G.Holt Thomas established the Aircraft Manufacturing Company (Airco) in 1912, headquartered in Hendon, London. But it wasn't until the arrival of Geoffrey de Havilland in 1914 that the firm started producing aeroplanes of their own design, all prefaced by D.H. in honor of their designer. De Havilland had worked for years with the Royal Aircraft Factory, and that experienced showed in turning even the early designs for Airco into strong contenders.
Production aircraft from the Great War or shortly thereafter include:
- The D.H.3 was a prototype twin-engine three-seat bomber/escort fighter from early 1916.
- The D.H.3A was a D.H.3 with more powerful 160hp Beardmore engines.
- The D.H.11 was a twin-engine long-range day bomber, doomed by the use of the failed A.B.C. Dragonfly engine.
- Intended to be powered by the 600hp Rolls-Royce Condor, the plane and engine were too late for production.
- Little more than a D.H.9A with a 500hp B.H.P. Atlantic engine, the D.H.15 came too late for production.
- Bruce'69, p.157
- Bruce'69, pp.164-166.
- Bruce'69, pp.212-213.
- Bruce'69, pp.213-214.
- Bruce'69, pp.214-215.