Aeroplane Monthly 1983-04
A.Curtis - Memoirs of an early bird (2)
D.H.9 C6114 was the actual machine in which the author was shot down in over France in 1918. C6114 is seen at Conteville - note the proximity of the partially retracted radiator to the front of the undercarriage.
The pilot's and observer's cockpits of a D.H.9. The pilot's Vickers gun was recessed and fired through a trough and the observer had a Lewis gun.
This D.H.4 is seen at Bellevue, on the Doullens-Arras road, France in 1917. Note the distance separating the pilot from his observer. The pilot sat under the wings and consequently his view upwards was very poor.
De Havilland D.H.4 bomber B7747, powered by a RAF3a engine, was a rebuild by No I (Southern) Aircraft Repair Depot, South Farnborough. Sqn Ldr Curtis crashed it on the Doullens-Arras Road near Bellevue Aerodrome, France, on February 16, 1918, when he was serving with 49 Squadron RFC. The unit's "dumbell” symbol appears on the fuselage side. Cause of the accident was faulty rigging, which made it "vitally necessary" to fly straight ahead. "If wheel brakes had been fitted" adds Sqn Ldr Curtis, "they would have been helpful."