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Hanriot HD.1

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The Hanriot HD.1 was a French World War I single-seat fighter aircraft. Rejected for service with French squadrons in favour of the SPAD S.7. The type was supplied to the Belgian and the Italian air forces, with whom it proved highly successful.[1] Of a total of about 1,200 examples built, 831 were produced by Italian companies under licence.

Hanriot HD.1
Swiss Air Force Hanriot HD.1.jpg
Swiss HD.1 in a museum
Role Biplane fighter aircraft
Manufacturer Hanriot
Designer Pierre Dupont
Introduction June 1916[1]
Primary users Corpo Aeronautico Militare
Aviation Militaire Belge
Number built about 1,200
Variants Hanriot HD.2

Development and productionEdit

The Hanriot company produced a series of pioneering monoplanes pre-war but had settled down as a licence manufacturer, notably of Sopwith 1½ strutters, when the HD.1 was produced in 1916. The type was a conventional fighter with the general characteristics of a typical Sopwith aircraft, being strongly but lightly built and combining clean lines with a light wing loading. It used the same "1½" (or "W") cabane strut arrangement as the Sopwith two-seater. It had a flat lower wing, though the top wing had quite sharp dihedral.[2]

On the power of its 110 hp (82 kW) Le Rhone rotary engine it was not outstandingly fast but it was very manoeuvrable and proved popular with pilots as a safe and pleasant aircraft to fly. To maintain a competitive climbing and altitude performance it was usual practice to restrict armament to one synchronised Vickers gun, although there was provision for a second gun and one was occasionally fitted. In French built aircraft the gun (or guns) were fitted to the sides of the cockpit, and were accessible to the pilot without their butts being directly in front of his face in the event of a crash – an unusual but welcome feature, even if its origins lay in the form of the cabane struts. Italian-built versions, however, mounted a single machine gun centrally. The type was also produced by the Nieuport-Macchi company of Varese, Italy, which built almost 900 HD.1s between 1917 and 1919;[1] more than the parent firm.

Operational historyEdit

 
Macchi built HD.1 flown by ace Flavio Baracchini

The new type was ordered into production as a possible replacement for the Nieuport 17 but became "superfluous" when it was decided to replace the Nieuport with the SPAD S.7 in the French air service. Some were supplied to the French Navy, a few of which were eventually passed to the U.S. Navy – some naval Hanriots were converted to or built as, floatplanes with enlarged tail surfaces.

The bulk of early production was supplied to the Belgians, who notoriously had to make do with aircraft not wanted by their allies. With the Belgian fighter squadrons the HD.1 proved surprisingly successful and the type remained the standard Belgian fighter for the rest of the war. Willy Coppens, the top Belgian ace of the war, was the most successful HD.1 pilot.[1] At least one of his machines was experimentally fitted with an 11 mm Vickers machine-gun for use in balloon busting, something at which Coppens excelled. Most of his victories were balloons and many were claimed while flying various HD.1s. These aircraft remained in use until the late 1920s.

The type was also supplied in small numbers to the Italians who manufactured it in quantity and used it to replace Nieuports and SPADs. The type was considered (by the Italians) to be a better all-round fighter than even the SPAD S.XIII and it became the standard Italian fighter, equipping 16 of the 18 operational Italian fighter squadrons by November 1918. Surplus Italian-built Hanriots were used by several countries postwar, including the Swiss.

The U.S. Naval Aircraft Factory built (or possibly modified/converted) 10 HD.1s in the immediate postwar years. These were mainly used as trainers, although they were also involved in experiments with take-off platforms on warships – they could be fitted with twin guns and at least one machine had a hydrovane and flotation bags of the type developed for the Royal Navy.

Surviving aircraftEdit

 
Hanriot HD.1 No. 75 in Belgian Air Force markings. This aircraft is owned by The Vintage Aviator Limited. Masterton, New Zealand.

Five examples of the HD.1 are preserved in museums in Europe and the USA:

  Belgium
  • CN 78 Musee Royale de L'Armee, Brussels
  Italy
  • CN 515 Museo Storico Dell'Aeronautica Miltare Italiana, Vigna di Valle, near Rome
   Switzerland
  New Zealand
  United States

OperatorsEdit

Specifications (HD.1)Edit

Data from Jane's Vintage Aircraft Recognition Guide<ref name=Holmes>Holmes, T. (2005). Jane's Vintage Aircraft Recognition Guide. London: Harper Collins. p. 31. ISBN 0-00-719292-4.

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Length: 5.85 m (19 ft 2 in)
  • Wingspan: 8.7 m (28 ft 7 in)
  • Height: 2.94 m (9 ft 8 in)
  • Wing area: 18 m2 (190 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 407 kg (897 lb)
  • Gross weight: 605 kg (1,334 lb)
  • Max takeoff weight: 652 kg (1,437 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Le Rhône 9J 9-cylinder air-cooled raotary piston engine, 81 kW (109 hp)
  • Propellers: 2-bladed fixed-pitch wooden propeller

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 184 km/h (114 mph, 99 kn)
  • Range: 550 km (340 mi, 300 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 6,400 m (21,000 ft)
  • Time to altitude: 2,000 m (6,562 ft) in 5 minutes 6 seconds
3,000 m (9,843 ft) in 11 minutes

Armament

  • Guns: 1 × or 2 × 7.7 mm (0.303 in) Vickers machine guns. An 11 mm (0.433 in) Vickers gun on one or two Belgian machines.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d Holmes 2005, p. 31.
  2. ^ Cheesman 1960, pp. 82–83.

Further readingEdit

  • Bruce, J. M. (1966). The Hanriot HD 1. Profile Publications. Leatherhead: Profile Publications. OCLC 22783472.
  • Hirschauer, Louis; Dollfus, Charles, eds. (1921). L'Année Aéronautique: 1920–1921 (in French). Paris: Dunod. p. 7. OCLC 944632480. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  • Lamberton, W. M. (1960). Cheesman, E. F. (ed.). Fighter Aircraft of the 1914–1918 War. Letchworth: Harleyford Publications. OCLC 1395838.