Airco
DH11 Oxford

A twin-engined bomber intended as a replacement for the DH10 Amiens.
Front three quarter view of the sole Airco DH11 Oxford H5891 Front three quarter view of the sole Airco DH11 Oxford H5891.
 
The Airco DH11 Oxford was a twin engine biplane bomber, powered by the troublesome ABC Dragonfly engines.
 
It was designed by Geoffery de Havilland and the Aircraft Manufacturing Company (Airco) to replace the hugely successful Airco DH10 Amiens, which was manufactured in large numbers, despite its introduction being in the final days of the First World War.
 
Predominantly a wooden construction, the Airco DH11 Oxford design featured a deep fuselage entirely filling the gap between the upper and lower wings, in a configuration later made familiar by the De Havilland DH84 Dragon and De Havilland DH89 Dragon Rapide commercial aircraft.
 
In the case of the Airco DH11 Oxford, this arrangement provided an unobstructed field of defensive fire to the mid-fuselage gunner.
 
 Airco DH11 Oxford in flight from rear Airco DH11 Oxford in flight from rear showing the excellent defensive fields of fire.
 
3 prototypes Airco DH11 Oxford types were ordered (H5891 – H5893), the first flying for the first time in January 1919.  Unfortunately, the ABC Dragon engines as delivered, were substantially heavier than specified and also failed to provide the expected rated power. As a result, the aircraft was nose heavy and had poor flying characteristics and lower performance than its predecessor.
 
The poor performance and reliability of the ABC Dragonfly engine led to cancellation of the order for the second and third aircraft by the end of June 1919. Subsequently, the Air Ministry decided not to proceed with its intended replacement of the DH10 Amiens.
 
The sole Airco DH11 Oxford H5891 in flight seen from above The sole Airco DH11 Oxford H5891 in flight seen from above.

 

Specification


Powerplant                      Two 320 hp ABC Dragonfly engines
Span 60 ft 2 in
Maximum Weight 7,027 lb
Capacity Pilot and front and rear gunner positions; intended bomb load 920 lb (4 X 230 lb). Single Lewis guns (front and mid-fuselage) for self-defence.
Range / Endurance 370 miles
Maximum Speed 117 mph at 10,000 ft (with 2 230 lb bombs)

 

Number built


One Only  H5892, two other prototypes cancelled                                                

 

Survivors


None