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The Airco DH.3 was a biplane from the British aircraft manufacturer Airco designed as a bomb plane . Of this machine, developed by the company's chief designer, Geoffrey de Havilland , only two prototypes were built.
The first prototype of the three-stemmed biplane was powered by two water-cooled Beardmore motors, each with an output of 121 hp (89 kW), which were installed between the wings and acted on four-blade compressed air screws. In addition to the "classic" landing gear with a tail wheel, the machine had two additional wheels in the bow area. The DH.3 was the designer's first draft with the curved rudder, the shape of which would later become de Havilland's trademark.
The second prototype with the designation DH.3A was equipped with the more powerful Beardmore motors with an output of 160 HP (119 kW). The British War Office originally ordered 50 units of this machine, but in the end this order was withdrawn without a copy being completed, as it had been concluded that strategic bombers were no longer necessary and twin-engine machines were fundamentally impractical. The two prototypes built by Airco were scrapped in 1917.
In the further course of the First World War, the military command changed their minds because of the German bombers that were flying to England, and it was now decided to use twin-engine bombers against the German enemy. A larger number of the DH.10 , the further development of the DH.3, was ordered; however, due to the end of the war, only a fraction of it was made.
|Parameter||Data (values for first prototype)|
|Wing area||73.67 m²|
|Empty mass||1,807 kg|
|Takeoff mass||2,638 kg|
|Top speed||153 km / h at sea level|
|Climb performance||23 min 30 sec at 1,980 m|
|Flight duration||8 h|
|Engines||two water-cooled Beardmore in-line engines with 121 PS (89 kW) (DH.3A: 160 PS (119 kW))|
|Armament||two 7.7 mm Lewis MG ; up to approx. 300 kg bombs|