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.
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.
|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)|
|One Only||H5892, two other prototypes cancelled|