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   Designed by Geoffrey de Havilland in 1916, the D.H.4 was the only British design manufactured by the Americans. It was easily identified by its rectangular fuselage and deep frontal radiator. Versatile, heavily armed and equipped with a powerful twelve cylinder engine, this biplane daylight bomber was fast. Sometimes called the "Flaming Coffin," its huge fuel tank was dangerously positioned between the pilot and observer, hindering communication. Produced in vast numbers, many D.H.4s were modified for civilian air service after the war.
   It was Cecil Lewis' opinion that "[t]he D.H.4 was designed to do the jobs the B.E.12 and Martinsyde had failed to do. In these it was highly successful owing to its well-designed observer's cockpit with its ring gun mounting which took care of attacking enemy scouts, and also thanks to its Rolls-Royce Eagle engine which gave it such a turn of speed that it could show a clean pair of heels to many of the Hun fighters." 1

1 Lewis, Cecil. Farewell to Wings. London: Temple Press Books, 1964
Airco D.H.4 Specifications
Country: Great Britain
Manufacturer: Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd.
Type: Bomber
Entered Service: March 1917
Number Built: 6295, of which 4846 were built in the United States
Engine(s): Rolls-Royce Eagle VII, 12 cylinder, liquid cooled inline V, 375 hp (275 kW)
Liberty 12, 12 cylinder, liquid cooled, inline V, 395 to 421 hp (USA)
Wing Span: 42 ft 4½ in (12.92 m)
Length: 30 ft 8 in (9.35 m)
Height: 11 ft (3.35 m)
Empty Weight:
Gross Weight: 3,472 lb (1,575 kg)
Max Speed: 143 mph (230 km/h) at sea level
Ceiling: 23,500 ft (7,163 m)
Endurance: 6 hr 45 min
Crew: 2
Armament: 2-4 machine guns
460 lb (208.7 kg) of bombs
Airco D.H.4 Units
Royal Air Force: 202, 205, 206, 217
Royal Flying Corps: 18, 25, 27, 49, 55, 57, 72, 99
Royal Naval Air Service: 2N, 5N, 6N
United States Air Service: 11th, 20th, 22nd, 50th, 135th
Airco D.H.4 Aces (54)
1 England Dickson, Euan 14
2 England Naylor, Walter 14
3 England Stewart, David Arthur 14
4 Ireland Waller, Albert Gregory 11
5 Canada Atkey, Alfred Clayburn 9
6 England Darvill, George William Francis 9
7 England Green, William Edward 9
8 England Bartlett, Charles Philip Oldfield 8
9 Scotland Grant, James 8
10 Scotland Scott, Walter Henry 8
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