ACE-34 Airco DH-2, No. 14 Squadron, Palestine Mid-1917
The Airco DH.2 was a single-seat biplane “pusher” aircraft which operated as a fighter during the First World War. It was the second pusher design by Geoffrey de Havilland for Airco, based on his earlier DH.1 two-seater. The DH.2 was the first effectively armed British single-seat fighter and enabled Royal Flying Corps (RFC) pilots to counter the “Fokker Scourge” that had given the Germans the advantage in the air in late 1915. Until the British developed a synchronization gear to match the German system, pushers such as the DH.2 and the F.E.2b carried the burden of fighting and escort duties.
The No.14 Squadron operated DH-2’s against the Ottoman Turks in Palestine during 1917. By this time the DH-2 was basically obsolete and no longer considered suitable for combat operations in France. The planes for the No. 14 squadron remained with their clear doped linen finish and metal surfaces painted a medium grey, as the pale tan colour was more appropriate to the near desert conditions.
This model is depicted as an early production DH-2 as it is equipped with a gravity fuel tank mounted above the wing on the port side, and has a two bladed propeller.