Airco DH.4 Bomber

From Ohio History Central
Airco DH4 Bomber.jpg
Airco DH4 Bomber

During World War I, the Airco DH.4 Bomber was the only plane built in the United States of America to be flown in battle.

Geoffrey de Havilland designed the Airco DH.4 in 1916. Numerous European companies manufactured the plane to assist the British and French against the Germans and Austro-Hungarians during World War I. Eventually, companies in the United States also built the DH.4, sending some of the planes to the Americans' allies in Europe, while also retaining some for the U.S. military. Several companies, including the Boeing Airplane Corporation, the Fisher Body Corporation, the Standard Aircraft Corporation, and the Dayton-Wright Aeroplane Company of Dayton, Ohio, manufactured the Airco DH.4 in the United States. These companies built a total of 9,500 planes, with the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company manufacturing approximately one-third of the bombers at its plant in Moraine, Ohio. Of the 9,500 planes manufactured in the United States, 1,885 actually arrived in Europe before World War I's conclusion. By 1918, the DH.4's production began to decline, as manufacturers chose to build the DH.9, an improved version of the DH.4.

The Airco DH.4 carried a two-man crew. The plane could fly up to 143 miles per hour and could travel 470 miles on a single tank of fuel. The DH.4 stood eleven feet in height, was almost thirty-one feet in length, and its wingspan was just over forty-three feet.