Donnet-Denhaut flying boat

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DD-2, DD-8, DD-9, DD-10
Donnet-Denhaut DD.8.jpg
Role Patrol flying boat
Manufacturer Donnet-Denhaut
First flight 1915
Primary users French Navy
United States Navy, Portuguese Navy
Number built ca. 1,085

The Donnet-Denhaut flying boat was a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft produced in France during the First World War. Known at the time simply as "Donnet-Denhaut" or "DD" flying boats, the DD-2, DD-8, DD-9, and DD-10 designations were applied retrospectively to denote the various changes in configuration made during their service life.[1]

Design and development[edit]

Developed in response to a French Navy requirement, these were biplane flying boats of conventional configuration with two-bay unstaggered wings and a rotary engine mounted pusher-fashion on struts in the interplane gap. The French Navy ordered some 90 aircraft in this original configuration (later dubbed DD-2), and in 1917, requested Donnet-Denhaut to redesign the aircraft to take advantage of the new Hispano-Suiza 8 engine. So equipped, the Navy ordered another 365 machines. In order to take full advantage of the more powerful engine, Donnet-Denhaut increased the wingspan by adding a third bay to the wing cellule and used the extra lift to incorporate a place for a second gunner, bringing the total crew to three. This version (later, the DD-8) became the most produced, with perhaps 500 aircraft built. The DD-8 was also known as the Donnet-Denhaut 300-hp.

Further developments added a second machine gun to each gunner's station (the DD-9) and twin engines mounted in a push-pull configuration (the DD-10). Following the war, a few military surplus DDs were remanufactured as the Donnet HB.3 and operated commercially for a time.

Operational history[edit]

Apart from French Navy service, DD flying boats were operated by the United States Navy in Europe, flying from Île-Tudy and Dunkirk to protect convoys from submarines. Some 50 aircraft of this type were purchased, and the first attack (against U-108; unsuccessful) took place on 23 April 1918.[2]


 United States

Specifications (DD-8)[edit]

General characteristics

  • Crew: Three
  • Length: 10.75 m (35 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 16.80 m (55 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 3.00 m (9 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 53.0 m2 (570 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 950 kg (2,100 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,800 kg (3,970 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 8b, 149 kW (200 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 130 km/h (80 mph)
  • Endurance: 4 hours
  • Rate of climb: 2.5 m/s (500 ft/min)


  • 2 × .303 trainable Lewis guns in open cockpits at bow
  • 2 × 35 kg (70 lb) bombs
  • See also[edit]

    Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

    Related lists



    • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 326. 
    • Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1919. London: Sampson Low. p. 228. 
    • A.Soltan, J.Davilla. French Aircraft of the First World War. 
    • P.Bowers, G.Swanborough. United States Navy Aircraft Since 1911. Putnam. 
    • Hirschauer, Louis; Dollfus, Charles, eds. (1920). L'Année Aéronautique: 1919-1920. Paris: Dunod. p. 31.