de Havilland Hornet Specifications
2 x 2,070 hp ea.
4 x 20 mm
36 ft. 8 in.
45 ft. 0 in.
The de Havilland Hornet, officially DH-103 Hornet, was conceived during World War II as a single seat, twin engine, long range fighter aircraft, capable of defeating Japanese aircraft in the Pacific theatre.
The de Havilland Hornet was made primarily of wood for simplicity and so as not to consume strategic materials in its manufacture. It incorporated the most advanced streamlining techniques of the time in its construction in order to use its fuel capacity to the utmost efficiency. The wings were a thin laminar flow design, using both wood and metal, cemented together in their construction. The engines of the Hornet, made by Rolls Royce, were narrowed to further reduce drag.
When the de Havilland Hornet first flew in July of 1944, it was test piloted by Geoffrey de Havilland. It was found to have exceptional low speed handling characteristics and a wide flight envelope that made it among the world's fastest propeller driven aircraft.
Not long after its initial testing, it was decided that a navalized version of the de Havilland Hornet would be produced. The aircraft would have folding wings, a stronger undercarriage, naval radar and radio, and a tail hook for aircraft carrier operations. Aircraft were produced in one and two seat versions. The latter as night fighters. They were operational from 1949 through 1951.
De Havilland Hornet aircraft were first deployed in 1946, too late to see action during World War II. They were the primary interceptor fighter aircraft flown over Great Britain until replaced by jet aircraft in 1951.
De Havilland Hornet aircraft saw action over Malaysia with the Far East Air Force starting in early 1951. They proved effective against ground targets when armed with rockets and bombs. These aircraft flew through 1955.
A total of 383 de Havilland Hornet aircraft of all types were produced.
RC de Havilland Hornet