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Who is the Gentlemen stood on wing of DH9A?

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Who is the Gentlemen stood on wing of DH9A?

Old 14th Jun 2020, 19:11
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Who is the Gentlemen stood on wing of DH9A?

This image was posted on my Wells REO question. Problem now is if that aircraft is a DH9A which first flew in March 1918, then who is the gentleman stood on the wing? It can not be the person captioned as his aircraft firm went bust a year earlier.
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(Apologies being a newbie I don't have access to paste the image here)
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Old 15th Jun 2020, 02:04
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The image I posted came from here.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/upchurch-village/page1

Click on the image and you will see that the gentleman on the wing is stated to be Reginald Fairfax Wells and dated 1915, which from the aircraft type can't be. Perhaps the "5" in the given date is a transcription error of "8", which would make sense. Another photo of him, seated, with ( left to right ), Harold (son), Noel ( brother ) and Reginald (son) 1931
.

1910 at his pottery.


As a young man 1900.


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Old 15th Jun 2020, 09:36
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The photograph appears below. Does anyone knows where it was taken?


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Old 15th Jun 2020, 12:11
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If his company was `taken-over`,,it might be sensible to work for the `new management`;keep a bit of `brass` flow....
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Old 15th Jun 2020, 12:58
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Now I'm starting to answer my own questions! Maybe it was taken at the Hammersmith or Lancaster premises of Waring & Gillow if that company took over the defence contracts of Wells Aviation when it went into liquidation?

p.s. would it not be sensible, moderators, to merge this thread with that concerning the Wells Reo biplane (see here) and entitle the merged thread 'Wells Aviation Co. Ltd.'?

Last edited by fauteuil volant; 15th Jun 2020 at 15:40.
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Old 15th Jun 2020, 21:27
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What is the significance of the letter "H" on the tail?
I notice that it's been painted (green?) and already has a roundel, but no engine. Is this a repair/service rather than one being built?
Do the tags on the wing wires by the chap's hand have any significance?
Looks like a large aviation hangar?
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Old 17th Jun 2020, 10:22
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As no one is guessing, I'm going to post my own thoughts.

Could this be from early DH9A production at Westland/Yeovil. Trial fitting of a Liberty engine? So could we be looking at Airco's Geoffrey Dr Havilland? Test pilot Harry Hawker? Any of the Petter brothers below?

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Old 29th Jun 2020, 11:26
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Originally Posted by Kent Based View Post
What is the significance of the letter "H" on the tail?
I notice that it's been painted (green?) and already has a roundel, but no engine. Is this a repair/service rather than one being built?
Do the tags on the wing wires by the chap's hand have any significance?
Looks like a large aviation hangar?
H is the first letter of the serial number. Later aircraft had the serial on the tail and the aft fuselage.
The fact that it is incomplete suggests that this might be part of a cancelled production order.
Orders for 9A's in the H range were placed with, Airco, Westland and Vulcan. With Airco and Vulcan suffering cancellations.

To speculate.
Wells was bought by Waring and Gillow which changed it's name to Alliance.
Alliance had a contract for DH9's in the H range.
Airco had a DH9 contract in the H range and delivered some as DH9A's.
I wonder if Alliance were going to do the same?
Alliance continued to operate post war making Mosquito's in WW2.

Last edited by ericferret; 29th Jun 2020 at 12:00.
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Old 29th Jun 2020, 14:07
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Here are some pictures from Grace's Guide of production at the Alliance Aeroplane Company, which is the Waring and Gillow owned firm that took over from Wells:
Alliance Aeroplane Company 1918
The identifiable aircraft are all DH 9, not 9A.
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Old 30th Jun 2020, 09:29
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Thank you both for this information! Those images are fantastic and, I think, explain something I had previously missed. This being that airframes were made complete at the factory then broken down again for transportation to the airfield for final assembly. Those DH9 on the lorries have no engines! I had previously wondered why that DH9a was photographed without an engine.

The conclusion being my DH9a was the first or last one before leaving the maker. Or the first or last one on arrival at final assembly just before being fitted out?

I had previously thought the hangar was at Westlands. However the serial number info (thanks) would suggest either Airco (Hendon) or Wearing & Gillow (Hammersmith / Acton).

Another question then. Were Airco airframes made and fitted out on one site (Hendon)?
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Old 1st Jul 2020, 19:21
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A second look at the photo leads me to believe that a set of A Frame steps is blocking a full view of the serial number which would be complete.
Also the roof truss's seem to be metal not wood as at the Alliance factory.
So probably Airco,Westland or Vulcan.
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 12:34
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Many thanks!
Any idea where a "H" serial would come in the production timeline? I mean would the "F" batch come first or does it not work like that?


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Old 4th Jul 2020, 15:37
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The 'H' series, following directly on from the 'F' series in late 1918, consists largely of orders that were cut or cancelled within a few months of being placed, due to the cessation of hostilities
British Military Aircraft Serials 1911-1979, Bruce Robertson (PSL, 1979)

The D.H.9 and 9A allocations in the 'H' series were as follows:

D.H.9

H3196-3395 - cancelled order with National Aircraft Factory No. 2
H4320-4369 - cancelled order placed with Berwick & Co.
H7563-7612 - cancelled order placed with G. & J. Weir Ltd.
H7913-8112 - ordered from Crossley Motors Ltd. 25.9.18 (No. 4 NAF)
H9113-9412 - built by the Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Hendon

D.H.9/9A

H4216-4315 - ordered from A.M.C.

D.H.9A

H1-200 - built by A.M.C.
H3396-3545 - built by Westland Aircraft Works, Yeovil
H3546-3795 - built by the Vulcan Motor & Engineering Co. (up to H3559 confirmed delivered)

Last edited by fauteuil volant; 4th Jul 2020 at 15:51.
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Old 4th Jul 2020, 21:07
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Originally Posted by fauteuil volant View Post
British Military Aircraft Serials 1911-1979, Bruce Robertson (PSL, 1979)

The D.H.9 and 9A allocations in the 'H' series were as follows:

D.H.9

H3196-3395 - cancelled order with National Aircraft Factory No. 2
H4320-4369 - cancelled order placed with Berwick & Co.
H7563-7612 - cancelled order placed with G. & J. Weir Ltd.
H7913-8112 - ordered from Crossley Motors Ltd. 25.9.18 (No. 4 NAF)
H9113-9412 - built by the Aircraft Manufacturing Co. Ltd., Hendon

D.H.9/9A

H4216-4315 - ordered from A.M.C.

D.H.9A

H1-200 - built by A.M.C.
H3396-3545 - built by Westland Aircraft Works, Yeovil
H3546-3795 - built by the Vulcan Motor & Engineering Co. (up to H3559 confirmed delivered)
H1-H175 (H176-H200 Cancelled), AMC, Contract number 35a/1918/C.2105, H175 delivered Sept 1919
H3396-H3545 Westland, Contract number 35a/2077/C.2410, H3545 delivered Aug 1919
H3546-H3670 (H3671-3795 Cancelled) Vulcan, Contract number 35a/2084/C.2414, H3670 delivered Jan 1919
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