De Havilland Dove

The Dove was Britain's first successful postwar civil aircraft, and one of the few successful Brabazon Committee projects.

The Brabazon Committee was established during WW2 to define requirements for British post-war civil aircraft. While the government established committee was responsible for a number of failures such as the Bristol Brabazon, its studies also resulted in the highly successful Vickers Viscount (described elsewhere) and the de Havilland Dove.

The Dove was developed in response to a requirement for a small feeder-liner for UK and Commonwealth domestic services. The resulting aircraft featured new versions of the Gipsy Queen engine, a raised flight deck and separate passenger cabin and all metal construction. The first DH.104 Dove flew for the first time on September 25 1945.

Steady sales success as a regional airliner and corporate transport (particularly in the US) was boosted by significant military orders (RAF versions were known as the Devon, Royal Navy aircraft the Sea Devon).

The Dove remained in production until the mid 1960s (by which time it was a Hawker Siddeley product), and a number of variants were built. These were the initial Series 1, the executive interior Series 2, the military Series 4, the Series 5 with greater range and more powerful engines, the Series 6 (and 6A for the US) executive version of the Series 5, Series 6BA with more powerful engines, Series 7 (Series 7A for the US) with more powerful engines and raised Heron style flight deck, and Series 8 (8A or Custom 800 in the US) with five seat interior.

Type: Twin engined eight passenger light transport

Wing: Cantilever low wing monoplane. Dihedral 4 degrees. All metal structure with stressed skin

Fuselage: Oval section monocoque structure with stressed aluminium alloy skin

Tail Unit: Cantilever monoplane type. Light alloy structure with metal covered fixed surfaces and fabric covered elevators and rudder

Landing Gear: Retractable tricycle type

Power Plant: Two De Havilland Gipsy Queen 70 Mk 2 geared and supercharged six cylinder in line inverted air cooled engines rated at 380 bhp. De Havilland Hydromatic 1,000 three blade constant speed feathering airscrews, 7 ft 6 in diameter

Accommodation: Enclosed cockpit seating pilot and co-pilot / radio operator. Main cabin has accomodation for eight passengers


Span:57 ft

Length:39 ft 3 in

Height:13 ft 4 in

Wing Area:335 sq ft


Empty:5,725 lb

Loaded:8,800 lb


Max Speed:202 mph at 8,000 ft

Initial Rate of Climb:920 ft/min

Ceiling:20,000 ft

Range:1,070 miles