De Havilland (Airco) D.H.2


Back to the Virtual Aircraft Museum
  FIGHTERVirtual Aircraft Museum / United Kingdom / De Havilland  

De Havilland (Airco) D.H.2

Basically a scaled-down version of the D.H.1, the D.H.2 was the RFC's first true single-seat fighter. The prototype first flew in the summer of 1915. While production was getting underway, the new and revolutionary Fokker monoplane was destroying the Allied air forces over the Western Front in what was known as the "Fokker scourge". Although in many ways an inferior design, the D.H.2 was highly manoeuvrable and fast, proving a match for the German fighter when it entered operational service in early 1916 - first serving with No 24 Squadron, RFC.

In total 400 D.H.2 were built. Armament remained similar to that of the D.H.1, but the gun had up and down movement only. However, in actual combat the Lewis gun was normally left in a horizontal position to allow the pilot to use all his skill in steering his aircraft into a favourable firing position. The type was not withdrawn from first-line service until 1917. By this time German Albatros fighters had regained superiority in the air over the Western Front, although D.H.2s based in the UK or in Macedonia or Palestine did not have to confront such advanced German fighters until late in their career. On 5 August 1916 Maj L. W. B. Rees won the VC when he inadvertently attacked ten German aircraft - he had approached them thinking they were RFC types - and shot down two of them.

De Havilland (Airco) D.H.2A three-view drawing (1278 x 970)

 ENGINE1 x Gnome, 74kW
  Take-off weight725 kg1598 lb
  Empty weight475 kg1047 lb
  Wingspan8.6 m28 ft 3 in
  Length7.7 m25 ft 3 in
  Height2.9 m10 ft 6 in
  Wing area20.4 m2219.58 sq ft
  Max. speed120 km/h75 mph
  Ceiling4300 m14100 ft
  Range w/max.fuel250 km155 miles
 ARMAMENT1 x 7.62mm machine-gun

Matt, 05.01.2015 07:10

what is the DH2 made of? For example, a metal frame braced by steel wires.


david best, e-mail, 11.06.2010 15:47

I have seen pictures of full size replica's any ideas on who to talk too or where to find one. (DH 2 )


david best, e-mail, 11.06.2010 15:45

I have seen pictures of full size replica's any ideas on who to talk too or where to find one.


Trevor Webb, e-mail, 08.05.2010 06:56

Further to my remarks on armament, I have been comparing the details above with established authors Bruce Robertson and Kenneth Munson (past editor of Jane's All the World's Aircraft).
The standard engine was a 100 hp Gnome Monosonpape, although one was fitted with a 110 ho Le Rhone9J. The maximum take-off weight was 1441 pounds (654 kilograms). Most authorities give the height as 9 feet 6 1 /2 inches (2.91 metres). Maximum soeed at sea level was 93 miles per hour (149.7 kilometres per hour). Service ceiling was 14,500 feet (4,420 metres). Endurance rather than range 2 hours forty five minutes.


Trevor Webb, e-mail, 08.05.2010 05:24

The DH2 armament was the same as the DH1 /DH1A with the 0.303 inch (7.7 millimetre) Lewis stripped air-cooled machine gun. The original American designed and built Lewis guns were in 0.3 inch (7.62 millimetre). This in American designation was the .30-'06 calibre. However all the Lewis guns used in British aircraft were 0.303 inch.


Ian G, e-mail, 26.03.2009 00:33

I have a propellor from a dh2 if anyone is interested.


salvador, e-mail, 16.05.2008 13:37

i build for 1.5 years and i fly now a DH2 2.20 wingspan and he flyes extremely good.Saito engine (150).see you in youtube in next days.


Donald Taylor, e-mail, 01.03.2007 04:41

You haven't posted any info on the Dehavilland DH-4


Do you have any comments?

Name    E-mail


All the World's Rotorcraft

All rhe World's Rotorcraft AVIATION TOP 100 -