Airco DH6

Member for

7 years 5 months

Posts: 34

Having tried and failed to find a suitable fuselage/airframe for training purposes I started to wonder about building a replica fuselage for our Scout Group. Having been donated a mobile classroom as an air training room we now have less outdoor room, but suitable secure accomodation to build a non-weatherproof aircraft. To feep it fairly simple, and to tie in with history, I'd like to try to recreate an Airco DH6 aircraft. These basic trainers were, so it seems, simply designed and one was the first aircraft to be owned by the Scouts just after WW1. So, as someone new to all this, who would be the best people to ask about dimensional drawings and cockpit layout? I'd like to make it as accurate as possible.
Original post

Member for

11 years 5 months

Posts: 151

I'm not sure if detailed drawings are available for the DH6 - The attached images are all I have. It might be an idea to pick a different airframe for which drawings are easily obtained? Good luck!

Member for

7 years 5 months

Posts: 34

Thanks for those - they are a step forward from what I have. Due to the Scouting history of the type I still really hope to build a DH6. The fact that the type seems to have been "lost" just makes me more interested! I mean, to quote Jeremy Clarkson, how hard can it be?!!!

Member for

8 years 9 months

Posts: 1,101

Parts drawings for the DH6 are basically non existant at the moment, however there is a dimentioned 3 view GA, not sure if this is with BAe, or DH support at Duxford. The PRO at Kew may have a few drawings for it as well. Bob T.

Member for

11 years 5 months

Posts: 151

There is a Windsock Datafile for the DH6, which would be useful to have, and the rigging notes will also be available.
Profile picture for user The Blue Max

Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 2,104

As Bob has said, see what the Public Records Office have, you never know.
Profile picture for user anneorac

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 634

A quick look at the National Archives on line catalogue reveals some copies of the schedules and appendages for the DH.6 http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/searchresults.asp?SearchInit=0&txtsearchterm=de+havilland+6&txtfirstdate=1914&txtlastdate=1918&txtrestriction=&hdnsorttype=Reference&image1.x=51&image1.y=15 The schedules of the time tend to be very well illustrated. BUT…before you get too carried away, I would advise that you consider how much this may cost? I have no idea how deep your pockets are but it may be worth considering how much it will cost you for some of the very simple items you will need. if look at the rear fuselage you will see it’s wire braced, each of those wires require a turnbuckle. Now do a search for to see how much AGS turnbuckles cost and then multiply that figure by 58 (the number needed for the rear fuselage). If the answer doesn’t pour cold water on the idea, by all means proceed. Anne
Profile picture for user Air Ministry

Member for

11 years 9 months

Posts: 1,682

A quick search of the Avia 14 series at The National Archives also produces these results:-
Profile picture for user anneorac

Member for

19 years 9 months

Posts: 634

A quick search of the Avia 14 series at The National Archives also produces these results:-
Well done that man! I forgot to look for DH6 as opposed to DH 6 or de Havilland 6. Those must be Air Department drawings AD612 and AD2016 which were the only DH.6 drawings listed in the RAE catalogue when it was listed during the 1960s.

Member for

8 years 9 months

Posts: 1,101

BUT…before you get too carried away, I would advise that you consider how much this may cost? I have no idea how deep your pockets are but it may be worth considering how much it will cost you for some of the very simple items you will need. if look at the rear fuselage you will see it’s wire braced, each of those wires require a turnbuckle. Now do a search for to see how much AGS turnbuckles cost and then multiply that figure by 58 (the number needed for the rear fuselage). If the answer doesn’t pour cold water on the idea, by all means proceed. Anne
IF the aircraft is built as close to the original as possible, turnbuckles shouldn't be a problem, if it's not going to fly, as you can make them. The other option is to build it like a large wooden model, & glue it all together. Bob T.
Profile picture for user The Blue Max

Member for

14 years 6 months

Posts: 2,104

If its not going to fly then there are commercial options out there for the turnbuckles, or indeed as has been said someone use full with a lathe could make them. Much nicer to have a " Go on you can do it "attitude rather than a "Oh I wouldn't bother if I was you, It will cost a fortune!" If we had done that with the BE2 it would never have been done, most here have little money but with the help of others and some hard work, plus a little luck at time's, amazing things can happen :) Good luck with the project.

Member for

7 years 5 months

Posts: 34

I would say quite categorically we would not be intending to build a flying replica. The intention would be to build as close a replica as possible of the fuselage and empennage for engineering practice, ground instruction and historical interest only. Think of it as a film prop aircraft (without a film). The Scouts (Seniors and Rovers) would hopefully be doing much of the build, working with our neighbours who are a timber fabrication company (which could be just a bit useful) and emplying agricultural parts as we don't have to be concerned about airworthiness.

Member for

8 years 9 months

Posts: 1,101

Further on the drawings front- If you can obtain a copy of the parts schedules for the DH6, & the DH4/DH9, there will probably be some parts in common. There is a set of drawings available in the states "Smithsonian ?", for the American built DH-4, so you might find some usefull drawings from there. Bob T.
Profile picture for user flyernzl

Member for

12 years 7 months

Posts: 790

I wonder if this ever proceeded?

Member for

16 years 2 months

Posts: 8,505

It would be nice to know. If they did it would be nice to see photos of some of the scouts working on it.

Member for

4 years 11 months

Posts: 9

What is the latest on airco Dh6 please ,do any parts or plans survive ( my grandfather used to fly them from 1920 to the early thirties in Australia .currently building 36" span model 1:8 approx with a long view to a full flying replica)
Profile picture for user Sabrejet

Member for

9 years 7 months

Posts: 1,737

Full-size: you might try TVAL in New Zealand for an engine - they've made a few for their BE.2 replicas. Plans do survive - see above. Would be great to see this type return from extinction!

Member for

5 years 7 months

Posts: 81

The only surviving parts, as far as I'm aware, are in the SAAF museum near Pretoria in South Africa. These comprise fin and rudder, and lower wing with aileron, with loose fabric. Condition is very battered.

Member for

6 years 9 months

Posts: 114

Two points. Firstly, for inspiration have a look at the work being done at East Fortune in the build of a Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter to fly. Second, RAFM reserve collection Stafford may have parts and drawings, however I have not checked. Good luck

Member for

4 years 11 months

Posts: 9

Thanks for the response ,I am driven to continue with this ugly duckling , TVAL are amazing , and will probably be a part of this . It's shocking how quickly history is lost we have to try to keep it alive

Member for

8 years 9 months

Posts: 1,101

How's your search for drawings going ?. The Airco DH 6 was built by quite a few subcontractors here in the UK, & one in Spain. There were also dozens of smaller companies who made components for it, so there is always the possibility that some drawings may exist in some companies archives. A set of drawings was supposedly sent to Australia "along with those for many other types" at the end of WW1, so there is a possibility that they survive in some government archive. I also seem to remember that a wing or two were sold at auction 20 or 30+ years ago, but can't recall the details. From memory the DH 6 remains in Africa are more substantial than stated above, unfortunately they are stored in a shipping container along with bags of a tar like substance or something like it, which has melted into a heap, in which is entombed quite a bit of DH 6, unless things have changed. There is also the remains of a wing with either the Jet Age museum, or one of the museums in Bristol. Good luck with the project. Bob T.