De Havilland DH-4

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    De Havilland DH-4

    The DH-4 in the NASM collection was the prototype American-built DH-4, manufactured by the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company. American-built DH-4s were dubbed the "Liberty Plane." By war's end, 13 Army Air Service squadrons, five of them bomber squadrons, were equipped with them.

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    De Havilland DH-4

    The United States possessed no combat-worthy aircraft upon entry into World War I in 1917. Several European aircraft were considered. The British DH-4 was selected because of its comparatively simple construction and its apparent adaptability to mass production. It was also well-suited to the new American 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 engine. American-built DH-4s were dubbed the "Liberty Plane." Highlighted in this image is the cockpit of the De Havilland DH-4.

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    De Havilland DH-4

    The United States possessed no combat-worthy aircraft upon entry into World War I in 1917. Several European aircraft were considered. The British DH-4 was selected because of its comparatively simple construction and its apparent adaptability to mass production. It was also well-suited to the new American 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 engine. American-built DH-4s were dubbed the "Liberty Plane."

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    De Havilland DH-4

    The United States possessed no combat-worthy aircraft upon entry into World War I in 1917. Several European aircraft were considered. The British DH-4 was selected because of its comparatively simple construction and its apparent adaptability to mass production. It was also well-suited to the new American 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 engine. American-built DH-4s were dubbed the "Liberty Plane." Highlighted in this image is the machine gun of the De Havilland DH-4.

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    De Havilland DH-4

    Two-seat, single-engine World War I biplane observation and bomber aircraft; 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 water-cooled engine. American-built version of a British design. Wings and tail natural finish overall. Fuselage light yellow on sides, brown on top.

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    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    De Havilland DH-4

    Two-seat, single-engine World War I biplane observation and bomber aircraft; 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 water-cooled engine. American-built version of a British design. Wings and tail natural finish overall. Fuselage light yellow on sides, brown on top.

    6 of 20

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

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    De Havilland DH-4

    Two-seat, single-engine World War I biplane observation and bomber aircraft; 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 water-cooled engine. American-built version of a British design. Wings and tail natural finish overall. Fuselage light yellow on sides, brown on top.

    7 of 20

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    De Havilland DH-4

    Two-seat, single-engine World War I biplane observation and bomber aircraft; 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 water-cooled engine. American-built version of a British design. Wings and tail natural finish overall. Fuselage light yellow on sides, brown on top.

    8 of 20

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    De Havilland DH-4

    Two-seat, single-engine World War I biplane observation and bomber aircraft; 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 water-cooled engine. American-built version of a British design. Wings and tail natural finish overall. Fuselage light yellow on sides, brown on top.

    9 of 20

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    De Havilland DH-4

    Two-seat, single-engine World War I biplane observation and bomber aircraft; 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 water-cooled engine. American-built version of a British design. Wings and tail natural finish overall. Fuselage light yellow on sides, brown on top.

    10 of 20

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    De Havilland DH-4

    Two-seat, single-engine World War I biplane observation and bomber aircraft; 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 water-cooled engine. American-built version of a British design. Wings and tail natural finish overall. Fuselage light yellow on sides, brown on top.

    11 of 20

    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    De Havilland DH-4

    The United States possessed no combat-worthy aircraft upon entry into World War I in 1917. Several European aircraft were considered. The British DH-4 was selected because of its comparatively simple construction and its apparent adaptability to mass production. It was also well-suited to the new American 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 engine. American-built DH-4s were dubbed the "Liberty Plane." Highlighted in this image are a vertical stabilizer and tail of the De Havilland DH-4.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    De Havilland DH-4

    The United States possessed no combat-worthy aircraft upon entry into World War I in 1917. Several European aircraft were considered. The British DH-4 was selected because of its comparatively simple construction and its apparent adaptability to mass production. It was also well-suited to the new American 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 engine. American-built DH-4s were dubbed the "Liberty Plane." Highlighted in this image is a wing of the De Havilland DH-4.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

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    De Havilland DH-4

    The United States possessed no combat-worthy aircraft upon entry into World War I in 1917. Several European aircraft were considered. The British DH-4 was selected because of its comparatively simple construction and its apparent adaptability to mass production. It was also well-suited to the new American 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 engine. American-built DH-4s were dubbed the "Liberty Plane." Highlighted in this image is a wing of the De Havilland DH-4.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

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    De Havilland DH-4

    The United States possessed no combat-worthy aircraft upon entry into World War I in 1917. Several European aircraft were considered. The British DH-4 was selected because of its comparatively simple construction and its apparent adaptability to mass production. It was also well-suited to the new American 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 engine. American-built DH-4s were dubbed the "Liberty Plane." Highlighted in this image is a wing of the De Havilland DH-4.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

    View Manifest

    View in Mirador Viewer

    De Havilland DH-4

    The United States possessed no combat-worthy aircraft upon entry into World War I in 1917. Several European aircraft were considered. The British DH-4 was selected because of its comparatively simple construction and its apparent adaptability to mass production. It was also well-suited to the new American 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 engine. American-built DH-4s were dubbed the "Liberty Plane." Highlighted in this image is the landing gear of the De Havilland DH-4.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    De Havilland DH-4

    The United States possessed no combat-worthy aircraft upon entry into World War I in 1917. Several European aircraft were considered. The British DH-4 was selected because of its comparatively simple construction and its apparent adaptability to mass production. It was also well-suited to the new American 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 engine. American-built DH-4s were dubbed the "Liberty Plane." Highlighted in this image is the landing gear of the De Havilland DH-4.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    De Havilland DH-4

    The United States possessed no combat-worthy aircraft upon entry into World War I in 1917. Several European aircraft were considered. The British DH-4 was selected because of its comparatively simple construction and its apparent adaptability to mass production. It was also well-suited to the new American 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 engine. American-built DH-4s were dubbed the "Liberty Plane." Highlighted in this image are the propellers of the De Havilland DH-4.

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    CCO - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

    This media is in the public domain (free of copyright restrictions). You can copy, modify, and distribute this work without contacting the Smithsonian. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    IIIF provides researchers rich metadata and image viewing options for comparison of works across cultural heritage collections. More - https://iiif.si.edu

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    De Havilland DH-4

    The United States possessed no combat-worthy aircraft upon entry into World War I in 1917. Several European aircraft were considered. The British DH-4 was selected because of its comparatively simple construction and its apparent adaptability to mass production. It was also well-suited to the new American 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 engine. American-built DH-4s were dubbed the "Liberty Plane." Highlighted in this image are the cockpit and propellers of the De Havilland DH-4.

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    De Havilland DH-4

    A De Havilland DH-4 on display in the Looking at Earth gallery at the National Mall building.
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The United States possessed no combat-worthy aircraft upon entry into World War I in 1917. Several European aircraft were considered. The British DH-4 was selected because of its comparatively simple construction and its apparent adaptability to mass production. It was also well-suited to the new American 400-horsepower Liberty V-12 engine. American-built DH-4s were dubbed the "Liberty Plane." By war's end, 13 Army Air Service squadrons, five of them bomber squadrons, were equipped with them. In addition, four combined Navy-Marine squadrons were flying DH-4s along the Belgian coast. Of the 4,346 DH-4s built in the United States, 1,213 were delivered to France, but of those only 696 reached the Zone of Advance. In the postwar period, the DH-4 was the principal aircraft used by the U.S. Government when air mail service began in 1918.

The DH-4 in the NASM collection was the prototype American-built DH-4, manufactured by the Dayton-Wright Airplane Company. This airplane was used in more than 2,600 experiments until its retirement in April 1919. On May 13, 1918, Orville Wright made his last flight as a pilot in a 1911 Wright Model B alongside this DH-4, flown by Howard Max Rinehart. He then made a flight as a passenger in the DH-4 with Rinehart.