DH 2 (oz12700)


DH 2 (oz12700) by Alexander Meek 1974 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

DH 2. Radio control scale model WWI fighter biplane, for 60 power.

Quote: "If ever there was a plane that truly deserved the title of 'Wood, Wire and Fabric,' it is the De Havilland DH-2.

The first prototype DH-2 was completed in 1915, and its first engagement and victory over the enemy came in March 1916, while attached to No. 24 Squadron. The DH-2's proved themselves to be superior to the Fokker monoplanes but, with the appearance of the fast and well-armed Albatros in the autumn of 1916, they became outclassed and in June 1917 were detached from operational service. The last recorded flight was in March 1918. No.24 Squadron was originally formed by Captain LG Hawker, however, towards the decline of the DH-2's, Hawker was killed in combat by the now famous Manfred Von Richthofen in one of the longest individual air combats of the war.

The DH-2 was generally considered to be a most effective fighter, but suffered from the susceptibility of tail booms to breakage when hit by any detached part of the rotary engine, the early engines being subject to losing cylinders.

However, overlooking the defects, I believe even Snoopy would be quite willing to trade in his kennel for a DH-2 - what better mount for a World War I pilot?

The initial model prototype was completed in May 1971 and, up until to date, has been undergoing many design improvements. The model, unfortunately, wasn't one that flew straight off the drawing board but, in fact, staggered off and fell over the edge! The .35 cubic inch Enya was soon replaced by an OS H6OF. However, after much repairing, design improvements and determination, the model is a joy to fly and can now be handled by an intermediate type RC pilot.

The model is easily started by hand flicking with a chicken stick or, better still, an electric starter. I use a permanent extension to the glow plug, and use a long tube to adjust the needle valve. Thus, no chewed-up fingers.

The model will taxi on the ground except in strong winds. To take off, you just point her upwind, apply throttle, the tail lifts off the ground and, before you know it, you're airborne. It has no tendency to ground loop. Flying speed is very realistic, and it performs maneuvers like the full size conterpart. Due to the high drag of all the wires, landings are best performed with about quarter throttle. Bring her in with power and cut back on touchdown. She will soon drop her tail and roll to a stop. (Even if you do bungle it and she tips onto her nose, the motor will not stop and there are no broken blades.) You can now taxi her back to the pits to the applause of the crowd. What satisfaction, what a show-off you're becoming! Oh well, you will have to fly it somewhere, and why keep it hidden.

The model is as true to scale as my information would allow, with a few modifications for longer life and ease of construction. Reference was made to Profile Publications Volume No.91; August 1966 AeroModeller, Aircraft Described No.153, and Aircraft Illustrated Extra No.7. There is, therefore, some room for further improvements depending on how scale you wish to go. If you do wish to go super scale, it is advisable for you to obtain a decent size 3-view and then check your blueprints to them, as blueprints are not the most accurate on reproduction.

The plans were redrawn and rechecked from my original outlines, and have taken three months to do. I even found errors in my original layouts. The plans should supply all the necessary information for building, but I will supplement them with some detail notes for those who have the patience to read the instructions before building.

FUSELAGE: Cut out the fuselage from 1mm ply using the pattern shown. Only half the pattern is drawn, but you should be able to duplicate the other half about the centerline shown. Epoxy on the doublers and drill all holes. Cut out the formers and, without losing your temper, epoxy the formers to the fuselage. You may find it easier to first mark the centerlines and positions of the formers on the inside of the fuselage and moisten the outside of the ply to aid in bending. Now clamp the whole mess together, ensuring everything is aligned, and allow to cure overnight.

WINGS: The wings can now be commenced and are quite straightforward. The inter-strut connectors (Detail D) are then epoxied to the 1mm ply ribs. Don't forget the 1/4 in ply block and 1/8 screw for the aileron bellcranks underneath the two bottom wings. The wings should now be covered and painted to save messing about between struts etc, later. I still cover my models with tissue as it is cheap and looks realistic on vintage models. The model was painted for realism with colored dope, obtained by mixing Humbrol paint with clear dope, any thinners lying on top of the paint being removed before mixing. The wings, as is the whole model, are then painted with Estapol Scandinavian Matt Varnish for a dull weathered appearance. When dry, warp the wings into alignment, using a heater and then cold air..."

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DH 2 (oz12700) by Alexander Meek 1974 - model pic

  • (oz12700)
    DH 2
    by Alexander Meek
    from RCMplans (ref:572)
    September 1974 
    60in span
    Scale IC R/C Biplane Pusher Military Fighter
    clean :)
    all formers complete :)
    got article :)
  • Submitted: 21/12/2020
    Filesize: 1340KB
    Format: • PDFbitmap
    Credit*: theshadow
    Downloads: 2044

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User comments

This model is nearly as old as the Great War itself… well, maybe that’s a stretch… but it is elderly [pics 008-010]. Constructed in 1977, with plenty of dust, nearly a half century… and faded tissue as proof of its vintage character. It was inspired by a number of RC designs of the period, most specifically the RCM DH2 (oz12700). I have always been of the opinion that a plan is a tool and only to be taken literally so far. A builder should always feel free to modify it to suit one’s skills and purpose. In this case, my model is rubber powered with an 18” wingspan. Motor winding was facilitated by removal of the nose block and using a winder while holding the propeller immobile. Motor run was necessarily short. Wire wheels are handmade. Booms consist of bamboo skewers. This model sat high atop a bookcase for many years, undisturbed, hence the dust. It never sat in direct sunlight, yet the tissue faded just the same. It’s the equivalent of a hidden relic of history, secreted away inside a barn.
I am very much an adherent of Major James T.B. McCudden, VC, DSO&Bar, MC&Bar, MM. McCudden began his RFC service as an enlisted mechanic in 1913 and at the time of his death (a flying accident) in 1918 had risen to the rank of Major, 60 Squadron Commanding Officer, and was arguably the greatest SE5a fighter pilot of the Great War. His aerial combat victories stood at 57 and included the famous engagement against German Ace Werner Voss. On eleven separate occasions McCudden claimed multiple victories. He has been called “the perfect soldier.” This superb fighter pilot began it all while flying a humble DH2 in 1916.
Neal Green - 02/03/2021
Your models are, as always, wonderful and inspiring. I'm reminded of my intent to build a DH.2 using two strands of rubber and gearing in the nose to overcome the limitations usually imposed by such a short fuselage. Yet another project that, alas, never came to fruition.
Jan Novick - 03/03/2021
Never too late, Jan! You'll have to show me that geared motor setup idea that you have...preferably with a build. What my mind envisions with a geared motor is more power...but not a longer run time. My DH2 is so old...my winder, as I recall, was a small hand drill...nothing purpose-built like everyone uses today. :-)
Neal - 03/03/2021
Oh...wanted to add that the very first flight of my DH2 resulted in a smashed wheel. :-( That was a real "bummer." For greater durability...recommend scale wheels fashioned in a more-traditional fashion...from balsa discs.
Neal - 03/03/2021
An outfit known as "AMA Models" has scaled the AW Meek plan up to 1:4 scale & cut a short kit (ribs & formers) for it. ;-)
Paul Wright - 04/01/2022
G'day Steve and Mary, It's a great plan so I am contemplating building this classic design. Just one question. What material were the original booms made from as I cannot find any reference on the plan? Nowadays, carbon fibre booms seem to be a practical alternative.
Danny M2Z - 11/07/2023
3/8" dowel perhaps? The article describes reducing the top boom diameter at the aft ends for the tail mount/fitting. Dowel was a popular material used for "scale" -appearing structure. The Der Jager biplane model by Bruce Lund had a scale fuselage structure built primarily out of 1/4" dowels. I recall seeing assorted dia dowel selection in hobby shops back in the day.
D A - 11/07/2023
How about 3/8" aluminum tube? Strong and light.
Jan Novick - 12/07/2023
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