|Airco DH. 4|
An early production DH. 4
|Type||Biplane Light Bomber/General Purpose|
|Maiden flight||August 1916|
|Retired||1932 (United States Army)|
|Primary users||RFC (RAF)|
American Air Service
|Number built||1,449 in UK - 4,846 in USA|
|Variants||DH9, DH9A, Dayton-Wright Cabin Cruiser|
The Airco DH. A biplane is a Fixed-wing aircraft with two main Wings The first powered heavier-than-air Aircraft, the Wright brothers' Wright Flyer An aerospace manufacturer is a company or individual involved in the various aspects of designing building testing selling and maintaining Aircraft, Aircraft parts Aircraft Manufacturing Company - Airco - was established at The Hyde in Hendon, north London, England during 1912 The maiden flight of an Aircraft is the first occasion on which an aircraft leaves the ground of its own accord The United States Army Air Service was a forerunner of the United States Air Force. The Royal Naval Air Service or RNAS was the air arm of the Royal Navy until near the end of the First World War, when it merged with the British The Airco DH9 (from de Havilland 9 also known after 1920 as the de Havilland DH The Airco DH9A was a British light bomber designed and first used shortly before the end of the First World War. The Dayton-Wright KT Cabin Cruiser was a 1920s American three-seat touring aircraft built by the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company in Dayton Ohio. 4 was a British two-seat biplane day-bomber of the First World War. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located A biplane is a Fixed-wing aircraft with two main Wings The first powered heavier-than-air Aircraft, the Wright brothers' Wright Flyer World War I (abbreviated WWI; also known as the First World War, the Great War, and the War to End All It was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland (hence "DH") for Airco, and was the first British two seat light day-bomber to have an effective defensive armament. Captain Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, OM, CBE, AFC, RDI, FRAeS, ( 27 July 1882 – 21 May Aircraft Manufacturing Company - Airco - was established at The Hyde in Hendon, north London, England during 1912 It first flew in August 1916 and entered service with the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in March 1917. The Royal Flying Corps (RFC was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of the First World War. The majority of DH. 4s were actually built as general purpose two-seaters in the USA, for service with the American forces in France.
The DH. 4 was tried with several engines, of which the best was the 375 hp Rolls-Royce Eagle engine. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout Armament and ordnance for the aircraft consisted of one 0. 303 in Vickers machine gun for the pilot and one 0. The Vickers machine gun or Vickers gun is a name primarily used to refer to the water-cooled. 303 in. Lewis machine gun on a Scarff ring mounting for the observer. The Lewis Gun is a pre- World War I era Squad automatic weapon / Machine gun of American design that was most widely used by the forces of the British The Scarff ring was a type of Machine gun mounting developed during the First World War by Warrant Officer (Gunner F Two 230 lb bombs or four 112 lb bombs could be carried. The DH. 4 entered service on 6 March 1917 with No. 55 Squadron in France. Events 1079 - Omar Khayyám completes the Iranian calendar. 1454 - Thirteen Years' War: Delegates of Year 1917 ( MCMXVII) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common year No 55 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was formed in 1916 at Castle Bromwich.
The DH. 4 was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland as a light two-seat day bomber powered by the new BHP engine. The prototype first flying in August 1916, powered by a prototype BHP engine rated at 230 hp.  While the DH. 4 trials were promising, the BHP engine required major redesign before entering production. It was therefore decided to fit the DH. 4 with the Rolls-Royce Eagle engine, the first order for 50 DH. WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout 4s, powered by 250 hp Eagle III engines was placed at the end of 1916. 
The aircraft was a conventional tractor biplane, of all wooden construction and with two bay wings. The crew of two were accommodated in widely spaced cockpits, separated by the fuel tank.  The observer was armed with one or two Lewis guns fitted on a Scarff ring, while a synchronised Vickers gun was fitted to the nose. The Lewis Gun is a pre- World War I era Squad automatic weapon / Machine gun of American design that was most widely used by the forces of the British The Scarff ring was a type of Machine gun mounting developed during the First World War by Warrant Officer (Gunner F The Vickers machine gun or Vickers gun is a name primarily used to refer to the water-cooled. A bombload of 460 lb could be fitted to external racks. While the crew arrangement gave good fields of view for the pilot and observer, it caused communication problems between the two crew members, particularly in combat, where the speaking tube linking the cockpits was of limited use. A speaking tube or voicepipe is a device based around two cones connected by an Air pipe through which speech can be transmitted over an extended 
As production continued, DH. 4s were fitted with Eagle engines of increasing power, settling on the 375 hp Eagle VIII, which powered the majority of front line DH. 4s by the end of 1917. Because of the chronic shortage of Rolls-Royce aero engines in general, and Eagles in particular, alternative engines were also investigated, with the BHP (230 hp), the Royal Aircraft Factory RAF3A (200 hp), the Siddeley Puma (230 hp) and the 260 hp Fiat, all being used in production aircraft. The Royal Aircraft Establishment (RAE England, was a British research establishment latterly under the UK Ministry of Defence WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft. Please see WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft/page content for recommended layout Fiat SpA (an Acronym for Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino (Italian Automobile Factory of Turin) is an Italian automobile manufacturer  None of these engines could match the Rolls-Royce Eagle, however there were simply not enough Eagles available.
In American production, the new Liberty engine proved suitable as a DH. See also Liberty L-8 for the eight-cylinder prototype & Lincoln Liberty engine WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft 4 powerplant although the engine produced a slightly inferior performance to the Eagle. The Liberty was also to eventually power the British DH.9A. The Airco DH9A was a British light bomber designed and first used shortly before the end of the First World War.
Production was by Airco, F. Aircraft Manufacturing Company - Airco - was established at The Hyde in Hendon, north London, England during 1912 W. Berwick and Co, Glendower Aircraft Company, Palladium Autocars, Vulcan Motor and Engineering, and the Westland Aircraft Works in the UK. Westland Aircraft was a British Aircraft manufacturer located in Yeovil in Somerset. A total of 1,449 aircraft (from orders for 1,700 aircraft) were made in the UK for the RFC and RNAS. The Royal Naval Air Service or RNAS was the air arm of the Royal Navy until near the end of the First World War, when it merged with the British  SABCA of Belgium made a further 15 in 1926. The Sociétés Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques (SABCA is a Belgian Aerospace company a subsidiary of the Dassault Group. The Kingdom of Belgium is a Country in northwest Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts its headquarters as well as those 
In the United States, the Boeing Airplane Corporation, Dayton-Wright Aeroplane Company, The Fisher Body Corporation, and the Standard Aircraft Corporation produced the DH. The United States of America —commonly referred to as the The Boeing Company is a major Aerospace and defense corporation originally founded by William E Standard Aircraft Corporation was a American Aircraft manufacturer, founded in Plainfield, New Jersey, in 1916 Standard Aircraft 4 with the Liberty L-12 engine for the American air services. A total of 9,500 DH. 4s were ordered from American manufacturers, of which 1,885 actually reached France during the war. 
After the war a number of firms, most significantly Boeing, were contracted by the US Army to re-manufacture surplus DH. The Boeing Company is a major Aerospace and defense corporation originally founded by William E 4s to DH. 4B standard. Known by Boeing as the Model 16, deliveries of 111 aircraft from this manufacturer took place between March and July 1920, with 50 of them returned for further refurbishments three years later. 
In 1923, the Army ordered a new DH. 4 variant from Boeing, characterised by a fuselage of fabric-covered steel tube in place of the original plywood structure. These three prototypes were designated DH-4M-1 (M for modernized) and were ordered into production alongside the generally similar DH-4M-2 developed by Atlantic Aircraft. Atlantic Aircraft Corporation was a US subsidiary of the Dutch Fokker Company responsible for sales and information about Fokker imports and eventually constructing various A total of 22 of the 163 DH-4M-1s were converted by the Army into dual-control trainers (DH-4M-1T) and a few more into target tugs (DH-4M-1K). Thirty of the aircraft ordered by the Army were diverted to the Navy for Marine Corps use, these designated 02B-1 for the base model, and O2B-2 for aircraft equipped for night and cross-country flying. 
The DH. 4 entered service with the RFC in January 1917, first being used by No. 55 Squadron. No 55 Squadron of the Royal Air Force was formed in 1916 at Castle Bromwich.  More squadrons were equipped with the type to increase the bombing capacity of the RFC, with two squadrons re-equipping in May, and a total of six squadrons by the end of the year.  As well as the RFC, the RNAS also used the DH. The Royal Naval Air Service or RNAS was the air arm of the Royal Navy until near the end of the First World War, when it merged with the British 4, both over France and over Italy and the Aegean front. This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest Etymology In ancient times there were various explanations for the name Aegean.  The DH. 4 was also used for coastal patrols by the RNAS, one, crewed by the pilot Major Egbert Cadbury and Captain Robert Leckie (later Air Vice-Marshal) as gunner shot down Zeppelin L70 on 5 August 1918. Air Commodore Sir Egbert Cadbury DSC, DFC (1893&mdash1967 was a First World War pilot who shot down two Zeppelins over the North Air Marshal Robert Leckie CB, DSO, DSC, DFC, CD ( April 16 1890 – March 31 A Zeppelin is a type of Rigid airship pioneered by the German Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin in the early 20th century based on designs he had outlined Events 642 - Battle of Maserfield - Penda of Mercia defeats and kills Oswald of Bernicia. Year 1918 ( MCMXVIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common  Four RNAS DH. 4 were credited with sinking the German U-boat UB 12 on 19 August 1918. U-boat is the anglicized version of the German word, itself an abbreviation of Unterseeboot ( undersea boat) and refers Events 43 BC - Octavian, later known as Augustus compels the Roman Senate to elect him Consul. Year 1918 ( MCMXVIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common 
The DH. 4 proved a huge success and was often considered the best single-engined bomber of the First World War.  With its reliability and impressive performance - even when fully loaded with bombs - the type proved highly popular with its crews. The Airco DH. 4 was easy to fly, and especially when fitted with the Rolls-Royce Eagle engine, its speed and altitude performance gave it a good deal of invulnerability to German fighter interception, so that the D. H. 4 often did not require a fighter escort on missions. One design drawback was the distance between pilot and observer, caused by the fuel tank placed between the pilot and observer, making communication between the crew members difficult, and therefore making the aircraft vulnerable if it was caught by enemy fighters.  There was some controversy (especially in American service) that this placement of the fuel tank was inherently unsafe.  In fact most contemporary aircraft were prone to catching fire in the air.  The fire hazard was reduced, however, when the pressurised fuel system was replaced by one using wind driven fuel pumps late in 1917, although this was not initially adopted by American built aircraft.  In any case the arrangement of fuel tank and cockpits was rectified in the otherwise inferior D.H.9. The Airco DH9 (from de Havilland 9 also known after 1920 as the de Havilland DH
Despite its success, numbers in service with the RFC actually started to decline from spring 1918, mainly due to a shortage of motors, and production switched to the D. H. 9, which turned out to be disappointing, being inferior to the D. H. 4 in most respects. It was left to the further developed D.H.9A, with the American Liberty engine, to satisfactorily replace the D. The Airco DH9A was a British light bomber designed and first used shortly before the end of the First World War. H. 4.
When the Independent Air Force was set up in June 1918 to carry out strategic bombing of targets in Germany, the DH. The Independent Air Force ( IAF) also known as the Independent Force or the Independent Bombing Force and later known as the Inter-Allied Independent Strategic bombing is a Military strategy used in a Total war with the goal of defeating an enemy nation-state by destroying its economic ability to wage war rather Germany, officially the Federal Republic of Germany ( ˈbʊndəsʁepuˌbliːk ˈdɔʏtʃlant is a Country in Central Europe. 4s of 55 Squadron formed part of it, being used for daylight attacks.  55 Squadron developed tactics of flying in wedge formations, bombing on the leader's command and with the massed defensive fire of the formation deterring attacks by enemy fighters.  Despite heavy losses, 55 Squadron continued in operation, the only one of the day bombing squadrons in the Independent force which did not have to temporarily stand down owing to aircrew losses. 
After the Armistice, the RAF formed No. The armistice treaty between the Allies and Germany was signed in a railway carriage in Compiègne Forest on November 11, 1918 2 Communication Squadron, equipped with DH. 4s to carry important passengers to and from the Paris Peace Conference. Several of the DH. 4s used for this purpose were modified with an enclosed cabin for two passengers at the request of Andrew Bonar Law. Andrew Bonar Law (16 September 1858 &ndash 30 October 1923 was a Canadian -born British Conservative Party statesman and Prime Minister.  These aircraft were designated DH. 4A, with at least seven being converted for the RAF, and a further nine for civil use. 
At the time of its entry into the war, the American Air Service lacked any aircraft suitable for front line combat. The United States Army Air Service was a forerunner of the United States Air Force. They therefore procured various aircraft from the British and French, one being the DH. 4. As the DH-4, it was manufactured mostly by Dayton-Wright and Fisher Body for service with the United States from 1918, the first American built DH-4 being delivered to France in May 1918, with combat operations commencing in August 1918. The powerplant was a Liberty L-12 of 400 hp and it was fitted with two . See also Liberty L-8 for the eight-cylinder prototype & Lincoln Liberty engine WikipediaWikiProject Aircraft 30 inch Marlin machine guns in the nose and two . The Marlin Firearms Company of North Haven Connecticut manufactures Marlin Rifles 30 inch Lewis machine guns in the rear and could carry 322 pounds of bombs. The Lewis Gun is a pre- World War I era Squad automatic weapon / Machine gun of American design that was most widely used by the forces of the British The heavier engine reduced performance a little compared with the Rolls Royce powered version, but as the "Liberty Plane" it became the Americans' standard general purpose two-seater, and on the whole was fairly popular with its crews.
Aircrew operating the DH-4 were awarded four of the six Medal of Honors awarded to American aviators, with First Lieutenant Harold Ernest Goettler and Second Lieutenant Erwin R. Bleckley receiving posthumous awards after being killed on 12 October 1918 attempting to drop supplies to the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division, cut off by German troops during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, while 2d Lt Ralph Talbot and Gunnery Sergeant Robert G. Robinson of the US Marines were awarded the Medal of Honor for beating off attacks from 12 German fighters during a bombing raid over Belgium on 8 October 1918. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. First Lieutenant is a Military rank. The rank of Lieutenant has different meanings in different military formations (see Comparative military ranks Harold Ernest Goettler was a US Army Air Service Aviator Killed in action on October 6 1918 while locating the Lost Battalion of the 77th Division during Second Lieutenant is the lowest commissioned officer Military rank in many Armed forces. Erwin Russell Bleckley was a United States Army Air Service Aviator during World War I, and posthumous recipient of the Medal of Honor, Events 539 BC - The army of Cyrus the Great of Persia takes Babylon. Year 1918 ( MCMXVIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common The Lost Battalion is the name given to nine units of the United States 77th Division, roughly 554 men isolated by German forces during World War I after an The 77th Sustainment Brigade formerly the 77th Infantry Division is a unit of the United States Army that served in World War I and World War II. The Meuse-Argonn Offensive, also called the Battle of the Argonne Forest, was a part of the final Allied offensive of World War I (and known as the Grand Ralph Talbot ( 6 January 1897 &ndash 25 October 1918) was the first United States Marine Corps aviator to be awarded the Medal Gunnery Sergeant insigniaUS Marine Corps Gunnery Sergeant ( GySgt) is Robert Guy Robinson ( 30 April 1896 - 5 October 1974) was a United States Marine Corps First Lieutenant who earned the Medal of Events 314 - Roman Emperor Licinius is defeated by his colleague Constantine I at the Battle of Cibalae, and loses Year 1918 ( MCMXVIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common  The type flew with 13 U. S. squadrons by the end of 1918. 
Following the end of the First World War, America had a large surplus of DH-4s, with the improved DH-4B becoming available, although none had been shipped to France. It was therefore decided that there was no point in returning aircraft across the Atlantic, so those remaining in France, together with other obsolete observation and trainer aircraft were burned in what became known as the "Billion Dollar Bonfire".  With limited funds available to develop and purchase replacements, the remaining DH-4s formed a major part of American air strength for several years, using them for many roles, with as many as 60 variants produced.  DH-4s were also widely used for experimental flying, being used as engine testbeds and fitted with new wings. They were used for the first trials of air-to-air refueling on 25 June 1923, and carried out an endurance flight of 37 hours, 15 minutes on 27-28 August, being refueled 16 times and setting 16 new world records for distance, speed and duration. Aerial refueling, also called air refueling, in-flight refueling ( IFR) air-to-air refueling ( AAR) or tanking, is Events 524 - Battle of Vézeronce, the Franks defeat the Burgundians Year 1923 ( MCMXXIII) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.  The DH-4 remained in service with the United States Army until 1932. 
DH-4s were also used by the United States Navy and Marine Corps, both during World War 1 and postwar. The Navy and Marines received 51 DH-4s during World War 1, followed by 172 DH-4B and DH-4B-1 aircraft postwar and 30 DH-4M-1s with welded steel-tube fuselages (redesignated O2B) in 1925.  They remained in service with the Marines until 1929, being used against bandits in Nicaragua in 1927. The United States occupied Nicaragua from 1912-1933 and intervened in the country several times before that 
Following the end of the First World War, DH. 4 and 4As were used to operate scheduled passenger services in Europe by such airlines as Aircraft Transport and Travel, Handley Page Transport and the Belgium airline SNETA, G-EAJC of Aircraft Transport and Travel flying the first British commercial passenger service from Hounslow to Paris Le Bourget on 25 August 1919, carrying a reporter from the Evening Standard newspaper and a load of newspapers and other freight. Aircraft Transport and Travel Limited was a British airline formed during the First World War. Handley Page Transport Ltd was an airline company founded in 1919 by Frederick Handley Page in the new era of civil flying after the First World War. SABENA was the national airline of Belgium from 1923 to 2001 with its base at Brussels National Airport. Hounslow is the principal town in the London Borough of Hounslow. Paris - Le Bourget Airport (Aéroport de Paris - Le Bourget is an Airport located in Le Bourget and Dugny, 12 km north-northeast (NNE Events 1248 - The Dutch city of Ommen receives city rights and fortification rights from Otto III the Year 1919 ( MCMXIX) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common The London Evening Standard is an English Tabloid regional local newspaper published and sold in London and surrounding areas of southeast  They were used by Aircraft Transport and Travel until it shut down in 1920, while Handley Page Transport and SNETA continued operating the DH. 4 until 1921. One aircraft was used by Instone Air Lines until its merger into Imperial Airways in 1924. Instone Air Line was an early British airline from 1919 to 1924. Imperial Airways was the early British commercial long range air transport company operating from 1924 to 1939 and serving parts of Europe but especially the Empire routes to 
DH. 4s were also used by the Australian airline QANTAS, flying its first airmail service in 1922. For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Australia topics. Qantas Airways Limited (ˈkwɔntəs ( is the National airline of Australia. Airmail (or air mail) is Mail that is transported by Aircraft.  Twelve DH. 4s forming part of the Imperial Gift to Canada were used for forestry patrol and survey work, spotting hundreds of forest fires and helping to save millions of dollars worth of timber, with the last example finally being withdrawn in 1927. Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page 
The U.S. Post Office also adopted the DH-4 to carry airmail. The first service took place on 15 May 1918 between Washington DC Philadelphia and New York. Events 1252 - Pope Innocent IV issues the Papal bull Ad exstirpanda, which authorizes but also limits the Year 1918 ( MCMXVIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Washington DC ( formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, the District, or simply D Philadelphia (ˌfɪləˈdɛlfiə New York ( is a state in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the United States and is the nation's third most populous  In 1919 the DH-4B was standardised by the US Post Office, being modified to be flown from the rear cockpit with a 400 lb watertight mail compartment replacing the forward cockpit. The airmail DH-4B were later modified with revised landing gear and an enlarged rudder. A rudder is a device used to steer a Ship, Boat, Submarine, Hovercraft, or other conveyance that move through a fluid (generally air or  DH-4s were used to establish a coast to coast transcontinental airmail service, between San Francisco and New York, a distance of 2,680 miles, involving night flight, the first services starting on 21 August 1924. The City and County of San Francisco is the fourth most populous city Events 1192 - Minamoto Yoritomo becomes Seii Tai Shōgun and the De facto ruler of Japan. Year 1924 ( MCMXXIV) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar.  The DH-4 continued in Post Office service until 1927, when the last airmail routes were passed to private contractors.
Data from The British Bomber since 1914