by: Stephen T. Lawson [ ]
HistoryThe AMC DH 9 bomber was intended to be a natural progression to the highly regarded 275hp V12 Rolls Royce Eagle powered DH 4. Originally the DH.9 was designed to be powered by the BHP (“Beardmore Halford Pullinger”) Galloway Adriatic, inline six motor of a possible 300hp. The DH.9 utilized many proven components from the DH 4 such as wings, undercarriage, tailplane and basic fuselage design. Changes included moving the pilot rearwards for improved communication with the gunner, the petrol / fuel tank moved forward and the nose was redesigned to accommodate the new engine. It was the first British bomber with accommodations for an internal bomb rack. It was intended to have a greater range than the DH 4 allowing it to bomb targets inside Germany. But due to the poor performance reliability of the BHP engine the production DH 9 proved to be a large step backwards. The Siddley Deasy “Puma” engine was to be used in the Airco DH 9. It was supposed to be a lighter improved version of the BHP. But for reliability it was down-rated to 230hp. Even then it proved to be highly troublesome and high maintenance. This made it significantly inferior to the type it replaced. Then the Liberty inline 400hp became available and the DH 9a was born. Now she was a real dream machine.
Kit ContentsKit #32035 was released for sale on 5 December 2013 a limited pre-Christmas stock sold out. Additional stock is expected by mid January 2014.
287 high quality injection moulded parts.
All new DH.9 fuselage, wings, undercarriage and engine.
28 part highly detailed 230hp Siddeley Deasy Puma engine.
Optional Zenith or Claudel-Hobson carburetors.
2 choices of Exhausts.
2 choices of tires / tyres, normal & weighted.
25 lb or 50 lb internal bomb cells.
Optional single or double 100 lb, 112 lb and 230 lb bomb loads.
15 photo-etched metal detail parts.
Fine in scale rib tape details.
Full rigging diagrams.
28 page instruction monograph.
Page 1 -2 has the paint recommendations chart and the parts maps for plastic, photoetch and decals.
Step 1 begins with the cockpit items. The main flooring (PP A 15) twin rudder bars (PP D 7 X 2 & PE 11), pilot’s control column (PP A 22) and gunner’s control column (PP A 12). To represent this item in a stowed position you will have to remove it and modify the bottom tip. The long tube grease pump (PP B 13) attaches to the rail for the radiator wheel control (PP B 33).
Other items are the Stirling wireless transmitter & reel (PP H 1, 2 & 11), gunner’s auxiliary throttle (PP A 29), pilot’s throttle (PP A 8) and small support (PP D 13) all attached to the pilot’s right fuselage side skeletal (PP A 19 & G 9). The engine bearers (PP B 18 not D 13 as instructions note) attach to the fuel cell / tank facade (PP G 7) and then the radiator pipe (PP B 40). Does not seem that any other kit reviewers caught that. Then we assemble the pilot’s left fuselage side skeletal (PP A 14 & G 4) and small support (PP D 13) and the Gledhill bomb control lever (PP B 30).
Step 2 the cockpit applications are continued with the pilot’s seat cushion and cross members (PP A 32) adding the wicker seat back support (PP A 17) and the front framing (PP D 11). Next is the gunner’s sliding seat (PP G 3) then the framing (PP B 29) and facade (BPP B 28) for the Vickers Mk.I* machine gun magazine. Note the asterisk on Mk.I denotes a gun provided to the RFC / RAF. The smaller Camera (PP A 2, 7, 27 & C 3) are assembled for the rear cockpit adding the support rails (PP A 16 & 18). The upper section bulk head (PP A 5 & 6) is assembled. Then the rear cockpit shelving (PP A 10, 25, 30 & G 11) is assembled. The pilot’s instrument panel (PP B 16, 32 & A 9) will be the center of the viewer’s attention. Gauge and instrument faces are laid out in numbered positions. I would add the photo-etch seat / safety belts P 1 X 2 & 5 X 2 here.
Page 5 internal rigging and painting guides are easy to follow.
Step 3 the engine bay is detailed at the bottom of page 5. It adds the front frame (PP B 12), throttle linkage (PP B 26) the oil cell / tank and radiator (PP B 17 & 22).
Step 4 assembles the 230hp Siddley Deasy Puma engine parts (PP E 4, 6, 7, 8, 10 – 22) are discussed here. There is an option for one of two carburetor set ups. One is the Claudel-Hobson (PP E 18 & 19 X 2) or the Zenith (PP E 17 & 20 X 2).
Step 5 is a section that deals with fuselage shell (PP G 2 & 15) modifications working from the interiors. Also the photo-etch safety belts (P 1 X 2 & 5 X 2) for the cockpits. Though I would have added these back in step 2.
Step 6 fuselage applications are continued. The fuselage underbelly plate (PP G 1) has the internal bomb rack options (PP B 10 or 11). Or you can simply place the well fairing (PP B 31 & G 12) over the openings. These were used when no bombs were in the well. As will be seen later there were external fixtures fitted for bombs as well. Next the forward upper cowling (PP G 6) has twin petrol / fuel gauges (PP D 2 X 2) the petrol / fuel pipes (PP B 35) and photo-etch Ring & bead sights (P 7 & 8) . There are twin petrol pumps (PP D 18 X 2 & R 29 X 2) and Aldis sight (PP H 5). The Vickers Mk.I* is a combination of plastic (PP B 4, 37 & 38) & photo etch (P 3 & 4). Note the asterisk on Mk.I denotes a gun provided to the RFC / RAF from the manufacturer. There is also a cowling fairing (PP B 27) in case you choose to delete the Vickers machine gun altogether.
Step 7 attaches the bottom wings (PP F 1 & 2) & horizontal tail plane (PP A 31 & D 19 X 4). Then the engine cowlings (PP G 3, 8 & 13) can be closed up or left off. There are also a couple of bonus access port covers (B 2 & D 20). The faired water tanks come in two types. There is the low mounted pipe (PP B 14) and there is the high mounted pipe (PP B 15). There is also a head unit (PP B 3) that attaches to the top of the water tank and to the radiator under surface (PP G 10 to be seen in step 8). The cabane struts (PP H 12 – 15) have specific placements. The Interplane struts (PP D 4 X 3, 21 X 4 and H 10) are also specific to wing locations. The rudder stabilizer fin (PP A 26) is next.
Step 8 top wing (PP F 3, 4 & G 5, 10) assembles into one unit. Minor typo has the wings a both being F 4. Attaching the top wing will take some careful work. Invert the build over the inverted top wing. Work from the center out. Use the bracing arms from the head unit (PP B 3) and the four cabane struts (PP H 12 – 15). Check yourself as you go keep everything straight, parallel and plumb. Many modelers use a scratch built template for the cabane struts to lock them in place while curing. Then finish but carefully attaching the Interplane struts (PP D 4 X 3, 21 X 4 and H 10) into their corresponding sockets. Next the tail plane is continued by adding the rudder (PP A 13 & D 12 X 2) and elevators (PP D 8 & 6 X 4). Note when it comes to ailerons, elevators and rudders I advocate using a brass pinning method.
Step 9 Here we add the lower wing ailerons (PP D 3, 17 X 4 7 23). Next, the undercarriage (PP A 20, D 1 X 2, H 6 & 9) is typical for WWI aviation subjects. The wheels really are a first for Wingnut Wings. With this pre-Christmas kit we finally get the choice of weighted (PP D 10 X 2) or normal (PP D 16 X 2) tires / tyres. Well done to all concerned, especially Mr. Nick Moore. Finally the wheel retainers (PP R 2 X2) and the fabric simulated wheel covers (PP D 9 X 2 or D 15 X 2) come in two types as well. The chin cowling (PP B 2), the oil reservoir tank (PP B 23 & 36), tail plane struts (PP H 3 X 2) and the tail skid (PP A 33) are added here too.
Step 10 the options in plumbing (PP E 1 or 23) from the vertical tank (PP B 14 or 15) to the engine water jacket follows the same low or high applications. The exhaust manifold (PP B 5 or E 9) has exhaust-extensions (PP B 7 or G 14). The air intakes also come in four versions photo etch (P 1 X 2 or 10 X 2) or plastic (PP E 2 X 2 or 3 X 2).
Step 11 bomb loads come in several variations. Starting back in step 6 with the internal stowage rack facades for 50lbs bombs (PP B 10) or 25lbs bombs (PP B 11) we come to the external racks. First we assemble the 25lbs Cooper bombs (PP R 25 X 8 & 26 X 8) and carrier (PP R 16 X 4 & 23 X 4). Then there is the single or twin 100-112lbs HERL bomb racks (PP D 5 X 2, R 5 X 2, 20 X 2, 27 X 2). The HERL bombs can be made up in three versions, 100lbs (PP R 8 & 9), 110lbs (PP R 12 & 13), 112lbs (PP R 3 & 4). Then there is the single or twin 230lbs HERL bomb racks (PP D 5 X 2 , R 11 X 2, 14 X 2, 28 X 2). There are HERL 230lbs bombs (PP R 21 X 2 & 22 X 2).
Step 12 the propeller(PP B 39, E 5)seems pretty standardized for the Puma engine. The continued bomb & rack applications from step 11 are demonstrated.
Step 13 final assembly includes the upper wing ailerons (PP D 3, 17 X 4, 23), elevator control horns (PP D 14 X 2) and two options for external bomb sights (PP R 1 or 19). Add the windscreens (PP C 2 & 4) should be added as the last action of the build. Lewis gun Mk.II (PP R 6 X 2, 24 X 2) comes with the 97 round drums (PP R 18 X 8). The Scarff ring is assembled using photoetch (P 2 & 9) and plastic (PP R 10 & 15) and I recommend the elastic E-Z line for the simulated bungee cords.
Page 17 rigging diagram give the layout of all external paths for support and flying cables.
Page 18 common stencil placements is a diagram that more manufacturers should follow in their instructions.
Kit profilesPage 19 DH 9 B7620, J.A. Gray & J.J. Comerford, A Flt., 211 Sqn, before 27 June 1918.
Page 20 DH 9 B7620 interned in Holland after 27 June 1918.
Page 21 DH 9 C6293 “#3” 144 Sqn, August 1918.
Page 22 DH 9 D2989 “Lobster”, 49 TDS, February 1919.
Page 23 DH 9 D7211 “Spetsai”, HNAS, 1919.
Page 24 DH 9 D7302 R.S.S Ingram & A.W. Wyncoll, C Flt., 108 Sqn, August 1918.`
Page 25 DH 9 H5636 New Zealand 1921 -1930s. Using existing decals from the kit.
ReferencesWindsock Datafile #72, Airco DH9 by JM Bruce 1998.
Schedule of Spare Parts for the De Havilland 9 2-Seater Fighter, RAF August 1918.
The DH.4/DH.9 File by Ray Sturtivant & Gordon Page, Air Britain 1999.
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