Model Airplane News|
AIRCO DeHaviland No. 9 (DH-9)
Model Airplane News Cover Art for October, 1965
by Jo Kotula
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The DH.9 entered service with No 103 Squadron RFC at Old Sarum, Wiltshire, in December 1917, and became operational with No 6 Squadron in France in the following March. Fitted originally with a Beardmore engine, the aircraft proved to be underpowered and its performance was inferior to that of the DH.4, on which its design was based and which it was intended to replace. Engine failures were rife, and fuel consumption above 9,000 ft was a staggering 15 gallons per hour. Once the DH.9 was re-engined with the Packard Liberty motor, however, it became an entirely different aircraft.
Photos of the AIRCO DeHaviland No. 9 (DH-9)
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RAF squadrons in France began re-arming with the new variant - designated DH.9A - in August 1918, and the type played an important part in the Allied bombing offensive until the end of World War I. Afterwards, RAF DH.9A squadrons performed a vital policing role in the British- controlled territories in the Middle East and India throughout the 1920s.
Because of the large number of surplus DH.9s available after the war many were used by air transport companies. They provided a useful load carrying capability and were cheap. Early air services between London, Paris and Amsterdam were operated by DH.9s owned by Aircraft Transport and Travel. A number of different conversions for civil use were carried out, both by Airco and its successor the de Havilland Aircraft Company and by other companies, such as the Aircraft Disposal Company. Some radial powered DH.9Js continued in use until 1936.
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