|First flight||Jul 1917|
|Introduction||Dec 1917, Feb 1918, to Apr 1918[note 1]|
|Primary users|| U.K. (RFC/RAF)|
|Number built||≥4000 [note 2]|
|Wingspan||12.9 m (42 ft 5 in) |
|Engine||230hp Siddeley Puma|
|Armament||sync. fixed Vickers and|
1-2 rear flexible Lewis MG
210 kg (460 lb) of bombs
|Ammo||250 (Vickers, minimum) + 7-10 drums of 97 rounds (Lewis)|
|Max Speed||180 km/h (112 mph) |
|Climb||2,000 m (6,500 ft) in 11:00|
3,000 m (10,000 ft) in 20:05
4,600 m (15,000 ft) in 45:00 
|Service Ceiling||4,700 m (15,500 ft)|
|Absolute Ceiling||5,300 m (17,500 ft)|
The Aircraft Manufacturing Company (Airco) D.H.9 was intended as a replacement for the successful D.H.4, but it was limited by a bad engine: the 230hp Siddeley Puma, which was based on the B.H.P. Galloway Adriadic. It was originally designed to deliver a robust 300hp, but production flaws limited its performance. The engine left the D.H.9 with less horsepower than its predecessor and left it with a poor climb rate and shedding speed and altitude in maneuver. By November 1917 Gen. Trenchard was raising serious concerns about the DH9 as a day bomber, but the production of DH9s was by that time "too far advanced for there to be any going back." "It was a choice of having the D.H.9 with the B.H.P. engine, or of having nothing at all."
Not to worry, though -- there was a backup plan to use up to 2000 Fiat A-12 engines, with a rating of 260-285hp. Unfortunately the Fiat also under-performed and only one order was fulfilled with Fiat engines: an order for 100 DH9s from Short Brothers. Production of the Fiats also lagged and by August 1917 only 58 had been delivered. As a result only a few Fiat-engined DH9s made their way to France.
Even with its serious limitations, 3,890 DH9s were produced and it served with about 30 squadrons on the western front starting in February 1918. The true character of the DH9 was not revealed until it was re-engined with the 400hp Liberty V12 in the form of the DH9A. Once it shed its bomb load, it was said to be fairly nimble and could "tight-turn a Fokker D.VII into a full power stall, also the 9 could be looped quite well -- and tightly."
The D.H.9 was used in Palestine, Macedonia, the Aegean and Mediterranean as well as the Western Front with the RAF, Belgium (18 planes), and the US Naval Northern Bombing Group. After the war DH9s were plentiful and cheap, and they were bought and used by many country's fledgling air forces.
For more information, see Wikipedia:Airco DH.9.
Timeline [note 3]
|Version||Availability||Maneuver||Damage||Dmg Points||Max Alt.||Climb|
Miniatures and Models
- Shapeways: Kampfflieger
- Shapeways: Reduced Aircraft Factory
- Shapeways: Reduced Aircraft Factory
Isometric Top Views
- Owers, p.17.
- Angelucci, p.79.
- Philpott'13, pp.379-444.
- Lamberton, p.38.
- Bruce'65, p.3.
- Bruce'65, p.12.
- Lamberton, pp.214-215.
- Kelly, p.229.
- Bruce'69, p.198.
- Bruce'98, p.41.
- Bruce'65, p.4.
- Bruce'65, p.7.
- Enzo Angelucci, ed. The Rand McNally Encyclopedia of Military Aircraft, 1914-1980. New York: The Military Press, 1983 edition. ISBN 0-517-41021-4.
- J.M. Bruce. British Aeroplanes 1914-18. Great Britain, Funk & Wagnalls, 1957, 1969. ISBN 0370000382
- J.M. Bruce, Profile Publications 62: The de Havilland D.H.9. Great Britain, Profile Publications, Ltd., 1965.
- J.M. Bruce, Windsock Datafile 72: Airco DH9. Great Britain: Albatros Publications, Ltd., 1998. ISBN 1-902207-05-X
- Kevin Kelly, "Belts and Drums: A Survey of First World War Aircraft Ammunition Totals". Over the Front, Vol. 5, No. 3, Autumn 1990. Walsworth Publishing Co, Inc. and The League of World War I Aviation Historians.
- W.M. Lamberton and E.F. Cheesman, Reconnaissance & Bomber Aircraft of the 1914-1918 War. Great Britain: Harleyford Publications Ltd., 1962. ISBN 9780900435027
- Colin Owers, Great War Aircraft in Profile 6: De Havilland Aircraft of World War I; Volume 2: D.H.5 - D.H.15. Boulder, Colorado: Flying Machines Press, 2001. ISBN 1-891268-18-X
- Ian Philpott, The Birth of the Royal Air Force. Great Britain: Pen & Sword Books Limited, 2013. ISBN 978-1-78159-333-2