De Havilland DH93 Don | BAE Systems | International

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De Havilland DH93 Don

Designed as a multi-role crew trainer, the DH93 Don served briefly with the RAF in the communications role.

Prototype DH93 Don E.3 The unpainted prototype DH93 Don E.3 photographed on 19th June 1937, the day after its first flight.
 
The De Havilland DH93 Don was designed to meet Air Ministry Specification T.6/36 which called for a side-by-side Advanced Trainer, suitable for pilot, radio operator and gunnery training.
 
A clean low-wing monoplane with a retractable undercarriage, the Don initially appeared with a turret to the rear of the cockpit area. The first prototype E.3 (later L2387) flew for the first time on 18th June 1937.
The fuselage was of stressed skin ply covering and the type featured a particularly clean installation of its 525 hp DH Gipsy King engine.
 
De Havilland DH93 Don prototype L2387 De Havilland DH93 Don prototype L2387 photographed in February 1938
 
In practice, the official requirement for the gunnery role was dropped and the majority were built as communications aircraft with a raised and faired rear fuselage. Subsequently the initial order for 250 aircraft was sunstantially reduced to just 50 which was a major disappointment for De Havilland. 20 aircraft were delivered 'engine-less' as ground trainers whilst the remainder served as Communications and Liaison aircraft serviing predominantly with 24 Sqn RAF and with various Station Flights.
 
By March 1939, the Don had been withdrawn from operational service.

 

De Havilland DH93 Don L2390 in September 1938 De Havilland DH93 Don L2390 in communications configuration in September 1938

 

Specification

Powerplant One 525 hp DH Gipsy King 1
Span 47 ft 6 in
Maximum Weight 6,530 lb
Capacity & Armament Two pilots, gunner and radio operator trainee, or four passengers in communications role.
Maximum Speed 189 mph
Endurance Max range 890 miles

Numbers and Survivors

50                     20 of these delivered to store without engines
Survivors Nil
 

Other information