Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

DH6 Construction Batches


Kevin Mears
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am interested in the loss of DH6 C5453 which was lost in the now (in)famous incident in which this aircraft struck the steeple of All Saint's Church in St. Ives. Sadly, 2nd Lieutenant Kenneth Wastell was killed in this incident which occurred on the 23rd March 1918.

There are a couple of things which puzzle me regarding the eyewitness accounts of this incident. One thing which may be of some importance is the date of construction of the aircraft concerned, C5453. This aircraft was constructed by Harland and Wolff.

The second thing is does anyone know anything about the controversy which raged in 1917 when both the Claude Grahame White Factory, and other contractors, were forced to build DH6's using swamp cypress instead of spruce? This was due to America witholding stocks of spruce for their own aircraft construction requirements following their entry into the war.

Any help, as always, would be most appreciated.

Regards,

Kevin Mears

Link to comment
Share on other sites

An example of bureaucratic refusal to listen to any source other than themselves. Imports of ALL forms of timber from the USA fell to a third of previous figures in 1917 and the Min of Munitions allocated swamp cypress instead of spruce. However there were no figures available for the strength and stability of this wood. C Grahame White did the Min of Munitions work for them for free by carrying out the necessary tests which proved that the wood was unseasoned and had the wrong grain structure so that any aircraft built with it could warp and would be structurally unsound. This was ignored and the Whitehall warriors insisted on the private contractors continuing to build aircraft using this wood. It was only after RAF at Farnboro had carried out tests on completed Dh 6s several months later and effectively banned the use of this wood that its use stopped. I have no information as to what happened to the airframes already built. Presumably another source of wood was found as Dh6s were built in large numbers afterwards.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

centurion.

Thanks for that. It confirms what I've picked up already regarding the background to this controversy. Just hoping now I can confirm a build or delivery date for Harland & Wolff built Airco Dh6 C5453.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...