armed reconnaissance biplane for the Swiss Air Force."

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Hafeli DH-2 Armed Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft.
1 x Argus As II liquid-cooled inline piston engine developing 120 horsepower driving twin-bladed, fixed-pitch wooden propeller at the nose.
78 mph
125 kph | 67 kts
Max Speed
32,283 ft
9,840 m | 6 miles
Service Ceiling
155 miles
250 km | 135 nm
Operational Range
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the Hafeli DH-2 Armed Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft.
26.2 ft
8.00 m
O/A Length
38.4 ft
(11.70 m)
O/A Width
10.2 ft
(3.10 m)
O/A Height
1,653 lb
(750 kg)
Empty Weight
2,425 lb
(1,100 kg)
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the Hafeli DH-2 Armed Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft .
Assumed to be 1 x 7.45mm machine gun on trainable mounting at observer's cockpit position.
Notable series variants as part of the Hafeli DH-2 family line.
DH-2 - Base Series Designation.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 09/11/2021 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

Fresh off the heels of its 1916 DH-1 twin-boom reconnaissance biplane design (detailed elsewhere on this site), Eidgenoessische Konstruktionswerkstaette (K+W) of Switzerland moved its attention to a possibly improved successor, the aptly-designated "DH-2" with Arthur Hafeli once again at the helm of the new development. Flying the same year as its predecessor, the DH-2 took on a more conventional in-line design, doing away with the twin-boom approach, though still relying on a biplane mainplane framework and two-person crew. Like the DH-1 before it, the DH-2 saw only limited production totals of just six aircraft and, similarly, was only in service with the Swiss Air Force for a short time.

The DH-2 of 1916 followed suit in that it was developed along the lines of a reconnaissance platform. The engine was set at the nose for tractor/puller function as opposed to the DH-1's trailer/pusher configuration at the rear of the central nacelle. A pair of open-air cockpits allowed for a crew of two, pilot and observer. The mainplane utilized the typical over-under arrangement of the time and featured twin bays with parallel strut works. Fabric-over-wood construction was used throughout most of the design. The tail included a single, small-area vertical fin and a pair of horizontal planes. For ground-running, a fixed, twin-legged/twin-wheeled undercarriage with tailskid was used.

While its original prototype form carried a German 100 horsepower Mercedes D.I engine, primary power for the series eventually stemmed from a single Argus As II liquid-cooled inline piston engine of 120 horsepower and this used to drive a wooden propeller blade at the nose (the same as powering the earlier DH-1). Estimated performance figures included a maximum speed of 75 miles-per-hour, a range out to 150 miles, and a service ceiling of around 30,000 feet.

All told, the design failed to meet expectations mainly through under-performance which led to no serial production being ordered. This left just the six aforementioned completed airframes which were used strictly for airman training by the Swiss Air Force until 1922 - at which point all were retired and scrapped.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Hafeli DH-2. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 6 Units

Contractor(s): Eidgenossische Konstruktionswerkstaette (K+W) / Hafeli - Switzerland
National flag of Switzerland

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Image of the Hafeli DH-2
Image from the Public Domain.

Developments of similar form-and-function, or related, to the Hafeli DH-2.
Going Further...
The Hafeli DH-2 Armed Reconnaissance Biplane Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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