Airco DH.3

 

1st Flight 1916

The Airco DH.3 was a British bomber aircraft of the First World War.

The DH.3 was designed in 1916 as a long-range day bomber by Geoffrey de Havilland, chief designer at the Aircraft Manufacturing Company.

It was a large biplane with wide-span three-bay wings, slender fuselage, and a curved rudder. It was powered by two 120 hp (89 kW) Beardmore engines, mounted as pushers between the wings.

In addition to tailskid landing gear, two wheels were placed beneath the nose to prevent bumping.

A second prototype, designated DH.3A, was built with more powerful (160 hp/119 kW) Beardmore engines, and the War Office placed a production order for 50.

This order was cancelled, however, before any could be completed, because strategic bombing was not thought to be worthwhile, and twin-engine bombers were claimed to be impracticable.

The two prototypes were scrapped in 1917.

The DH.10 was a development of the DH.3 which first flew in March 1918, but was too late to see squadron service during the war.

Specifications

Crew: three

Length: 36 ft 10 in (11.23 m)

Wingspan: 60 ft 10 in (18.54 m)

Height: 14 ft 6 in (4.42 m)

Wing area: 793 sq ft (73.7 m2)

Empty weight: 3,980 lb (1,805 kg)

Gross weight: 5,810 lb (2,635 kg)

Power plant: 2 × Beardmore 120 hp water-cooled straight 6 engines, 120 hp (89 kW) each

Propellers: 4-bladed, 9 ft 6 in (2.90 m) diameter

Performance

Maximum speed: 95 mph (153 km/h, 83 kn)

Range: 700 mi (1,100 km, 610 nmi)

Endurance: 8 hr

Rate of climb: 550 ft/min (2.8 m/s)

Armament

Guns: 2 × flexibly mounted .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns

Bombs: up to 680 lb (310 kg) bombs.

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