Thursday, July 7, 2011

Britain - 1918 Airco D.H.10 Amiens

The Son of the DH-3

This is a second part to my previous post on the evolution of the de Havilland Bombers of the Late War.

The Airco DH.10 Amiens was a British twin-engined medium bomber designed and built towards the end of the First World War. It served briefly with the RAF postwar.

The DH.10 was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland to meet the requirements of Air Board Specification A.2.b for a single- or twin-engined day bomber. It was a development of the earlier Airco DH.3 bomber, which had flown in 1916, but had been rejected by the War Office because of a belief that strategic bombing would be ineffective and that twin engines were impracticable.

The first prototype flew on 4 March 1918, powered by two 230 hp (186 kW) Siddeley Puma engines mounted as pushers. When evaluated by the RAF, the performance of this prototype was well below expectation, reaching only 90 mph (145 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4,572 m) with the required bomb load. Owing to this poor performance, the DH.10 was redesigned with more powerful engines in a tractor installation.

The second prototype, known as the Amiens Mark II was powered by two 360 hp (268 kW) Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines and first flew in April 1918, showing greatly superior performance and proving to be faster than the DH.9A while carrying twice the bomb load. While shortages of the Eagle meant that the Amiens Mark II could not be put into production, it proved the design for the definitive aircraft, the Amiens Mark III, which was powered by the more readily available 395 hp (295 kW) Liberty 12 from America, as was the DH.9A. Following successful evaluation, large orders were placed, with a total of 1,291 ordered.

First deliveries of DH.10s were to No. 104 Squadron RAF in November 1918, flying a single bombing mission on 10 November 1918 before the Armistice ended the First World War. Postwar, DH.10s equipped 120 Squadron, which used them to operate an air mail service to the British Army of Occupation on the Rhine. Amiens were also used by 97 Squadron (later re-numbered as 60 Squadron) which deployed to India. It provided support to the Army on the North-West Frontier, being used for bombing operations in the Third Anglo-Afghan war. DH.10s were also used by 216 Squadron in Egypt, where they provided an air mail service between Cairo and Bagdhad, starting on 23 June 1921.


  • Amiens I Prototype powered by two pusher Puma engines.
  • Amiens II Prototype powered by two tractor Rolls Royce Eagle engines.
  • Amiens III Main production variant, powered by Liberty 12 engines mounted midway between wings, 221 built.
  • Amiens IIIA Modified Mark III with engines directly attached to lower wings, 32 built.
  • Amiens IIIC Version powered by Rolls Royce Eagle engines in case of shortages of Liberty engines, 5 built.


  1. Airco DH.10. (2011, February 5). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20:58, February 12, 2011, from
  2. Airco DH.10. Virtual Aircraft Museum
  3. British Aircraft Directory
  4. Jackson, A. J. British Civil Aircraft Since 1919, Volume 2. London: Putnam, Second Edition, 1973. ISBN 0 370 10010 7.
  5. Jackson A. J. De Havilland Aircraft since 1909. London:Putnam, 1987. ISBN 0 85177 802 X.
  6. Mason, Francis K. The British Bomber since 1914. London: Putnam Aeronautical Books, 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.
  7. Thetford, Owen. Aircraft of the Royal Air Force 1918-57, 1st edition. London: Putnam, 1957.


BigLee said...

Nice article. As always well researched and interesting to read.

Unknown said...

Thanks Lee I have to juggle information given with boring the reader, I figure if needed someone will ask me to clarify anything I glossed over.



The Angry Lurker said...

I like it, just like a sequel, 680lbs wasn't too bad a payload for the time.