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De Havilland D.H.4A

Страна: Великобритания

Год: 1919

De Havilland - D.H.16 - 1919 - Великобритания<– –>De Havilland - D.H.9B / D.H.9C - 1919 - Великобритания

A.Jackson De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 (Putnam)

De Havilland D.H.4A

   Formed in March 1919 under the command of Major J. R. McCrindle to meet increased cross-Channel passenger traffic arising from the Armistice, No. 2 (Communication) Squadron, 86th Wing, R.A.F. operated between Kenley and Buc, near Paris with D.H.4s. During the sittings of the Peace Conference a daily courier and mail service was operated in each direction and many Cabinet Ministers availed themselves of this new means of rapid transport, including Mr. Bonar Law, Mr. Winston Churchill, Lord Milner, Major General Sykes and W. M. Hughes, Prime Minister of Australia. At the special request of Mr. Bonar Law, a number of Eagle VIII powered D.H.4s were modified to accommodate a Minister and his secretary face to face in a glazed cabin so that work and conversation might be continued in comfort during the flight. This cabin was a light fabric covered wooden structure fitted with sliding Triplex windows, the starboard side and roof being hinged to fold upwards for entry and exit. A curved decking then faired the cabin neatly into the tail unit. Normal D.H.4 fuel tanks were retained behind the pilot and the two familiar wind driven fuel pumps were mounted above them, but to compensate for the weight of the extra passenger so far back, the aircraft was re-rigged with the upper mainplane 12 inches aft of its usual position. Thus, unlike the D.H.4, the cabin model was unstaggered and therefore a major variant to which the designation D.H.4A was allotted.
   Under the command of Wg. Cdr. W. Harold Primrose, the Communication Squadron made history on June 28, 1919 not only by flying four D.H.4As in line astern over the Palace of Versailles during the signing of the Peace Treaty but also by carrying Mr. Bonar Law from Buc to Kenley with the Prime Minister's historic letter to the King advising him that the Treaty had just been signed. When the squadron disbanded in September 1919 the D.H.4As were sold to Handley Page Ltd. among hundreds of other war surplus machines.
   In July 1919 four new D.H.4s from the Glendower production line were also converted into D.H.4As for Airco's operating subsidiary Aircraft Transport and Travel Ltd. and flew initially with enlarged military serial numbers. Piloted by Capt. E. H. 'Bill' Lawford, one, G-EAJC, is now famous as the machine which carried G. M. Stevenson-Reece of the Evening Standard and a consignment of grouse, newspapers, leather and Devonshire cream from Hounslow to Le Bourget in 2 hours 30 minutes on August 25th.
   In the same month another D.H.4A, G-EAHG, was demonstrated by H. J. Saint at the First Air Traffic Exhibition (ELTA) at Amsterdam and in the following October at Interlaken, Switzerland by Major Stewart-Wortley. On November 10th, its sister craft 'HE carried the first civilian air mail to France at a fee of 2/6 per ounce. Unfortunately both 'HE and HG were lost in serious crashes while trying to maintain their schedules without wireless during the appalling winter of 1919, and were replaced by the open cockpit D.H.4s G-EANK and 'NL mentioned on page 76. All A.T. & T. aircraft were based at Hendon, positioning flights being made to Hounslow to pick up passengers and clear Customs until the new terminal aerodrome opened at Plough Lane, Croydon on April 1, 1920. The D.H.4s then operated both to Le Bourget and Schiphol but with fares at 20 guineas a head, could not compete with subsidised foreign air lines and were scrapped when A.T. & T. Ltd. went into liquidation on December 15, 1920.
   A number of nil hour D.H.4s had also been obtained by Handley Page Ltd. direct from the works of Waring and Gillow Ltd., and one of these was converted to D.H.4A standard as G-EA VL for use on the Cricklewood-Le Bourget and Schiphol services of Handley Page Transport Ltd. On December 4. 1920 piloted by Lt. Vaughan Fowler, it created a record by flying to Paris in half a gale with two passengers in an hour and 48 minutes. Two other D.H.4As. O-BARI and O-BATO. were also produced for the company's Belgian customer SNETA, which used them on the Brussels-Croydon route in 1920-21. They were joined in April 1921 by one of the Communications Squadron D.H.4As F5764, acquired by Handley Page Ltd. among the surplus stock and reconditioned for civil use as G-EA WH.
   Another of the original military D.H.4As was shipped to Buenos Aires by Maj. S. G. Kingsley of the River Plate Aviation Co. Ltd., who in August 1920 made a pioneer business trip of 1,250 miles from Buenos Aires to Porto Alegre on charter to an Argentine bank. In the following year this D.H.4A was joined by a D.H.6 and a D.H. 16 which together covered a total of 40,000 miles in the Argentine, Brazil and Uruguay.
   One other and better known D.H.4A also existed, in the shape of the Instone D.H.4 G-EAMU mentioned on page 73, fully converted to D.H.4A standard at Hamble by A. V. Roe and Co. Ltd. in February 1921. Renamed "City of York" it flew the Croydon-Paris route in the livery of Instone Air Line Ltd.. and made charter flights to the North and to Ireland. After reconditioning at Northolt by the Central Aircraft Company, 'MU made history on September 8-9, 1922 by flying from Croydon to Renfrew and back, piloted by Capt. F. L. Barnard, at an average speed of 123 m.p.h. to win the first of all the King's Cup Races.

   Conversions by:
   The Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Hendon, London, N.W.9
   Handley Page Ltd., Cricklewood, London, N.W.2
   Power Plant: One 350 h.p. Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII
   Span 42 ft. 4 5/8 in. Length 30 ft. 6 in.
   Height 11 ft. 0 in. Wing area 434 sq. ft.
   Weights: Tare weight 2,600 lb. All-up weight 3,720 lb.
   Performance: Maximum speed 121 m.p.h.

RAF. Serial C. of A.
and Registration Issued Remarks
F2694 G-EAHG 12.8.19 AT. & T. Ltd., forced down in the English Channel 29.10.19
F2699 G-EAHF 12.8.19 AT. & T. Ltd., crashed at Caterham 11.12.19
F2702 G-EAJC 19.8.19
F2704 G-EAJD 25.8.19 AT. & T. Ltd., scrapped 11.20
F5764 G-EAWH 18.4.21 Handley Page Ltd., scrapped 1922
H5905 G-EAVL 11.11.20 Handley Page Ltd., crashed 4.21
H5928 O-BARI SNETA, burned in hangar fire at Brussels 27.9.21
H5929 O-BATO - " -
H5939 G-EAMU 19.2.20 Instone Air Line Ltd. "City of York"; to Imperial Airways Ltd. 10.6.24

   Service Use: at least F2663. F2664. F2665, F2681, F5764,115894 and H5934 by No.2 (Communication) Squadron. H5894 crashed into the English Channel 15.5.19 with the loss of Capt E. B. B. Jefferson and M r A. Aarosohn, the Zionist leader and agricultural expert.

A.Jackson British Civil Aircraft since 1919 vol.1 (Putnam)

De Havilland D.H.4 and Variants

   Capt. Geoffrey de Havilland built the first D.H.4 two-seat day bomber at Hendon in August 1916, and by the end of the First World War many hundreds had seen operational service. The D.H.4 was a conventional two-bay biplane of wire-braced, fabric-covered, wooden construction powered by a variety of engines in the 200-300 h.p. range. After the war a considerable number were offered for civilian purchase, some of which were brand-new machines still in the factories. Between June 1919 and October 1921 30 of these reached British civil status.
   Three main types of civil conversion were carried out on the demilitarized airframe, two of which made their public debut in the Aerial Derby Race at Hendon on 21 June 1919. Both were owned by Aircraft Transport and Travel Ltd., founded by George Holt Thomas to operate a pioneer air service with machines built by the Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (‘Airco’ - later the de Havilland Aircraft Co. Ltd.). Their first entrant, K-142, powered by a 350-h.p. Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII water-cooled engine, merely had the Scarff ring removed to form a conventional cockpit. The other, K-141, with a 450-h.p. Napier Lion, had the lower wing clipped at the first bay and the top-wing overhang supported by inclined struts in the same manner as the B.A.T. Bantam K-125, with which it was competing. The rear cockpit was faired over, and with the heavy uncowled Lion and chin radiator on a shortened front fuselage it was scarcely recognizable as a D.H.4 derivative. It was therefore known as the D.H.4 racer, or D.H.4R. Ingenuity was rewarded when Capt. Gerald Gathergood made the two circuits of London in 1 hour 2 minutes to win the race at an average speed of 129-3 rn.p.h. and set up a world’s record for speed in a closed circuit. Marcus D. Manton, flying the standard D.H.4 came third at an average speed of 117-39 rn.p.h. A very creditable performance by two machines which left the ground for the first time on the morning of the race!
   Third and most important version of the D.H.4 was the D.H.4A, six (and eventually seven) of which were produced by the conversion of new airframes. They seated two passengers face to face in a glazed cabin behind the pilot, G-EAHF, ’HG, ’JC and ’JD forming the initial Aircraft Transport and Travel Ltd. fleet, while G-EAVL went into service with Handley Page Air Transport Ltd. H. J. Saint flew ’HG to Amsterdam in August 1919 as an exhibit at the First Air Traffic Exhibition, and on 25 August the late E. H. ‘Bill’ Lawford flew another on the very first British commercial air service. He carried two passengers from Hounslow to Le Bourget, but without subsidy or mail contracts the fare was 20 guineas a head. The D.H.4As were based at Hendon and flew to Hounslow before going on service, but after only four months the first two had been lost in crashes. When the new aerodrome was opened at Plough Lane, Croydon, on 1 April 1920, the survivors started from there and also flew on the new route to Schiphol, Amsterdam, which opened on 17 May 1920. The low subsidized fares of foreign air lines eventually forced A.T. & T. to close down, ’JC and ’JD were therefore scrapped and the firm went into liquidation on 15 December 1920.
   The equipment of Handley Page Air Transport was naturally the H.P. O/400 converted bomber, but the D.H.4A G-EAVL was used for charter work and on the Cricklewood-Schiphol service. With the aid of a favourable gale on 4 December 1920 it also created a record, piloted by Lt. Vaughan Fowler, by reaching Paris with two passengers in 1 hour 48 minutes. Handley Pages were also forced to close down in February 1921, but re-opened their services on 21 March, following the adoption of a hastily drawn up subsidy scheme. A new D.H.4A G-EAWH was acquired for the Paris service, and for six weeks the late Major E. L. Foote flew ’VL on the Schiphol run until it crashed in the April.
   The shipping firm of S. Instone and Co. Ltd. had also acquired a special D.H.4 G-EAMU with two-seat open rear cockpit, and engaged the late Capt. F. L. Barnard as pilot, intending to use it for the fast carriage of ship’s papers. A brand-new aircraft, it flew for the first time on 12 October 1919 and appropriately named ‘City of Cardiff’ left Hounslow for Cardiff later in the day. The next day it made its first trip from Hounslow to Le Bourget. In February 1921 ’MU was fully converted to D.H.4A standard by A. V. Roe and Co. Ltd. at Hamble, and with the introduction of subsidies, went into service on the Croydon-Paris route of the new Instone Air Line as the ‘City of York’. At the end of the year it was relegated to charter work to the North and to Ireland, but on 8-9 September 1922 made history by winning the very first King’s Cup Race, when Capt. F. L. Barnard flew it from Croydon to Renfrew and back at an average speed of 123 m.p.h. It then survived to be handed over to Imperial Airways Ltd. at its formation on 1 April 1924, afterwards being broken up at Croydon.
   Although two standard open-cockpit D.H.4s G-EANK and ’NL were used by A.T. & T. to supplement the 4As, the 19 others were registered by the Aircraft Disposal Co. Ltd. purely for overseas ferrying. Many of these were flown from Croydon to Brussels by Lt. H. Shaw, G-EAXE, ’XF and ’XN making fast times of about 1 hour 50 minutes, during June-July 1921.

Manufacturers: The Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Hendon, London, N.W. (R.A.F. serials prefixed A and F). Waring and Gillow Ltd., Cambridge Road, Hammersmith, London, W.6. (R.A.F. serials prefixed H.)
Power Plants:
   (D.H.4 and 4A) One 350-h.p. Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII.
   (D.H.4R) One 450-h.p. Napier Lion.
D.H.4 D.H.4A D.H.4R
Span 42 ft. 4 5/8 in. 42 ft. 4 5/8 in. 42 ft. 4 5/8 in
Length . 30 ft. 6 in. 30 ft. 6 in. 28 ft. 1 in.
Height . 11 ft. 11 ft. 11 ft.
Wing area 434 sq. ft. 434 sq. ft. -
Tare weight 2,387 lb. 2,600 lb. 2,490 lb.
All-up weight 3,472 lb. 3,720 lb. 3,191 lb.
Maximum speed 143 m.p.h. 121 m.p.h. 150 m.p.h.
Initial climb 1,300 ft./min. - -
Ceiling 23,500 ft. - -
Range 3 3/4 hours - -

J.Stroud The World's Airliners (Putnam)

Cross-Channel commercial air services between England and France were begun by Aircraft Transport and Travel on 25 August 1919, when a regular London Paris passenger and goods service was started. D.H.4As and D.H.16s were used, the latter being a four-passenger cabin conversion of the single-engined D.H.9 day bomber.

O.Thetford Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918 (Putnam)

de Havilland DH 4A (Airco)

   This special version of the DH 4 light bomber accommodated two passengers in a cabin behind the pilot, and was operated by No 2 Communications Squadron, 86th Wing, RAF, on communications flights between Kenley and Buc, near Paris, during the Peace Conference of 1919. Sixteen DH 4s were converted: F2663-F2665, F2681, F2694, F2699, F2702, F2704, F5764, H5894, H5905, H5928, H5929, H5934, H5939 and H8263. Powerplant: One 360hp Rolls-Royce Eagle VI. Loaded weight, 3,720lb. Max speed, 121mph.

Журнал Flight

Flight, January 23, 1919.


   IN our issue of April 19, 1917, we commenced a series of articles describing the "Totally-Enclosed" aeroplanes that had been built up to that time. We then pointed out that when the problems of peace flying have to be tackled, there is every probability that the occupants of an aeroplane will be comfortably seated inside a cabin, out of the rush of air. This appears now to have come about, as instanced by the Airco or D.H. 4 biplane, which has been converted into a comfortable touring machine, seating two passengers inside a cabin provided with windows. These machines are intended to take Peace Delegates and their secretaries to and from Paris. The simple manner in which this conversion into an enclosed machine has been carried out will be clear from the photographs.

Flight, October 2, 1919.


The de H. (Airco) 4A
   has been altered for passenger-carrying by doing away with the stagger, and by raising the deck of the fuselage to form a roof over the cabin. The pilot occupies his original position between the planes, while the cabin is well aft, clear of the trailing edge of the wings. The two passengers face one another, the front one facing aft. Entrance to the cabin is obtained through the roof, which is hinged to fold back, and a short ladder of tubing leads up to the cabin. The engine is a Rolls-Royce "Eagle," mounted behind a nose radiator. As fitted up for the London-Paris service, the D.H.4A has a weight of 2,600 lbs. empty but including water, and with pilot, two passengers, and fuel for a 3-hours' flight, the weight "all up" is about 3,720 lbs. This gives a loading of about 8.6 lbs. per sq. ft., so that the machine does not land at an unusually high speed, although the loading is by no means light. However, at the end of the journey the fuel will have been used up and the loading be somewhat heavier.

O.Thetford - Aircraft of the Royal Air Force since 1918 /Putnam/
F2664, "H.M.A.P. Lady Iris", one of the D.H.4As used on the cross-Channel services of No.2 (Communications) Squadron, R.A.F., in 1919.
A.Jackson - De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 /Putnam/
F2665, third D.H.4A conversion for No. 2 (Communication) Squadron.
Jane's All The World Aircraft 1919 /Jane's/
AN AERIAL LIMOUSINE. - A D.H.4 converted into an enclosed passenger carrier. The pilot is, however, left out "in the draught."
An "Airco" De H.4 (375 h.p. "Eagle" Rolls-Royce) Converted to Passenger Carrying Purposes for use by No 2 Communications Squadron, RAF, to fly between Kenley and Buc during Peace Conference negotiations.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
The D.H.4 ENCLOSED MACHINE CLIMBING. - The manner in which the two passengers are seated facing one another is clearly seen in this photograph.
A.Jackson - De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 /Putnam/
F2699 refuelling at Marske-by-the-Sea, Co. Durham, early in 1919. It became G-EAHF with AT. & T. Ltd. in the following August.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
MAJ. STUART-WORTLEY'S D.H 4a AT INTERLAKEN, SWITZERLAND: Maj. Stuart-Wortley took this machine over with a view to giving demonstration flights
A.Jackson - De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 /Putnam/
Aircraft Transport and Travel Ltd.'s second D.H.4A. G-EAHG, during demonstrations at Interlaken in October 1919.
A.Jackson - De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 /Putnam/
G-EAJC, the D.H.4A in which E. H. Lawford flew the first British commercial service from Hounslow to Le Bourget on August 25, 1919. The former R.A.F. serial F2702 is visible on the rudder.
P.Lewis - British Racing and Record-breaking Aircraft /Putnam/
Winner of the first King's Cup Race, the blue and silver D.H.4A G-EAMU City of York flown by Capt F. L. Barnard at 123,6 mph.
J.Stroud - The World's Airliners /Putnam/
The de Havilland 4A used by S. Instone and Co, later Instone Air Line, seen at Hounslow in September 1919.
A.Jackson - British Civil Aircraft since 1919 vol.1 /Putnam/
Winner of the first King’s Cup Race 1922, Instone’s G-EAMU shows the typical humped back of the D.H.4A.
A.Jackson - De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 /Putnam/
The Cricklewood-based D.H.4A G-EAVL used by Handley Page Transport Ltd. from November 1920 until April 1921.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
Hounslow - Switzerland: Mr. Stewart Wortley, who is the Swiss representative of Aircraft Transport and Travel, Ltd., about to leave for Switzerland.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
The New Mode of Travel. - Three Generals flew over to Hendon on Saturday from Stonehenge in a converted de H. 4, piloted by Mr. M. D. Manton of the Aircraft Manufacturing Co.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
THE LONDON-PARIS AIR SERVICE: (1) Mr. M. D. Manton discussing matters with Capt. Baylis as the latter is leaving for Paris on a de H. (Airco) 4A. (2) Lieut. Eric Lawford has just arrived with the mail from Paris in a de H. (Airco) 4A. (3) The Airco 4A just before leaving for Paris.
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
FIRST INTERNATIONAL AERIAL MAIL: This week marks a milestone in aviation, inasmuch as the commencement ot official international mail-carrying was inaugurated. Our photographs show the Paris mails being loaded into an Airco 4A, and the Government pennant, bearing the legend, "Royal Mail," being fixed to the rudder of the machine
A.Jackson - British Civil Aircraft since 1919 vol.1 /Putnam/
D.H. 4A
A.Jackson - De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 /Putnam/
Журнал - Flight за 1919 г.
THE D.H. (AIRCO) 4A MACHINES USED ON THE LONDON-PARIS ROUTE: Plan, side and front elevations to scale.