Saturday, October 1, 2016

De Havilland DH53

Gordon Bain, De Havilland, A Pictorial Tribute, Airlife Publishing, 1992
The de Havilland "Hummingbird" was the company's entry in the 1923 Light Aircraft Trials. The engine, a Douglas 750 motorcycle engine proved to be the achilles heel of the craft as its reliability left something to be desired. For production the engine was a replaced with the 26 hp Blackburne Tomtit two-cylinder engine. Fifteen were built and all were retired in 1927.
 The photograph above was taken in 1987 as the engine was run up for a test. After an engine failure and forced landing in 1980 the decision had been made not to fly it anymore, however in 2012 during preparation for an airshow the plane was being test flown when it crashed, resulting in the death of the pilot.

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