NO SERIALS. These three rare photographs show the prototype de Havilland D.H.77 in its original Rapier Srs. I form. Although contemporary military markings have been painted on the wings and rudder, the fuselage red, white and blue R.A.F. roundels are missing; likewise the serial J-9771 from the rudder, fuselage and wings. Note the Hucks ground starter claw on the wooden propeller boss. The head-on view illustrates vividly the low frontal area of the twin-crankshaft, sixteen-cylinder, air-cooled Rapier, and shows the ,303-in. machine gun channel on each side. The Rapier Srs. II cowling was designed for engine test purposes only and no guns were allowed for. Compare the size of the tyres on the two versions. The positioning of the pitot head on the starboard outer undercarriage strut is noteworthy.
The D.H.77 prototype J-9771 with modified cowling, exhaust stacks and external oil-cooler for the Napier Rapier Srs. II installation. Before the name Rapier was adopted, this sixteen-cylinder engine was referred to as the Napier-Halford "H" aero engine.