В.Кондратьев Самолеты первой мировой войны
ДЕ ХЭВИЛЛЕНД DH.9A / DE HAVILLAND DH.9A
Первый опыт боевого применения DH.9 показал, что самолет не оправдал возлагавшихся на него ожиданий. В конце 1917 года было принято решение модернизировать машину путем установки новейшего американского 400-сильного двигателя "Либерти", наиболее мощного из всех, какими на тот момент располагали западные союзники. Так появился DH.9A, признанный лучшим английским фронтовым самолетом первой мировой войны. Повышение энерговооруженности позволило улучшить летные данные и вдвое увеличить бомбовую нагрузку. По этому показателю DH.9A лишь ненамного уступал большинству легких бомбардировщиков начала второй мировой!
Переоборудование машины выполнили специалисты фирмы Уэстланд Эркрафт. Кроме нового мотора они установили крылья увеличенного размаха и хорды, деревянные раскосы в каркасе фюзеляжа заменили стальными расчалками и вместо ненадежного выдвижного радиатора поставили лобовой радиатор "автомобильного типа" с регулируемой решеткой жалюзи.
DH.9A получил хорошие отзывы военных, однако дискуссии о непомерно высокой цене американских моторов надолго задержали начало серийного выпуска. В результате первые 18 машин вышли из заводских цехов лишь в июле 1918-го. В августе новыми "Де Хэвиллендами" вооружили два дивизиона "Независимых воздушных сил", а до окончания боевых действий их получили еще 4 английских и 1 американский дивизион западного фронта.
Самолет не успел сыграть заметной роли в первой мировой войне. Большинство из 6300 экземпляров машины было сдано уже после подписания перемирия. Около 4000 из них под обозначением USD-9A построено в США. Сборку DH.9A вели 10 английских и 13 американских предприятий. Он состоял на вооружении Великобритании и США до конца 20-х годов.
В 1919 году неустановленное пока количество DH.9A, наряду с более ранними модификациями "Де Хэвиллендов", получили деникинские "Вооруженные силы юга России". Об их применении в гражданской войне почти ничего не известно, кроме того, что в конце концов несколько машин попало в руки красных.
В 1923-1931 гг. в СССР на заводах ГАЗ №1 им. ОДВФ и №10 выпущено более 2800 разведчиков Р-1, скопированных с DH.9A. До середины тридцатых годов этот самолет был самым массовым в советских ВВС.
"Либерти-12", 12-цилиндровый, V-образный, водяного охлаждения, 400 л.с.
1 синхр. "Виккерс", 2 турельных "Льюиса", 410 кг бомб.
Размах, м 14,00
Длина, м 9,22
Высота, м 3,45
Площадь крыла, кв.м 46,10
Сухой вес, кг 1280
Взлетный вес, кг 2120
мощность, л. с. 400
Скорость максимальная, км/ч 193
Время набора высоты, м/мин 2000/10
Дальность полета, км 750
Потолок, м 4710
Экипаж, чел. 2
Вооружение 3 пулемета
410 кг бомб
A.Jackson De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 (Putnam)
De Havilland D.H.9A
By the end of 1917 the demand for Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines exceeded the supply to such an extent that orders were placed in America for large numbers of 400 h.p. Liberty 12s. These were earmarked for a new day bomber based on the D.H.9 but the Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd., was at that time engaged on building the D.H. 10 so that the extensive re-design of the earlier type was entrusted to the Westland Aircraft Works at Yeovil, Somerset. Assisted by Mr. John Johnson, specially loaned for the purpose by Airco, the Westland design team, already experienced in building the D.H.4 and D.H.9, not only took full advantage of the extra power of the Liberty but also combined the best features of both these designs to create the outstanding strategic bombing aeroplane of the War. The fuselage was strengthened to take the heavier engine mainly by replacing the plywood partitions of the D.H.9 by wire cross bracing, while an improvement in climb and ceiling was ensured by fitting mainplanes of increased span and chord.
The new machine was designated D.H.9A, the prototype of which was a modified Westland built D.H.9, B7664, fitted with a Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII to enable flight trials to proceed while awaiting delivery of the Liberty engines. A second Eagle powered example, C6350, was also used, this being a Hendon built D.H.9 converted by Airco. Representatives of the Packard Motor Company, manufacturers of the Liberty, came to England to supervise its installation in production D.H.9As, the first of which was C6122 and by December 1918, 885 had been built by Westland and other contractors. Armament consisted of one forward firing Vickers gun on the port side of the front fuselage, single or double Lewis guns on a Scarff ring on the rear cockpit and up to 660 lb. of bombs carried on external racks under the fuselage and lower mainplanes.
Many D.H.9As were flight tested at Yeovil by Harry Hawker and the first squadron arrived in France on August 31, 1918. This was No. 110 which flew aircraft presented by the Nizam of Hyderabad, carried inscriptions to that effect and dropped some 10} tons of bombs in daylight raids on Coblenz, Frankfurt, Mannheim and other German industrial centres. The D.H.9A also formed the new equipment of several other squadrons on the Western Front and of Nos. 47 and 221 Squadrons which fought the Bolsheviks in Russia, where replicas were later built as the type R-1 powered by the M-5, an engine of local manufacture copied from the Liberty.
As in the case of the D.H.9, two Airco-built D.H.9As (one being E8449) were sent to America where it was planned to build 4,000. The Armistice terminated this project but four prototypes were built, two by the Engineering Division of the Army's Bureau of Aircraft Production and two by Dayton-Wright. Completed in August 1918, they were designated USD-9 but their dimensions alone show that they were copies of the D.H.9A and not of the D.H.9. In October 1918 Dayton-Wright delivered four examples of a modified version known as the USD-9A which had the pilot's Browning gun on the starboard side and was fitted with a more rounded rudder. In the following month five more USD-9 As were produced by the Engineering Division which in February 1919 converted one of them to USD-9B with 435 h.p. Liberty 12A and wings of increased area. Another of these aircraft, serial A.SAO 118, was a single seater experimentally fitted with a pilot's compartment of riveted steel plates and is believed to be the first machine ever to fly with a pressurized cockpit. The conversion was made at McCook Field, Dayton, Ohio in 1920 by the Engineering Division and was first flown by 'Art' Smith, a civilian test pilot, on June 8, 1921. Pressurisation was effected by a propeller driven pump on the port lower mainplane and the instrument panel was positioned on the trailing edge on the top centre section. The career of the USD-9A ended in 1922 when two examples appeared as the Ordnance IL-1 infantry liaison type at an all-up weight of 5,686 lb. It was of grotesque appearance having triple instead of double interplane and undercarriage struts.
After the war the D.H.9A continued in production in the United Kingdom and several hundred were built for Regular and Auxiliary day bomber squadrons at home, for Flying Training Schools and for squadrons stationed in the Near and Middle Easts. From June 23, 1921, D.H.9As of Nos. 30 and 47 Squadrons were used on the regular Cairo-Baghdad mail service. Long term contracts were placed with Westland and de Havilland under Specification 45 22 for reconditioning D.H.9As, and the type remained standard equipment for 13 years, until struck off charge in 1931. During that time it formed the initial equipment of the newly formed Auxiliary Squadrons and under the nickname 'Ninak' became familiar to the man-in-the-street for its inspiring displays of wing drill at Hendon Pageants and its battle formations during the 'Redland' versus 'Blueland' manoeuvres staged annually by the R.A.F. in those days.
In Iraq and on the North West Frontier the tropicalised D.H.9A became a general purpose aircraft equipped with an additional radiator under the nose and an overload fuel tank under the starboard upper mainplane. It was engaged mainly on policing duties and when working over difficult terrain, far from regular lines of communication, often carried spare wheels, goatskins of water, or tents and bedding on the sides of the fuselage or between the undercarriage struts. One aircraft, placed at the disposal of the Portuguese long distance pilot Major Brito Paia to replace his wrecked Breguet, left Lahore on May 30, 1924 fitted as a three seater en route to Macao, but crashed near Hongkong on June 20th. Between October 27, 1925 and November 1 st, three others flew from Cairo to Kano, Nigeria, piloted by Sqn. Ldr. Coningham, and F/Lts. Baggs and Rowley. Some D.H.9As were converted for target towing or as dual trainers, and in 1929 J8177 became the personal aircraft of A. V.M. Sir Robert Brooke-Popham, A.O.C. Iraq.
Australia and Canada received the type in 1920 as part of the Imperial Gift, but most of the 29 sent to Australia remained crated until commissioned by the Royal Australian Air Force under the type serial A1 in 1925. After modification by the Whitehead Aviation Company, all 11 Canadian D.H.9As were handed over to the Air Board Civil Operations Branch for forestry patrol and survey work alongside the D.H.4s. Between October 11-17, 1920 three of them took part in the first trans-Canada flight, each covering one leg of the Winnipeg-Vancouver section, piloted respectively by F Lts. J. B. Home-Hay. C. W. Cudemore (G-CYAJ) and G. Thompson (G-CYBF). In 1922 six were at Camp Borden and the remainder were on photographic survey work on wheel or ski undercarriages at Rockcliffe, but the majority were destroyed in a hangar fire at Camp Borden on October 16, 1923.
Successful development of the 450 h.p. Napier Lion engine, first flown in 1918 in a D.H.9, led to a prototype, E775, and ten production installations, E746, E748-50, E752-57, being made in new Whitehead-built D.H.9A airframes by the R.A.E., at Farnborough. Although of broad arrow configuration, the Lion fitted snugly into close fitting cowlings and was cooled by an underslung retractable radiator designed and constructed at the R.A.E., which also made the airscrew. After prototype trials with E775 in April 1919, the first production aircraft, actually E748, was completed with large mail boxes under the lower mainplane and first flown on July 18th. The boxes were fitted to several others but were subsequently removed and the rear cockpits enlarged for the internal stowage of mail bags. E775 was also tested in September 1919 with a Lion II giving 465 h.p. and during the following month six of the other aircraft were stripped of military equipment and delivered by air to Aircraft Transport and Travel Ltd. at Hendon for use on the air mail service to the Army of Occupation on the Rhine. This service, begun by the R.A.F. with D"H.4S and D.H.9s on December 16. 1918. was handed over to civilian operation on August 15, 1919 and the Lion powered D.H.9A. with its high performance, made winter flying possible over the most difficult stage through the Ardennes. All six aircraft returned to the R.A.F. between April and June 1920 and in the following year one of them, E752, made deck landing trials on H.M. Aircraft Carrier Eagle even though not fitted with arrester hooks. E746 made full load trials at Farnborough with the Lion II in 1920 and E748, with Lion II and 14 ft. 6 in. wide-track undercarriage, was delivered to Gosport on August 10, 1921. Another Lion II D.H.9A, ?775, fitted with experimental folding wings, first flew at Farnborough on January 22, 1924 and was delivered to Gosport for carrier trials on March 29.
The D.H.9R sesquiplane racer erected from D.H.9A components by the Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd. was also Lion powered. Test pilot Gerald Gathergood made a fast trip from Hendon to Amsterdam in this machine in 2 hours 10 minutes to attend the ELTA Exhibition in July 1919 and while there won the 137 mile closed circuit race at an average speed of 145 m.p.h. During September comparative trials were made against the D.H.4R and when the aircraft flew side by side, the much cruder D. H 4R proved to be marginally faster. On November 15th, Gathergood and the D.H.9R broke several British speed records at Hendon, and raised the closed circuit speed to 149-43 m.p.h.
So vast were the stocks of D.H.9A major assemblies and so limited the Air Ministry's financial resources, that contracts were three times awarded to the Westland Aircraft Works for aircraft using the maximum number of D.H.9A components. The first, signed in 1920 was for 36 Westland Walrus fleet spotters, with Lion engines and unstaggered wings, heavily encumbered with grotesque naval excrescences. The Walrus was developed from an earlier prototype, the Tadpole J6585 built by Armstrong Whitworth from D.H.9A components, including the Liberty power plant. In 1924 a small batch of somewhat similar Lion powered general purpose D.H.9As was ordered and the third contract, awarded in 1926, was for the quantity production of the Westland Wapiti with Bristol Jupiter engine. The final D.H.9A derivative, .77026', known as the D.H.9AJ Stag, although designed for the Lion engine was also completed with a Bristol Jupiter and first flown at Stag Lane by Hubert Broad for 40 minutes on June 15, 1926. It crashed at Martlesham during trials but was rebuilt by de Havillands and flew again on December 24, returning to Martlesham in February 1927. It was unsuccessful as a D.H.9A replacement but donated its engine to the prototype Westland Wapiti and its new-style oleo undercarriage to squadron D.H.9As as they came up for modernisation.
In the purely experimental sphere, a Westland built D.H.9A numbered F1632 was denuded of its mainplanes by Handley Page Ltd. in 1921 and fitted with a thick section cantilever monoplane wing bolted to a small cabane on top of the fuselage. Designated H.P.20, it completed the practical tests begun with a modified D.H.9, H9140, on a full span, controllable slots, achieving a landing speed as low as 43 m.p.h. at a wing loading of 11 lb./sq. ft., representing a lift coefficient of IT7. Another experimental aircraft was Liberty engined E870, which with Westland-built J6957 (Lion II), was used by the R.A.E. for tests on steel airscrews in May 1924. E865 took part in similar tests on Fairey-Reed duralumin airscrews in April 1925 and E8444 was used for immersion tests at Felixstowe. In 1933 D.H.9A H3588 was used at Farnborough for flight testing the aircooled Liberty 12 engine and in the same year E9895 was fitted at Brooklands with an experimental Vickers long stroke oleo undercarriage. Another served as tanker in flight refuelling experiments with a Vickers Virginia over Farnborough in January 1931.
Because of its long R.A.F. service the D.H.9A figured less prominently on the secondhand market than did the D.H.9. A few brand new aircraft were taken over from F. W. Berwick and Co. Ltd. by the Aircraft Disposal Co. Ltd., six of which were civilianised at Croydon for racing or overseas demonstration. The first, G-EAXC, converted in 1922, made fastest time in the race for the Coupe Lamblin over the course Le Bourget-Brussels-Croydon-Le Bourget piloted by Rex Stocken. A second conversion, G-EBCG, appeared in 1922 fitted with a 350 h.p. Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII for participation in the Croydon Whitsun Races. For the first King's Cup Race which started at Croydon on September 8, 1922 the nose radiator was removed in favour of small side radiators. This type of Eagle conversion was made originally to the military demonstrator G-EBAN, which, fitted with Lamblin radiators between the undercarriage legs, left for Madrid in February 1922 to take part in trials before Spanish Government officials, which led to an order for a batch of similar machines for the Spanish Air Force.
To enable the A.D.C. test pilot H. H. Perry to compete against Cobham's Lion engined D.H.9 in the King's Cup Race of July 12, 1923, John Kenworthy modified one of the Aircraft Disposal Company's D.H.9As G-EBGX to take the Lion. After a period of bad luck during which over zealous helpers broke the airscrew at Hendon on the morning of the race and F. T. Courtney forced landed at Brooklands during the Aerial Derby on August 6th, GX was disposed of overseas.
The D.H.9A F1010, displayed at the R.A.F. Museum, Hendon, was captured by the Germans during the First World War and exhibited at the Berlin Air Museum. Only the fuselage remained when it was recovered from Krakow, Poland, in 1980, with new wings and other components being built at the Cardington workshops. Its Liberty engine was obtained from the U.S.A.
SPECIFICATION AND DATA
The Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Hendon, London, N.W.9
F. W. Berwick and Co. Ltd., Park Royal, London, N.W.10
Gloucestershire Aircraft Co. Ltd., Sunningend Works, Glos.
Handley Page Ltd., Cricklewood Aerodrome, London, N.W.2
H. G. Hawker Engineering Co. Ltd., Canbury Park Road, Kingston-on-Thames and Brooklands Aerodrome, Byfteet, Surrey
Mann, Egerton and Co. Ltd., Aylsham Road, Norwich, Norfolk
George Parnall and Co. Ltd., Yate Aerodrome, Glos.
S. E. Saunders Ltd., East Cowes, Isle of Wight
Short Bros. (Rochester and Bedford) Ltd., Rochester, Kent
The Vulcan Motor and Engineering Co. Ltd., Southport, Lanes.
Westland Aircraft Works, Yeovil, Somerset
Whitehead Aircraft Co. Ltd., Townshend Road, Richmond, Surrey
The Dayton-Wright Airplane Co., Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.
The Engineering Division of the U.S. Army Air Service, McCook Field, Ohio
One 375 h.p. Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII
One 400 h.p. Liberty 12
One 400 h.p. aircooled Liberty 12
One 450 h.p. Napier Lion
One 465 h.p. Napier Lion II
(D.H.9AJ) One 465 h.p. Bristol Jupiter VI
(USD-9) One 400 h.p. Liberty 12
(USD-9A) One 400 h.p. Liberty 12
(USD-9B) One 420 h.p. Liberty 12A
(H.P.20) One 400 h.p. Liberty 12
Span 45 ft. 11 3/8 in. Length 30 ft. 3 in. (Lion) 29 ft. 2 in.
Height 11 ft. 4 in. Wing area 486 3/4 sq. ft. (D.H.9AJ) 491 sq. ft.
Weights and Performances:
Engine Liberty Eagle VIII Lion Jupiter VI
Tare weight 2,800 lb. 2,705 lb. 2,988 lb. 2.740 lb.
All-up weight 4,645 lb.* 4,223 lb. 4,814 lb. 4,324 lb.
at 10,000 ft. 114 1/2 m.p.h. 118 m.p.h. 123 m.p.h. 130m.p.h.
Initial climb 890 ft./min. 850 ft./min. 1,100 ft./min. 900 ft./min
Ceiling 16,750 ft. 16,000 ft. 19,000 ft. 19,900 ft.
Duration 5 1/4 hours 3 1/2 hours - -
* USD-9A 4.900 lb.
O.Thetford Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918 (Putnam)
de Havilland 9A
One of the most famous of R.A.F. aircraft, the D.H. 9A rivalled the Bristol Fighter and Avro 504 for longevity. Known familiarly as the 'Ninak', the D.H. 9A was introduced during the last six months of the First World War and remained in service with the peacetime R.A.F. until as late as 1931.
Designed as a replacement for the D.H. 9 with the Independent Air Force, the D.H. 9A had a larger wing area and was fitted with the 360-h.p. Rolls-Royce Eagle or 400-h.p. Liberty engine, the prototypes being B. 7664 and C. 6122 respectively.
The D.H. 9A first entered service with No. 1 to Squadron in June 1918, but did not reach France until 31 August. Operating in close formation at 17,000 ft., the D.H. 9As were extremely effective in daylight raids on German towns, and by the Armistice No. 110 Squadron had dropped 10 1/2 tons of bombs with relatively light losses. Other D.H. 9A squadrons on the Western Front were Nos. 18, 99 and 205. Nos. 47 and 221 Squadrons were also equipped in Russia during 1919-20 fighting against the Bolsheviks.
The parent firm for D.H. 9A production was Westland at Yeovil, who later produced the Wapiti as a replacement. Westland built 423, and almost 900 had been completed by 1918, including sub-contracted aircraft. Over 400 were delivered to the R.A.F. post-war, the final contract being placed in January 1927 for a batch of 35 ending J 8494.
The D.H. 9A was standard equipment with home-based day-bomber squadrons until the arrival of the Fairey Fawn, and one of the mainstays of squadrons overseas until superseded by the Wapiti and the IIIF. It also saw wide service with the Auxiliary Air Force from its inception in 1925, and with Flying Training Schools. Wing Drill by Nos. 39 and 207 Squadrons was a feature of the 1924 Hendon Display, and in 1927 Nos. 600 and 601 Squadrons represented the Auxiliaries for the first time.
TECHNICAL DATA (D.H. 9A)
Description: Two-seat day bomber. Wooden structure, fabric covered.
Manufacturers: Westland Aircraft Ltd., Yeovil. Widely sub-contracted.
Power Plant: One 400-h.p. Liberty.
Dimensions:Span,46ft. Length,30ft. Height, 10ft.9in. W/area,488sq.ft.
Weights: Empty, 2,695 lb. Loaded, 4,645 lb.
Performance: Maximum speed, 114 m.p.h. at 10,000 ft. Initial climb, 595 ft./min. Endurance, 5 3/4 hrs. Service ceiling, 16,500 ft.
Armament: One Vickers forward and one Lewis gun aft. Bomb-load, 450 lb.
F.Manson British Bomber Since 1914 (Putnam)
The original plans for the creation of a strategic bombing force in 1917 assumed the use of light day bombers capable, if not necessarily of being fully able to defend themselves, at least of being escorted by fighters, and a force of heavy night bombers. The appearance of the D.H.9, steadfastly favoured by ministers and boards remote from the fighting fronts, attracted bitter criticism from commanders in the field, who pointed to its lack of speed, agility and muscle, as well as its inevitable obsolescence by mid-1918.
Plans to introduce a new version, the D.H.9A, powered by the 375hp Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII, suffered a major setback when the Air Board allocated elsewhere the great majority of these, the best British engines being produced in quantity during the winter of 1917-18. As a result, attention was quickly focused on the new American Liberty 12 for which extravagant steps had been announced towards mass production, and had first flown in a D.H.4 during October 1917 - and by the end of January 1918 the Air Board had requested the supply of 3,000 examples.
Because the Aircraft Manufacturing Company was by then fully occupied with developing the D.H. 10, responsibility for redesigning the D.H.9 to incorporate the American engine was vested in the Westland Aircraft Works, a manufacturer that had already built numerous D.H.4s and D.H.9s, and whose high quality of workmanship was something of a byword in aviation circles. New wings of almost 46 feet span, and with an area increased by 12 per cent, were designed, and the fuselage box-girder was strengthened by employing wire cross-bracing in place of the former ply partitions. Because no Liberty engine was yet available, a Westland-built D.H.9 underwent these airframe modifications and was fitted with an Eagle VIII together with a frontal radiator similar to that of the Liberty engine. The structure of the latter engine's installation was similar to that of the Rolls-Royce, and in due course, when production of the Eagle increased, the new D.H.9A with the British engine was also built in small numbers (though the Liberty version came to be regarded as the standard machine). B7664 was first flown at Yeovil in March 1918 and underwent Service evaluation at the EAS the same month; the first Eagle-powered prototype had arrived at Martlesham towards the end of February.
The first Liberty 12 was received by Westland in March; indeed, production of the American engine began to lag behind schedule from the outset, and delivery of the 3,000 engines for Britain, intended to be completed by the end of July 1918, was suspended in August after no more than 1,050 had been shipped. The first Liberty-powered, British-built D.H.9A, C6122, was flown by Harry Hawker at Yeovil in April, and by the end of June 18 examples had been delivered to the RAF.
One of the early Liberty-D.H.9As was flown at Martlesham in July, enabling comparisons to be made with the Eagle aircraft. When carrying a pair of 230 lb bombs the normal load - there was little to choose between the two versions, although with the extra power of the Liberty the aircraft with this engine returned a service ceiling of 16,750 feet, compared with 14,000 feet with the Eagle. Endurance was also significantly better. However, the Eagle D.H.9A demonstrated its ability to carry a maximum bomb load of 740 pounds.
Eight squadrons of the RAF received D.H.9As before the Armistice, of which four were light bomber units that took part in bombing operations, two did not become operational during the War, and two were engaged in anti-submarine patrols flying from Great Yarmouth in Norfolk.
The First Squadron to take deliveries was No 110 in July 1918, then stationed at Kenley with D.H.9s. The Squadron moved to France where it became part of the Independent Force at Bettoncourt on 1 September. All this unit's initial complement of D.H.9As ('Nine-Acks' in the current RAF parlance) were subscribed by HH the Nizam of Hvderabad, a gesture that gained lasting recognition when the Squadron was officially named No 110 (Hyderabad) Squadron. Unfortunately No 110 fared badly in the small number of operations flown before the Armistice and, in a daylight raid on Frankfurt on 21 October, 7 out of 13 aircraft despatched failed to return, and another returned early with engine trouble. During its two months in action the Squadron lost 17 D.H.9As to enemy action, and 28 others in accidents.
In August No 205 Squadron began re-equipping on its French aerodrome at Bovelles, followed by Nos 99 in September and 18 in October. Nos 25 and 120 Squadrons, though in the process of re-equipping with D.H.9As at the time of the Armistice, had no opportunity to fly them in action. Two Squadrons at Great Yarmouth, Nos 212 and 273, received their new machines in August and September and flew them on a number of anti-submarine patrols before the end of hostilities.
By the end of the War a total of 2,250 D H.9As had been ordered from six manufacturers, the vast majority of them scheduled to be powered by Liberty 12s; by 31 December, 885 of these aircraft had been built. However, that month had brought about the cancellation of 520 aircraft, despite the decision taken to retain the D.H.9A in the peacetime RAF; it is likely that the cancellation was brought about owing to the uncertainties surrounding the continued production of the Liberty 12 in America. Any fears of that production being terminated however, proved groundless, and the Americans were quick to recognize the excellence of their engine. On the other hand, with the Geddes Axe beginning to be imposed in Britain, there were other uncertainties concerning the likely size o f the peacetime RAF, and the scale of appropriations likely to be voted in Parliament. (Bearing in mind this uncertainty, it is perhaps worth mentioning that the 375hp Eagle VIII was almost exactly one-third more expensive than the 400hp Liberty engine.)
Paradoxically all the above squadrons disposed of their D.H.9As within eighteen months of the Armistice, all but one of them being disbanded; only No 25 Squadron survived, to become a fighter squadron on 1 February 1920, flying Sopwith Snipes.
Two other squadrons were equipped with D.H.9As for a short time immediately after the War. No 57 Squadron was given a few of the new aircraft with which to operate a temporary mail service between France and the United Kingdom before being disbanded in December 1919.
No 221 Squadron (formerly 'D' Squadron of the RNAS prior to the creation of the Royal Air Force) had been engaged in bombing duties in the Aegean with D.H.4sand 9s during 1918. On moving to Mudros in December that year, it was equipped with D.H.9As before embarking in HMS Riviera for southern Russia, setting up a temporary base at Baku on the shores of the Caspian. It then flew north to Petrovsk whence it carried out bombing raids and armed reconnaissance over Astrakhan in support of 'White Russian' forces fighting the Bolsheviks. In September the RAF personnel were ordered home and the D.H.9As were handed over to the Russians. (The D.H.9A was also built in Russia as the R-1, being powered by M-5 engines assumed to be copied from the Liberty.)
In due course the D.H.9A was confirmed as the RAF's principal light day bomber in the peacetime Service; between 1920 and 1931 it served on no fewer than 24 squadrons, nine of them in the Middle East and India. The early 1920s were the period o f the RAF's fight for survival in the face of wrangling by the War Office and Admiralty, each determined to create its own air arm in place of the fledgling Service. Trenchard, as the first Chief of the Air Staff, saw in the light bomber (and implicitly the D.H.9A) the ideal instrument with which to exercise Britain's Mandate to supervise the restructuring of the Middle East, following the destruction of the Ottoman Empire.
Handicapped by a lack of established aerodromes throughout the theatre, which covered the vast area later defined as Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, the RAF was initially obliged to depend on stations in north-east Egypt and those at Baghdad and Basra, later establishing bases at Ramleh, Amman, Hinaidi, Kirkuk and Shaibah. To these were added countless desert landing grounds throughout the area at which aircraft could put down to refuel. During 1920 and 1921 five Squadrons, Nos 8, 30, 47, 55 and 84, all flying D.H.9As, were formed or re-formed at Suez, Helwan and Baghdad, retaining these aircraft almost throughout the 1920s.
Their duties were officially described as local security' but, as the months passed, it became all too clear that self-preservation in an environment of harsh desert conditions was the concern uppermost in the minds of air- and groundcrews alike. The Liberty engine, not conceived to operate in ambient temperatures often well above 35°C, was provided with a larger tropical radiator in the nose plus an additional radiator under the nose, as well as additional water containers carried beneath the wings, lest the machine was forced down in the desert with an overheating engine. Landings in the desert or at one of the makeshift strips were also hard on the aircraft's wheels and tyres, so it became common practice for the 'Nine-Acts' to carry a spare wheel attached to the fuselage for such emergencies.
Not surprisingly, occasional bombing attacks were carried out against marauding or dissident tribesmen, and their rifles, though often fired at random, presented a threat to the slow and low-flying D.H.9As, whose Vickers and Lewis machine guns were used as a necessary deterrent. The bombs most frequently dispensed were 112-pounders of which, in a temperature of 38°C, the D.H. could scarcely carry more than one - when added to the impedimenta for survival.
Yet the D.H.9A performed its duties with admirable reliability, the Liberty engine being considered to be 'as good as any Rolls-Royce', while a single well-placed light bomb invariably served to satisfy the purpose of the Mandate.
In February 1927 No 8 Squadron moved with its D.H.9As to Aden, where an airstrip was established at Khormaksar, later to become an important RAF Station. A year afterwards the D.H.s were replaced by Fairey IIIFs, but No 8 was to remain at Aden until 1945.
The other overseas deployment of D.H.9As was in India, the first such aircraft arriving at Ambala with No 99 Squadron from France in June 1919. This squadron was disbanded on 1 April 1920 to become No 27 and, as such, moved to Risalpur near Peshawar in the North-West Frontier Province where it was to be joined by No 60 Squadron in April 1923, also with D.H.9As. This theatre and the Khyber Pass in particular, constantly wracked by the depredations of marauding Afghan tribesmen, was even more demanding than the deserts of the Middle East, and the Liberty's reliability was vital, simply because the mountainous terrain rendered any forced landing out of the question.
At home, the D.H.9A served on Nos 11, 12, 35, 39, 100, 101 and 207 Squadrons, their principal stations being Bircham Newton in Norfolk, and Spittlegate, Grantham. The last front-line aircraft to serve with the regular Service in the United Kingdom were those of No 35 Squadron, replaced by Fairey IIIFs in January 1930.
The D.H.9A was notable in one other respect in being selected as the initial equipment of the Auxiliary Air Force, which came into being in September 1925. The first three Squadrons, Nos 600 (City of London), 602 (City of Glasgow) and 603 (City of Edinburgh), received their first aircraft in October that year at Northolt, Renfrew and Turnhouse respectively, all being declared light bomber units. In the years that followed they were to be joined by Nos 601, 604 and 605 Squadrons, and No 501 Squadron of the Special Reserve at Filton.
Although production of the D.H.9A, ordered under wartime contracts, had been allowed to run out in 1919, with many of the early production aeroplanes undergoing progressive modification and rebuilding in the course of the next seven years, new production contracts were found necessarv in 1925 and 1926. To cater for slightly modified requirements, new contracts were issued to de Havilland, Westland, Short, Hawker, Parnall, Saunders and Blackburn - in some instances for work that was to provide a lifeline at a time when the aircraft industry was fighting for survival. Among the new aircraft produced under these contracts was a Westlandbuilt batch of 35 D.H.9A (Dual Control) trainers, J8460-J8494. Another batch of aircraft, converted by Westlands during rebuilding, were six much-modified D.H.9As, J6957-J6962, powered by 465hp Napier Lion II engines - which bestowed a sea level maximum speed of 144 mph; only one o f these Lion aircraft ever served with a Squadron when J6958 joined No 55 in February 1927 at Hinaidi, Iraq, for the personal use of Air Vice-Marshal Sir John Higgins KCB, KBE, DSO, AFC, Air Officer Commanding British Forces in Iraq.
Type: Single-engine, two-seat, two-bay biplane light bomber.
Manufacturers: Wartime. The Aircraft Manufacturing Co Ltd, Hendon, London NW9; F W Berwick & Co Ltd, Park Royal, London NW10; Mann, Egerton & Co Ltd, Aylsham Road, Norwich, Norfolk; The Vulcan Motor and Engineering Co (1906) Ltd, Crossen, Lancashire; Westland Aircraft Works, Yeovil, Somerset; Whitehead Aircraft Co Ltd, Richmond, Surrey. Postwar. The de Havilland Aircraft Co Ltd, Stag Lane, Edgware, Middlesex; The Blackburn Aeroplane and Motor Co Ltd, Leeds and Brough, Yorkshire; II G Ilawker Engineering Co Ltd, Canbury Park Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey; George Parnall and Co Ltd, Coliseum Works, Bristol; S E Saunders Ltd, East Cowes, Isle of Wight; Short Bros (Rochester and Bedford) Ltd, Rochester, Kent; Westland Aircraft Works, Yeovil, Somerset.
Powerplant: One 400hp Liberty 12 twelve-cylinder, water-cooled, in-line engine; 375hp Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII; 465hp Napier Lion II.
Structure: Wire-braced wooden box structure in fuselage; forward section ply covered, rear fabric-covered. Laminated spruce wing spars.
Dimensions: Span, 45ft 11 3/8in; length (Liberty 12 engine), 30ft 3in; height, 11ft 4in; wing area, 486.75 sq ft.
Weights (Libertv 12): Tare, 2,800 lb; all-up (two 230 lb bombs), 4,645 lb.
Performance (Libertv 12, with two 2301b bombs): Max speed, 123 mph at sea level, 114.5 mph at 10,000ft; climb to 10,000ft, 15 min 45 sec; service ceiling, 16,750ft; endurance, 5 1/4hr.
Armament: One synchronized 0.303in Vickers machine gun on port side of nose, with Constantinesco CC interrupter gear, and single or twin Lewis machine guns with Scarff ring on rear cockpit. Bomb load of 740 lb carried on underwing and fuselage racks.
Prototypes: Three (all converted D.H.9s, two with Eagle engines and one with Liberty 12)
Production: Wartime orders for 2,250 aircraft, of which 1,730 were built, plus peacetime orders for 267 aircraft of which all were built; total production, 1,997. Aircraft built: Wartime production: Whitehead, 300 (E701-E1000); Airco, 575 (E8407-E8806 and H1-H175); Mann, Egerton, 150 (E9657-E9756 and J551-J600); Vulcan, 225 (E9857-E9956 and H3546-H3670); Westland, 350 (F951-F1101, F1603-F1652 and H3396-H3545); Berwick, 140 (F2733-F2872); Peacetime production: de Havilland, 45 (J7700, J7787-J7798, J7877-J7883 and J8129-J8153); Westland, 101 (J7799-J7819, J7855-J7866, J8096-J8128 and J8460-J8494); Short Bros, 37 (J7823-J7834, J7884-J7890 and J8154-J8171); Hawker, 30 (J7835-J7854 and J7867-J7876); Parnall, 18 (J8172-J8199); Saunders, 18 G8190-J8207); Blackburn, 18 (J8208-J8225). In addition, 204 aircraft were rebuilt (unsually involving the assembly of stored components), all being allocated new serial numbers, by the following: Westland (66), Handley Page (21), de Havilland (18), Gloster (35), Hawker (39), and Packing Depot, Ascot (25).
Summary of Service: D.H.9As served with Nos 18,99,110 and 205 Squadrons, RAF, on the Western Front; with No 25 Squadron in Germany, 1919; with the following home-based light bomber Squadrons after the War, Nos 11, 12, 35, 57, 100, 101 and 207 Squadrons; with Nos 212 and 273 Squadrons, home based on coastal patrol duties; with No 3 Squadron, home-based for fleet cooperation; with No 24 (Communications) Squadron; and No 120 Squadron, home-based for mail services. D.H.9As served with the RAF overseas with No 8 (Iraq and Aden), 14 (Palestine), 27, 30, 39 and 60 (India), 45 (Egypt), 47 (Russia and Egypt), 55 and 84 (Iraq), and 221 (Russia). D.H.9As equipped No 501 Squadron of the Special Reserve, and Nos 600, 601, 602, 603, 604 and 605 Squadrons of the Auxiliarv Air Force.
H.King Armament of British Aircraft (Putnam)
D.H.9A. The fine distinction in RAF nomenclature between the terms 'day bomber', 'light bomber' and 'single-engined bomber' and the generic classification 'general purpose aircraft' is to be seen most clearly in the evolution and employment of this archetype of all 'G.P.' machines - which began its career in 1918 as a strategic bomber. Of such importance and enduring memory was the 9A in RAF service that its lineage and 'general purpose' development may now be established upon the authority of a document promulgated by the Air Ministry (Directorate of Research) in April 1922. This contained the following significant passage - possibly the original instance of the term 'general purpose' appearing in a Service publication. Thus:
'Though officially classed as a two-seater fighter reconnaissance type [sic] the functions of this aircraft cover, in practice, a wider field and it could aptly be described as a general purpose two-seater. For long-distance reconnaissance, photographic work, day or night bombing or artillery observation, it is equally useful, and its high speed and strong armament render it a particularly formidable opponent."
Armament is thereafter summarised as:
'Pilot. 1 Vickers gun and 750 rounds; observer, 2 Lewis guns and six drums; bombs (under fuselage), 4-20 lb, or 2-112 lb, or 1-230 lb; bombs (under each plane), 4-20 lb, or 1-112 lb.'
In a subsequent passage no mention is made of the twin Lewis installation, but there is a reference to a performance test with two 230-lb bombs. The main account runs:
'The D.H.9A normally carries two guns, one fixed Vickers machine gun on the port side of the fuselage and a Mk.III Lewis gun mounted on a standard Scarff ring No.2, over the observer's cockpit. Bomb gear and a bomb sight, as well as wing-tip flare brackets, are also fitted.'
This information is expanded as follows:
'The Vickers gun was originally arranged parallel to the upper longerons. This position was found to be unsatisfactory, however, as, owing to the pilot's cockpit being so far back, it was impossible for the pilot to get an uninterrupted line of sight. In consequence the gun is now mounted at an angle of 3 1/2 degrees in relation to the top rail of the fuselage. The gun is bolted to two mild steel U brackets of 10 S.W.G., one front and one rear.
'The gun is synchronised with the propeller in the normal way by means of Constantinesco gear, and is fired by means of a Bowden lever and cable fitted on the control lever. At the rear of the engine, concentric with the crankshaft, a cam box with a splined shaft is fitted to engage with the hollow end of the crankshaft. A Type B synchronising gear with Type C trigger motor is fitted, but an adapter is supplied so that Type B lines may be used. The loading handle fitted to the gun is of the Cox D type.
'The magazine is constructed of sheet aluminium and takes a belt of 750 rounds. It is supported on sheet steel brackets, and the belt passes over a 3 in roller into the gun. The spent cartridges are ejected through a chute and fall clear of the aircraft. An Aldis sight is mounted on the starboard side of the fuselage cowling. In the corresponding position on the port side is fixed a standard ring-and-bead sight.
'The observer's cockpit is furnished with the standard Scarff gun ring, carrying a Lewis Mk.III gun fitted with a Norman vane 100 m.p.h. sight. Four pegs are provided for carrying the necessary ammunition drums and are accommodated in a special uncovered compartment immediately behind the cockpit. Both the Vickers and Lewis guns are fitted with the standard electric gun heater.'
Of the bomb installations:
'Two similar 18 S.W.G. mild steel ribs, each of flanged U section, are bolted lo four bottom fuselage struts, so that approximately one-third of each rib lies behind the rear spar. The ribs are parallel to the longitudinal axis of the aircraft and are 21-in apart. A similar pair of steel ribs, again 21-in apart, are fitted underneath each wing. Bomb gear comprises the standard bomb releasing toggles, working through stranded cable. The schedule provides for the fitting of one high-altitude drift sight and one negative lens bomb sight.'
It is pertinent lo include the following note on electrical equipment:
'The D.H.9As in service at the time of writing do not carry the full standard electrical equipment. Many are either not furnished electrically or only partially equipped, while others have a war-lime equipment.'
On post-war aircraft of this type, arrangements were made for eight, instead of four 20-lb bombs to be carried under each wing (two tandem carriers). The Vickers gun was often of the Mk.II pattern with small perforated barrel casing and a G.3 camera gun was sometimes mounted on the port lower wing. A prone bomb-aimer's position was incorporated, as indicated by two windows in the fuselage sides near the bottom longerons.
Already the 9A was being made to carry (in the phrase which this aeroplane brought into Service currency) everything except the kitchen sink, and when geographical and climatic demands were superimposed, it became less of a war-horse and more of a beast of burden. Apart from an auxiliary radiator, oleo undercarriage (occasional), cameras, camera gun, etc. the following inventory was listed by (the writer believes) Sir Arthur Longmore: auxiliary tank, giving an endurance of seven hours; spare tyre strapped under fuselage (camel-thorn punctures); emergency rations for three days; two gallons of water; special container for beer bottles; and a gadget to work the rudder bar by hand so that the pilot could stretch.
In connection with the Handley Page O/400, mention will be made of a bomb-aiming technique involving the tying of string to the pilot's ankles, and a similar technique is known to have been employed with the D.H.9A.
Finally it may be noted that in 1921 an Air Ministry Order made allusion to modifications concerning the R.L. Launching Tube on aircraft of this type. This device had been developed by the Royal Laboratory early in the 1914-18 war with the intention of launching incendiary bombs against airships, though it was also associated with flares and markers.
D.H.9b. This designation was applied to a post-war development of the 9A, remodelled by the Aircraft Disposal Company, having an Eagle VIII engine with Lamblin radiators and augmented armament. Provision was made for three 230-lb bombs, two fixed Vickers guns, two Lewis guns on a Scarff ring-mounting and a third Lewis gun firing through the floor, for which a sliding hatch was provided.
D.H.9AJ Stag. This Jupiter-engined general purpose development of the D.H.9A appeared in 1926 and was beaten in competition by the Wapiti. War load was typically four 112-lb or two 230 250-lb bombs. Vickers gun (external port), and Scarff ring-mounting with Lewis gun. There was a prone bombing position, with wind deflector.
K.Wixey Parnall Aircraft Since 1914 (Putnam)
De Havilland D.H.9A Contracts
Throughout aviation history there have been aircraft which could be singled out as outstanding for their time. In the Royal Air Force one such aeroplane, noted for its longevity and reliable service both at home and abroad, was the de Havilland D.H.9A. It was this type that provided Parnall with much needed work in the mid-1920s for, although the company was at that time engaged with several prototype projects, the D.H.9A construction contracts awarded by the Air Ministry produced the means by which Yate works could continue to function on a more secure footing.
The D.H.9A was derived from the D.H.9, a First World War two-seat bomber that was a disappointment because of its Siddeley Puma engine. A converted D.H.9 was fitted with a 375 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII, but the eventual standard powerplant installed was the American 400 hp Liberty 12, an engine produced after the United States entered the war.
A two-seat, twin-bay conventional biplane, the D.H.9A was of mainly wooden construction and fabric-covered. Although based on the D.H.9 design, the D.H.9A possessed wings of greater chord and span, incorporated wire bracing for the fuselage structure instead of plywood bulkheads, and had a frontal radiator. The type lent itself admirably to the aircraft manufacturing techniques of woodworking companies such as George Parnall.
In addition to those D.H.9As kept in store after the war, some new machines were built having had modifications introduced. As a consequence several Air Ministry contracts were issued to various manufacturers including Parnall, whose first order was for a batch of eighteen D.H.9A rebuilds (J8172-J8189).
These aircraft were from a batch of 130 D.H.9As (J8096-J8225) produced after the First World War, the contracts being distributed by the Air Ministry between Westland Aircraft, de Havilland Aircraft, Short Brothers, S.E. Saunders, Blackburn Aircraft and George Parnall.
In January 1927, an order for a further thirty-five D.H.9As was placed by the Air Ministry, one contract for twenty-three machines (18460-J8482) going to Westland Aircraft Co. Ltd., while the remaining twelve aircraft (J8483-J8494) were contracted to Parnall at Yate, all these machines being the dual-control training version.
Familiarly known as the 'Nine-Ack' ('Ninak' for short), the D.H.9A became one of the most widely used aircraft in RAF service during the 1920s. It operated both as a bomber and general purpose type, and served with at least twelve home-based and nine overseas squadrons, the latter based mostly in the Middle East. The D.H.9A shared with the Bristol F.2B the difficult job of policing Iraq and the North West Frontier of India for a number of years. Those 'Ninaks' abroad were fitted with a tropical radiator beneath the nose, and normally carried a spare wheel on the side of the fuselage.
A distinctive D.H.9A built by Pamall was J8177, which was the personal aircraft of the AOC in Iraq around 1929, Sir Robert Brooke Popham and was finished in an all-over deep red. D.H.9As saw service with the Auxiliary Air Force, and as trainers at RAF Flying Training Schools, the type not being finally withdrawn until 1931.
Some reflections on the test flying of certain D.H.9As from Parnall's second batch (J8483-J8494) can be found in these notes from Frank Courtney's log, when he was contracted as test pilot to the Yate works.
14.3.27 Two flights in D.H.9As which were from batch by George Parnall & Co at Yate. These machines were J8484 (30 minute recondition test flight) and J8483 (40 minute recondition test flights, three in all).
21.3.27 Parnall-built de Havilland 9A J8485. 40 minute production test flight. A second Parnall D.H.9A, J8486, taken on 30 minute production test flight from Yate also on the same day.
29.3.27 Parnall-built D.H.9A, J8487. 10 minute production test flight from Yate.
5.4.27 Parnall-built de Havilland 9A, J8489. 30 minute production test flight from Yate.
30.4.27 Parnall-built de Havilland 9A, J8490. 30 minute production test flight from Yate. Second production test flight followed with D.H.9A, J8491, and a third similar test flight with Parnall-built D.H.9A, J8492, of 30 minutes' duration concluded work at Yate for this particular day.
17.5.27 Parnall-built de Havilland 9A, J8493. 30 minute production test flight from Yate. Second D.H.9A, J8494, taken up later same day on 35 minute production test flight also at Yate.
De Havilland D.H.9A (as built by Pamall)
Two-seat general purpose and training biplane. 400 hp Liberty 12 twelve-cylinder vee water-cooled engine.
Span 45 ft 11 1/2in; length 30 ft 3 in; height 11ft 4 in; wing area 488 sq ft.
Empty weight 2,695 lb; loaded weight 4,645 lb.
Maximum speed 114 mph at 10,000 ft; climb to 10,000 ft, 15 min 45 sec; service ceiling 16,750 ft; endurance 5 1/4 hr.
One fixed forward-firing .303-in Vickers machine-gun and one Scarff-mounted .303-in Lewis machine gun. Bomb load 660lb (normally two 230lb or four 112lb bombs).
Production (Parnall only)
First contract 18, second contract 12.
G.Swanborough, P.Bowers United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911 (Putnam)
DE HAVILLAND D.H.9A
Among the British aircraft supplied to the US Navy for use by the Northern Bombing Group in France in 1918 were 54 D.H.9A two-seat bombers powered by 400 hp American Liberty engines. These were not assigned regular US Navy serial numbers, but flew with American roundels being painted over the British on the wings, and the fuselage roundel being painted out and replaced by station markings. Span, 42 ft 5 in; length, 30 ft; gross weight, 4,645 lb; max speed, 114 mph at 10,000 ft.
L.Andersson Soviet Aircraft and Aviation 1917-1941 (Putnam)
De Havilland D.H. 4, D.H.9, R-1 and variants
Lacking resources for development of advanced and specialized aircraft the fledgling Soviet aviation industry copied what was at hand when production started again after the Civil War, a proven, reliable, versatile aircraft of simple construction - the de Havilland D.H.9 which later became known as the R-1 in the Soviet Union. Being used for reconnaissance, artillery observation, light bombing, attack, civil and military training, maritime patrol, seaplane training, liaison, target-towing, mail-carrying, experiments and in other roles, the R-1 was the Soviet aircraft of the 1920s. Nine different types of engines were installed in de Havilland and R-1 aircraft; Liberty, Siddeley Puma, Fiat, Rolls-Royce Eagle, Mercedes, M-5, Maybach, BMW and Lorraine-Dietrich, but the M-5-powered R-1s were the most numerous.
The D.H.9 was structurally similar to its predecessor and used identical wings and tail section, but the pilot's cockpit was moved back behind the fuel tanks and the forward part of the fuselage was better streamlined. A retractable radiator was fitted under the front fuselage. A D.H.4 was converted to the new standard and tested in July 1917, whereupon production immediately switched to the new model. Most of the D.H.9s were powered by the 230hp Siddeley Puma, but with this engine the new model was under-powered and, in fact, inferior in performance to the D.H.4 which it was to supplement rather than replace. The D.H.9A appeared in 1918. Developed by the Westland Aircraft company, it combined the 400hp Liberty engine and frontal radiator with the best features of the D.H.4 and D.H.9. The fuselage was strengthened by replacing the plywood partitions of the D.H.9 with wire cross bracing and wings of greater span were fitted to improve climb and ceiling.
After the war surplus D.H.9 and D.H.9A aircraft were reconditioned and exported, many by the Aircraft Disposal Company, or used for civil purposes and in the 1920s D.H.4, D.H.9 and D.H.9A aircraft served with the military air services of Arabia, Argentina (one only), Australia, Bolivia, Belgium, Canada, Cuba, Chile, Mexico, Estonia, Greece, Ireland, Latvia, Holland, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Poland, Romania, Switzerland, Spain, South Africa, Turkey, the USA and the USSR.
By the end of 1920 nineteen captured Puma-engined D.H.9s and Liberty-engined D.H.9As were on charge. They were used mostly in the Ukraine and in Caucasia. More were repaired and put into service during the following year and by December 1921 forty-three were flying with RKKVF units. The authorities in Moscow had noted the reliability of the de Havilland types and when the opportunity arose to purchase more such aircraft from Britain there was no hesitation. The Secretary of the Royal Swedish Aero Club, Torsten Gullberg, who had been discussing an airline project with the Soviet Government offered to supply aircraft to the USSR in the spring of 1921. He contacted the Aircraft Disposal Company and began negotiations concerning reconditioned D.H.9s without engines. In Sweden he acquired 260hp Mercedes engines which had been smuggled out from Germany after the war and stored. A contract for forty aircraft and forty-eight engines was signed on 22 December 1921.
E I Gvaita went to England for inspection and acceptance of the aircraft. Four of the engines were sent to England and installed in each of the aircraft, which were then shipped from London to Leningrad on board the Swedish freighter Miranda. They arrived on 4 June 1922. The engines were shipped separately from Sweden. Anton Nilsson, another Swede who had joined the RKKVF as a pilot, was sent to Leningrad to supervise unloading of the consignments. These D.H.9s had the following s/ns: 1243, 1285, 2803, 5580, 5582, 5671, 5703, 5713, 5720, 5729, 5744-5746, 5748, 5752, 5758, 5778, 5786, 5795, 5800, 5803, 5805, 5808, 5811-5813, 5815, 5817, 5819, 5821, 5826-5828, 5832, 5841, 5846, 9152, 9165, 9334 and 9350 (most were almost certainly from the D and H serial batches). The first aircraft assembled by RVZ No. 1 and tested by Savin on 14 August was s/n 5817. Two aircraft (s/ns 5778 and 5813) were kept at the NOA.
One D.H.9A fitted with the 320hp Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engine was delivered in May 1922 for evaluation and in 1923 ten D.H.9As with 400hp Liberty and twenty D.H.9s with 220hp Puma engines were acquired from England via the Arcos Company. The Saturn arrived at Leningrad from London via Antwerp and Reval with seventeen of these aircraft in October 1923. Another four D.H.9As (Liberty engine) and twenty-two D.H.9s (Puma engine) followed in August 1924. In VVS documents the Rolls-Royce powered aircraft is identified as number 16105, but A J Jackson's De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 (Putnam, third edition, 1987) gives this aircraft as c/n 37. The ten D.H.9As were s/ ns 157 to 160, 2866, 2870, 3457, 3647, 3649, and 8802. The twenty D.H.9s were s/ns 138, 168, 206 to 213, 255, 468, 636, 1209, 5541, 5814, 9277, 9290, 9294 and 9329. The twenty-two D.H.9s delivered in 1924 were probably H5855, H5864, H5880, H9242, H9250, H9252, H9260, H9275, H9278, H9283, H9285, H9297, H9298, H9302, H9309, II9311, H9313, H9330, H9341 and H9309 which received British Cs of A in July 1924, and two others.
The British-built D.H.9s were used by the 1st Otdel'naya razvedivatel'naya aviaeskadril'ya at Ukhtomskaya, Moscow, the 2nd Otdel'naya razvedivatel'naya aviaeskadril'ya at Vitebsk and the 5th Otdel'nyi razvedivatel'nyi aviaotryad at Gomel' until 1924. One or two served with the 3rd, 6th, 10th, 13th and 14th Otdel'nye razvedivatel'nye aviaotryady in 1922-24, and later with the 17th and 83rd Aviaotryady and the 20th and 24th Aviaeskadrilii. The 4th Otdel'nyi razvedivatel'nyi aviaotryad at Tashkent received about ten in 1924 and used them into 1925, but four of these were flown to Kabul in October and handed over to the Afghanistan Government.
The Il'ich otryad, named after Lenin, whose middle name was Il'ich, was formed in April 1924 at Khar'kov. Twelve D.H.9As arrived in December 1923 and were assembled locally. Nine of these aircraft were handed over with ceremony by the ODVF on 18 May, 1924 and were followed by another four in June and July. They were given names including Donetskii shakhter, Krasnyi Kievlyanin, (Jkrainskii chekist, Shakhter Donhassa, Stalinskii proletarii, Profsoyuzy Ekaterinoslavshchiny, Samolet Sumshchiny, Yuzovskii proletarii, Chervonii vartovik podolii, Nezamoshnik Odesshchiny and Proletarii Odesshchiny (Donets Miner, Red Kiev Inhabitant, Ukrainian Cheka Officer, Miner of the Donbass, Stalin Proletarian, Trade-Unions of the Ekaterinoslav Region, Aircraft of the Sumy Area, Yuzovka Proletarian, Red Guard of Podol'e, Odessa Pauper, Odessa Pro-letarian). The D.H.9As of this unit were replaced, however, by Soviet- built R-ls before the end of the year.
The Mercedes-powered D.H.9s were withdrawn from use completely in 1925 and nineteen were handed over to Dobrolet along with forty-seven engines in 1927. Ten, and later one more, were assembled and the rest were reduced to spares. The Dobrolet D.H.9s did not receive normal civil registrations and had large white numbers painted on the fuselage sides instead, which were treated as registration numbers in the paperwork. After having been tested with little suc-cess as crop-dusters the civil D.H.9s were then assigned to photographic- work. Only three were actually sent on aerial photography missions in 1927 and one in 1928. All but four, which were re-registered CCCP-112 to CCCP-115, were then written off, the last example being cancelled in 1930. In 1928 the VVS offered Dobrolet twenty-eight additional D.H.9s, of which many were unserviceable, and a large number of extra wings, but the offer was refused.
Mercedes-engined D.H.9s used by Dobrolet
Reg Reg 1929 C/n In Service Notes
1 9152 2.27-6.29
2 CCCP-112 5826 4.27-29/30
3 1285 5.27-6.29 Crashed 11.28
4 2803 5.27-6.29
5 CCCP-113 5746 6.27-29/30
6 5778 7.27-6.29 Crashed 6.28
7 CCCP-114 5813 3.28-29/30
ДЛ-8 CCCP-115 9350 4.28-29/30
ДЛ-9 5821 3.28-6.29
ДЛ-10 5580 3.28-6.28 Crashed 22.6.28
ДЛ-11 5817 .29-29/30 Probably CCCP-116 ntu
In addition to service with the reconnaissance units, the Puma-engined D.H.9s and Liberty-engined D.H.9As were also used as trainers, before they were withdrawn from the reconnaissance units in 1924. They remained until 1928, most with the 1st Higher School of Military Pilots in Moscow, but some were flown at the 2nd School of Military Pilots, the Strel'bom school, the Military School of Special Service, the Military-Technical School, the 83rd Training Eskadril'ya and the Akademiya VVS. A few were also assigned to the NOA.
D.H.9 (D.H.9A), original aircraft
260hp Mercedes D.IVa (400hp Liberty 12)
Span 12.94 (14) m; length 9.38 (9.22) m; height (3.45) m; wing area 40 (45.22) m2
Empty weight 1,200 (1,270) kg; loaded weight 1,720 (2~100) kg
Maximum speed 170 (193) km/h; landing speed 95 (90) km/h; climb to 1,000m in 6.5 (4) min; ceiling 4,580 (5,100) m; endurance 4 (5.5) hr; range 680 (750) km
Flight, January 9, 1919.
THE DE HAVILLAND, OR "AIRCO," MACHINES
The D.H. 9a
With the insistent demand for better and still better performance the necessity of fitting engines of greater power became urgent, and the D.H. 9A was produced to meet these demands. Except for the front portion of the body it was not greatly different from the D.H. 9. It has, however, a somewhat larger area, so as to obtain the same landing speed for the heavier weight. The object had in mind when designing the D.H. 9A was to provide an improvement on the 9, namely to carry a greater load while maintaining a high performance. Apart from being extremely useful for long-distance reconnaissance, photography and fighting, this machine has been largely used for long-distance day bombing raids. The accompanying table will give a good idea of the manner in which the designer succeeded in attaining his purpose, and it is of interest to mention the following facts in addition: By increasing the military load from 545 lbs. to 945 lbs. the speed at low altitudes is reduced to 125 m.p.h., and at 10,000 ft. to 114 1/2 m.p.h. The climb to 10,000 ft. with this load occupies 15.05 min. and the ceiling is 19,000 ft. The range is reduced to 620 miles. (The reduction in speed is largely due to the fact that the extra load in bombs is carried outside.) By way of showing the weight-carrying capacity of this machine it is of interest to note that it has flown successfully with a military load of 1325 lbs.
A machine of this type has also been fitted with a 360 h.p. Rolls-Royce engine, and, carrying a military load of 1,745 lbs., reached a ceiling of 16.500 ft. with a speed of 107 1/2 m.p.h. at 10,000 ft. This machine differed from the standard 9A in that its petrol tankage was only 71 gallons, having a larger margin for load. It should also be noted that the above speed was reduced by about 4 m.p.h. owing to the bombs and carriers being put outside.
Как уже отмечалось, с 1921 года для пополнения авиационных частей начался выпуск небольшими сериями самолетов DH-4 и DH-9 (DH.4 и DH.9) на авиазаводе # 1. Общее руководство по внедрению этой машины осуществлял Н. Н. Поликарпов. Первоначально это были машины, почти полностью повторявшие английские аналоги и отличавшиеся только двигателями. Однако вынужденная замена ряда дефицитных материалов потребовала полностью пересмотреть проект, потому что самолет из отечественных материалов оказался тяжелее прототипа, а это повлекло за собой перерасчет прочности всей конструкции. Значительно упрощены стальные узлы крепления. Баки выполнялись из луженого железа толщиной 0,8 мм.
Часть арматуры двигателя выполнялась из медного литья. Вместо красного дерева и ясеня применялась сосна. На этом самолете впервые началась отработка агрегатной сборки фюзеляжа (передняя, средняя и задняя часть стыковались стальными накладками на болтах).
Лонжероны коробчатые - вместо двутавровых на D.H.9. Двигатель на основной модели - 12-цилиндровый, жидкостного охлаждения, рядный, V-образный М-5 (аналог "Либерти"). На самолете устанавливался лобовой сотовый радиатор. На самолетах, действовавших против басмачей в условиях пустыни, под двигателем подвешивался дополнительный радиатор. В целом, несмотря на некоторую переутяжеленность конструкции, самолет получился простым, прочным и дешевым.
Весовая отдача Р-1 - 35,5% против 33,5 % у DH-9. На самолете устанавливались синхронный пулемет ПВ-1 (200 патронов) и такой же на турели (500 патронов). Под крылом подвешивались бомбы весом до 50 кг.
В 1925 году на базе Р-1 был создан двухпоплавковый морской разведчик MP-I. Конструкция цельнодеревянных поплавков Н. Н. Поликарпова. Поплавки изготавливались из 3-мм (выше ватерлинии) и 4-мм (ниже ватерлинии) фанеры по каркасу из соснового бруса. Собирались поплавки на столярном клее и шурупах и покрывались "Кузбасс-лаком", а поверх него окрашивались. После поломки недостаточно прочных стоек на первом экземпляре МР-1 крепление поплавков было усилено. Число стоек доведено до 10 шт., а поплавки соединены между собой стальными трубами. Стойки изготавливались из стальных труб диаметром 60 мм с дюралевыми обтекателями.
Р-1 (DH-9) - около 100 машин, аналогичных DH-9, с двигателем "Даймлер" в 260 л.с. Причем несколько десятков этих самолетов, закуплены в Англии.
P-2 (DH-9) - развитие предыдущего, с двигателем "Сиддли-Пума" (220л. с.). Построено 130 машин, практически не отличавшихся от прототипа.
Р-1 М5 - массовая серия ставшего в ВВС РККА основным разведчиком и легким бомбардировщиком с двигателем М5 (400 л. с.). Всего выпущено 2800 самолетов.
Р-1 "Лоррен-Дитрих" - опытный самолет с двигателем "Лоррен-Дитрих" (450 л. с.) и четырехлопастным винтом. Из-за большого лобового сопротивления и массы двигателя летные данные оказались хуже, чем у исходной модели.
Р-2 с BMW-IVa - на снятых с вооружения 20 машинах Р-2 установили двигатели BMW-IVa (240 л. с.). Эти машины применялись в летных школах как тренировочные.
МР-1 - 124 машины на поплавках конструкции Н.Н. Поликарпова для авиации ВМС с тем же двигателем, что и Р-1.
МР-1 опытный - на цельнометаллических поплавках немецкого инженера Мюнцеля. Летные данные несколько лучше, чем у серийного МР-1, так как поплавки были легче. Серийно не строился из-за дефицита дюралюминия.
Показатель DH-9 (Р-1) DH-9 (Р-2) Р-1 с М-5 МР-1
1922г. 1923г. 1923г. 1925г.
длина 9,38 9,50 9,24 10,58
размах крыльев 12,94 12,94 14,02 14,02
высота 3,52 3,52 3,50 3,50
Площадь крыла, м2 40,00 40,00 44,54 44,54
максимальный взлетный 1720 1730 2200 2580
пустого 1200 1230 1450 1830
Двигатель: "Даймлер" "Сиддли-Пума" М-5 М-5
мощность, л. с. 260 220 400 400
Скорость, км/ч 170 165 185 179
Дальность полета, км 680 660 700 650
Потолок практический, м 4580 4500 5000 3680
Экипаж, чел. 2 2 2 2
Вооружение 2 пулемета, 350 кг бомб