DeHavilland DH 104 “Dove/Devon”

Up for a great future

The DeHavilland DH 104 Dove was developed in Great Britain towards the end of World War II by aircraft manufacturer De Havilland at the request of the British government, which saw the future in post-war civil aviation.

A committee was set up to study and advise what type of aircraft Britain would need after the war. One of these aircraft examined was the DH 89 Dragon Rapide. The DH 104 Dove was designed to replace the Dragon Rapide and to compete with the many military aircraft that became obsolete worldwide after the war.

Small but awsome

The Dove was designed as a small, short-haul domestic aircraft. The first prototype flew for the first time from Hatfield Airfield on September 25, 1945. After that, the aircraft quickly became successful. From 1946 onwards, 544 units were produced in different variants.

17,37 m Spannweite | 12mtr Länge | Max. 378 km/st 

Far ahead of the future

The Dove’s success can be explained by the large number of innovations that have been implemented in the design. It was the first British transport aircraft to have a retractable 3-wheel landing gear and constant-speed propellers. In addition, unlike its predecessors, the aircraft was built entirely of metal.

Faster, easier, better

The aircraft was ahead of its time because it was easy to maintain the parts. Many of the parts are interchangeable or easy to replace. Fewer rivets were also used, making the manufacturing process easier and faster, but also reducing the overall weight. And of course it also affects air resistance, which also affects speed.

The standard number of passengers that could be carried was between 8 and 11 people. However, the cabin was designed in such a way that it was easy to switch between the various configurations with or without passengers, with or without a toilet and additional luggage space.

1.891 km range| 4.060 kg | Max. height 6.614 m

A great succes

The Dove has been ordered by major companies and airlines around the world. This success did not go unnoticed by the military, and the Royal Air Force also placed a major order for which a new variant was developed, the MK.4. In 1948 30 copies were delivered to the RAF.

Only the name “Dove”, wasn’t considered worthy of military service. The delivered military aircraft were therefore called “Devon”. All aircraft delivered worldwide for defense have meanwhile been delivered under the name “Devon”. The big difference between civil and military was born.

Everything comes to an end

In 1960 De Havilland was taken over by Hawker Siddeley. Doven production lasted until 1967, with the last deliveries in 1970. In 1963 the name De Havilland Division was changed to Hawker Siddeley Avation and the designation “DH” was changed to “HS” in HS Dove.

Over the years, interest in Dove and Devon has declined due to new developments, among other things. The last production type of the Dove, built in 1968, was called the MK8 and was a business jet. A total of 388 Doven, 127 Devons and 13 Sea Devons were built.

An estimated 10 to 12 dovens are still registered to fly around the world today. Many are in museums to be admired and to think back to when flying was still an adventure for many people.

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Many lives, many adventures

Gehling Flugtechnik restored a DeHavilland DH 104 Dove with the registration D-INKA in 2004 and brought it back to its original condition. The story of this aircraft is a special one. As described above, the Dove has also been accepted by airlines including the German LTU.

From 1957 this, at that time still small company, flew among others D-INKA, which was mainly used as a charter. Before that, this plane had many owners and license plates. Life at LTU was also short-lived, in 1958 the plane was bought back to Belgium.

Saved for the future

Ultimately it was found in the warehouse in the Netherlands in 2004, no longer airworthy and actually ready for scrap. Fortunately, someone saw the value of this aircraft and bought it. From there it landed with us and was completely restored to its original splendor.

The aircraft was then handed over to LTU to add shine to its rich aviation history. And so you can still be seen flying.