The Airco DH.3 was a British bomber aircraft of the First World War. The DH.3 was designed in 1916 as a 

DH3 flt

Airco DH.3

Role Biplane bomber
Manufacturer Airco
Designer Geoffrey de Havilland
Introduction 1916
Retired 1917
Status Prototype only
Number built 2[1]

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.[1] This order was cancelled, however, before any could be completed, because strategic bombing was not thought to be worthwhile, and twin engined bombers were claimed to be impracticable. The two prototypes were scrapped in 1917.[2]

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 (DH.3) Edit

Data from De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 [3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 3
  • 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 ft2 (73.67 m2)
  • Empty weight: 3,980 lb (1,805 kg)
  • Gross weight: 5,810 lb (2,635 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Beardmore 120 hp inline piston engine, 120 hp (89 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 95 mph (153 km/h)
  • Range: 700 miles (1,130 km)
  • Endurance: 8 hours
  • Rate of climb: 550 ft/min (2.8 m/s)


  • 2 × flexibly mounted .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis guns
  • up to 680 lb (308 kg) bombs[1]

See also Edit

Related development

References Edit

Notes Edit

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c Mason 1994, p. 48.
  2. Jump up^ Jackson 1987, p. 51.
  3. Jump up^ Jackson 1987, p. 52.

Bibliography Edit

  • Donald, David, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Aircraft. Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada: Prospero Books, 1997, p. 118. ISBN 1-85605-375-X.
  • Jackson, A.J. De Havilland Aircraft since 1909. London: Putnam, Third edition, 1987.ISBN 0-85177-802-X.
  • Mason, Francis K. The British Bomber since 1914. London: Putnam, 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5

External links Edit

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