Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Infantry Arms Warships & Submarines Military Pay Chart (2023) Military Ranks
Aviation / Aerospace

Dorand AR

Observation Biplane Aircraft [ 1917 ]

The Dorand Ar series of observation biplanes served in some number during World War 1, with both the French and Americans.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 12/09/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Dorand AR series was developed for the French air service to replace the outmoded, two-seat Farman F.40 observation aircraft, a "pusher" engined design that had appeared in 1915 and went on to staff numerous air services around the world. However, the technology had formally met its match within the ever-evolving nature of war that was World War 1 and operational service was limited to just over a year before thought was given to formulating a successor aircraft. Thus came the "Dorand AR" ("Avion de Reconnaissance 1"), developed by French Captain Georges Lepere, which first took flight in September of 1916 and, after a short period of evaluation, was formally accepted into service with the French Air Force in April of 1917. The AR maintained an origin dating back to the original Dorand DO.1 of 1914. The aircraft received its formal designation from the Lieutenant Colonel (Dorand) heading up the state-operated Section Technique de l'Aeronautique at the time.

All told, the AR.1 was of a most basic design characterized by her wide-spanning biplane wing arrangement. The wings were dual-bay with parallel struts, were staggered to the rear in their placement, and operated via a network of cables. The lower wing assembly was connected to the fuselage indirectly by way of heavy duty struts. The fuselage sported slab siding and was general boxy in nature with the engine held in a compartment towards the front of the design and the empennage at the rear. The aircraft type was crewed by two personnel made up of the pilot and an observer with the former seated aft of the engine and the latter seated under and aft of the upper wing assembly in tandem, both cockpits being "open air" emplacements. The aircraft measured a wingspan of over 13 meters with a running length of 9 meters. Loaded weight was 1,250 kilograms. Power (for the base AR.1 production model - see variants) was supplied by a Renault 8 Bd V-type engine delivering 190 horsepower and provided a maximum speed of 153 kilometers per hour and a flying time of up to 3 hours. The listed service ceiling was in the vicinity of 5,500 meters. The engine powered a two-bladed wooden propeller system. The empennage sported a single vertical tail fin as well as two, all-surface moving horizontal tail planes. The undercarriage was fixed in place and consisted of two single-wheeled landing gear legs and a tail skid for basic ground support.

The pilot managed a single fixed, forward-firing .303 caliber Vickers type machine gun while the observer was afforded a trainable Lewis machine gun in either a single- or dual-gun mounting. The forward gun could be used to counter enemy aircraft or ground targets of opportunity while the rear gun was designed to protect the aircraft's vital rear quadrant from encroaching enemy aircraft. In addition to machine gun armament, the AR could be outfitted with up to 80 kilograms of ordnance, all held internally. The true nature of the AR was in its reconnaissance and observation role - not intended as a gunnery or dedicated bombing platform.

The Dorand design existed in several notable variants beginning with the initial production form designated simply as the AR.1. These were completed with the Renault 8 Bd series engines of 190 horsepower. The ARL.1 designation marked AR.1 production models revised to fit the Lorraine-Dietricj series engines of 185 horsepower. The second major production mark was the improved AR.2 which fielded a Renault 8 Gdy series engine of 200 horsepower, wing-mounted radiators (as opposed to front-mounted) and smaller-area wings. Similar to the ARL.1 conversion, the ARL.2 was nothing more than a revised AR.2 with a Lorraine-Dietrich engine of 240 horsepower.

The first Dorand AR production models reached the Western Front skies in early 1917 and would go on to form no fewer than thirteen French air service groups. The type was also fielded in number across five additional French squadrons along the Italian Front. In practice, the rather-limited Dorand AR design proved quite favorable for those called upon to fly her. She exhibited adequate qualities and proved reliable but generally suffered in overall performance due to the changing technology of war. By the end of her tenure, she was found to be much outclassed by more modern offerings from both sides of the conflict. The Dorand AR also staffed the inventory of the American Expeditionary Force by December of 1917, these fighting over the Western Front well into 1918 and purchased in over 100 examples to shore up the American's lack of available aircraft. The type was not very popular with the Yanks and ultimately developed the nickname of "Antique Rattletrap" to describe the type. American Dorand ARs were then relegated to the training of incoming American pilots when more suitable observation mounts became available.

Operators of the AR aside from France and the United States included Algeria, Greece and Serbia. The Kingdom of Serbia was able to stock four Dorand AR squadrons beginning in April of 1918.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

France national flag graphic

Not in Service.


Section Technique de l'Aeronautique - France
(View other Aviaton-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of France National flag of Greece National flag of Serbia National flag of the United States France; Greece; Serbia; United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Intelligence-Surveillance-Reconnaissance (ISR), Scout
Surveil ground targets / target areas to assess environmental threat levels, enemy strength, or enemy movement.

30.0 ft
(9.14 m)
43.6 ft
(13.29 m)
10.8 ft
(3.30 m)
Empty Wgt
2,756 lb
(1,250 kg)
2,899 lb
(1,315 kg)
Wgt Diff
+143 lb
(+65 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the Dorand AR.I production variant)
Installed: 1 x Renault 8Gdy inline piston engine delivering 190- or 200-horsepower.
Max Speed
92 mph
(148 kph | 80 kts)
18,045 ft
(5,500 m | 3 mi)
171 mi
(276 km | 511 nm)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the Dorand AR.I production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
1 x 7.7mm (0.303 caliber) Vickers machine gun in fixed, forward-firing position.
1 OR 2 x 7.7mm (0.303 caliber) Lewis machine gun(s) on trainable mount in rear cockpit.

Up to 176lbs of bombs held internally.

Supported Types

Graphical image of an aircraft medium machine gun
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0

AR.1 - Initial Production Model
AR.2 - Improved Production Model

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.

Images Gallery

1 / 1
Image of the Dorand AR
Front right side view of the Dorand AR biplane at rest


Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2023 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing all American military medals and ribbons.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)