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De Havilland DH37

A long range touring biplane built to the requirements of Mr Alan Butler.
De Havilland DH37 G-EBDO front port The first DH37 G-EBDO Sylvia built for Mr Alan Butler
 
The first DH37 ‘Sylvia’ (G-EBDO) was designed and built for Mr AS Butler (later Chairman of De Havilland Aircraft Ltd) and was named after his sister.  It was first flown in June 1922 and was used for air racing / long distance touring and came fifth in that year’s King’s Cup air race at Croydon Aerodrome.
 
In 1924, it came third in the King’s Cup, flying the 950-mile course at an average speed of 112.65 mph.
 
The type was used extensively for touring, with one notable four week trip starting in April 1924, taking in the French Riviera before visiting Milan, Belgrade, Sofia, Bucharest, Vienna, Prague, Warsaw, Brussels and Paris.
 
On 30th May 1924, Sylvia was flown non-stop to Prague in five and a half hours.
 
De Havilland DH37 G-EBDO side view stbd Stag Lane A side-on view of De Havilland DH37 G-EBDO Sylvia at Stag Lane.
 
In May 1927, it was re-engined with a 300 hp ADC Nimbus engine, receiving the designation DH37A and being renamed ‘Lois’. In this guise, it was short-lived, crashing in a Whitsun air race at Bournemouth on 4th June 1927.
 
In 1924, a second example (G-AUAA) had been built and exported to Australia where it was used by the Civil Aviation Board for personnel transport and for the development of a network of aerodromes for 'trunk air mail routes'.
 
The aircraft was later sold for £2,000 to the Salamaua Development Company who in turn sold it to Guinea Gold where it became the first aircraft to be used in support of gold extraction in New Guinea.   It's registration was later changed to VH-UAA in line with the General Changeover in Registration and it was the only aircraft to receive a registration with double letters.
 
The aircraft changed hand four times between 1929 and 1932 before it was eventually written off during a crash landing in the sea at Crowdy Head, NSW on 25th March 1932.
 
De Havilland DH37 Sylvia G-EBDO ground The first De Havilland DH37 'Sylvia' G-EBDO. It was subsequently re-engined and named 'Iris'.

Specification

Powerplant 270 hp Rolls-Royce Falcon III (DH37); 300 hp ADC Nimbus (DH37A)
Span 37 ft 0 in
Maximum Weight  3,318 lb (DH37); 3,725 lb (DH37A)
Capacity Pilot (aft) and two passengers (forward) in open cockpits. Front cockpit covered in when racing.
Maximum Speed 122 mph (DH37); 133 mph (DH37A)
Endurance Sufficient to allow Alan Butler to fly non-stop to Prague in 5 ½ hours

Variants & Numbers Built

DH37
(G-EBDO) 
‘Sylvia’ with Rolls Royce Falcon III and later with an ADC Nimbus and renamed 'Lois'
DH37A
(G-AUAA/VH-UAA)
ADC Nimbus

Survivors

None