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  Aircraft History, Specification and Information
DeHavilland DH104 Dove
1954 DeHavilland DH104 Dove 5A - N4913V -
1954 DeHavilland DH104 Dove 5A
N4913V (sn 04272)
Apache Airlines
Picture taken July 1970
Long Beach - Daugherty Field, CA USA (LGB / KLGB)
Photo Copyright & Thanks to: Bob Garrard

The de Havilland DH.104 Dove was a British monoplane short-haul airliner from de Havilland, the successor to the biplane de Havilland Dragon Rapide and was one of Britain's most successful post-war civil designs. The design came about from the Brabazon Committee report which called for a British designed short-haul feeder for airlines.


DeHavilland DH104 Dove N4913V
1954 DeHavilland DH104 Dove 5A
N4913V (sn 04272)
Photo taken July 14, 2007
Chilliwack, BC - Canada (YCW / CYCW)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

Production of the Dove and its variants totalled 542 including 127 military Devons and 13 Sea Devons. The first customer deliveries were made in early summer 1946 and the last example was delivered in 1967. Initial production of the Dove was at De Havilland's Hatfield factory, but from the early 1950s most were built at the company's Broughton facility near Chester.

Operational service

The Dove first flew on 25 September 1945. From summer 1946 large numbers were sold to scheduled and charter airlines around the world, replacing and supplementing the pre-war designed De Havilland Dragon Rapide and other older designs. LAN Chile took delivery of twelve examples and these were operated within that country from 1949 until sale to small United States airlines in 1954. The largest order for Doves was placed by Argentina which took delivery of 70 which were mainly used by the Argentine Air Force. An initial batch of 30 Devons was delivered to the Royal Air Force and these were used as VIP and light transports for over 30 years. The Royal New Zealand Air Force acquired 30 Devons between 1948 and 1954 and these remained in service into the 1970s. A few Doves and civilianised Devons remain in use in 2011 in the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and elsewhere with small commercial firms and with private pilot owners, including the Devon21 syndicate operating from North Shore Airfield, near Auckland, New Zealand.


  • Dove 1 : Light transport aircraft, seating up to 11-passengers. Powered by two 340-hp (254-kW) De Havilland Gipsy Queen 70-4 piston engines.
  • Dove 1B : Dove Mk 1 aircraft, fitted with two 380-hp (283-kW) Gipsy Queen 70-2 piston engines.
  • Dove 2 : Executive transport version, seating up to six passengers. Powered by two 340-hp (254-kW) Gipsy Queen piston engines.
  • Dove 2B : Dove Mk 2 aircraft, fitted with two 380-hp (283-kW) Gipsy Queen 70-2 piston engines.
  • Dove 3 : Proposed high-altitude survey version. Not built.
  • Dove 4 : Military transport and communication version.
    - Devon C Mk 1 : Transport and communication version for the RAF.
    - Devon C Mk 2 : Transport and communications version for the RAF. Re-engined version of the Devon C Mk 1.
    - Sea Devon C Mk 20 : Transport and communications version for the Royal Navy.
  • Dove 5 : The Dove 5 was powered by more powerful engines. The aircraft was fitted with two 380-hp (283-kW) Gipsy Queen 70-2 piston engines.
  • Dove 6 : Executive transport aircraft. Uprated version of the Dove 2, powered by two 380-hp (283-kW) Gipsy Queen 70-2 piston engines.
  • Dove 6B : Stressed for operations at a maximum weight of 8,500 lb (3856 kg).
  • Dove 7 : Uprated version of the Dove 1, fitted with two 400-hp (298-kW) Gipsy Queen 70-3 piston engines.
  • Dove 8 : Uprated version of the Dove 2, fitted with two 400-hp (298-kW) Gipsy Queen 70-3 piston engines.
  • Dove 8A : Five seater version of the Dove 8 for the U.S. market. The Dove Custom 600 was an American designation of the Dove 8A.
  • Carstedt Jet Liner 600 : Conversions of the Dove, carried out by Carstedt Inc, of Long Beach, California, USA. The aircraft were fitted with two 605-ehp (451-kW) Garrett AiResearch TPE331 turboprop engines. The fuselage was lengthened to accommodate 18 passengers.
  • Riley Turbo Executive 400 / Turbo-Exec 400 / Dove 400 : Conversions of the Dove, carried out by Riley Aircraft in the USA. The aircraft were fitted with two 400-hp (298-kW) Lycoming IO-720-A1A flat-eight piston engines. Some of the Riley conversions were fitted with a taller swept vertical fin and rudder. During the late 1960s, Riley Aeronautics, located at the Executive Airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, did interior refitting work on both the De Havilland Dove and the Herron. They were also test flown out of this facility.


Civil operators

  • Australia
    Airlines of Western Australia
  • Belgium
  • Burma
    Union of Burma Airways
  • Chile
  • Gambia
    West African Airways Corporation
  • Germany
  • Ghana
    West African Airways Corporation
  • India
    Airways (India) Limited
    Indian National Airways
    Government of Madras
  • Iraq
    Iraq Petroleum Company
  • Japan
    Nippon Helicopter and Aeroplane
    Far East Airlines
  • Nigeria
    West African Airways Corporation
  • Rhodesia
    Central African Airways
  • Portugal
    SATA - Sociedade Açoreana de Transportes Aéreos
  • Portuguese Angola
    AERANGOL - Aeronaves de Angola
    ETASA - Empresa de Transportes Aéreos do Sul de Angola
    SATAL - Sociedade Anónima de Transportes Aéreos
  • Portuguese Cape Verde
    ACCV - Aero Clube de Cabo Verde
    TACV - Transportes Aéreos de Cabo Verde
  • Portuguese Mozambique
    DETA - Divisão e Exploração de Transportes Aéreos
  • Portuguese Timor
    TAT - Transportes Aéreos de Timor
  • Sierra Leone
    West African Airways Corporation
  • South Africa
    Comair (South Africa) operated 2 aircraft.
    South African Airways
  • Sudan
    Sudan Airways
  • United Kingdom
    BOAC (for training and communications)
    Bristow Helicopters
    British Midland
    British Westpoint Airlines
    Channel Airways (scheduled services)
    Dan-Air (scheduled services)
    Hunting-Clan Air Transport
    Morton Air Services
    Olley Air Services
    Silver City Airways
    CAA Flying Unit
  • United States
    Air Wisconsin
    Apache Airlines
    National Test Pilot School
    Superior Airlines

Military operators

  • Argentina
    Argentine Air Force
    Argentine Coast Guard
    Argentine Federal Police
  • Belgian Congo
    Force Publique
  • Biafra
    Biafran Air Force
  • Brazil
  • Ceylon
    Royal Ceylon Air Force
  • Egypt
    Egyptian Air Force
  • Ireland
    Irish Air Corps
  • Ethiopia
    Ethiopian Air Force
  • India
    Indian Air Force
  • Iraq
  • Jordan
    Royal Jordanian Air Force
    Royal Flight
  • Kuwait
    Kuwait Air Force
  • Lebanon
    Lebanese Air Force
  • Malaysia
    Royal Malaysian Air Force
  • New Zealand
    Royal New Zealand Air Force
    No. 42 Squadron RNZAF
  • Pakistan
    Pakistan Air Force
  • Paraguay
    Paraguayan Air Force
  • South Africa
    South African Air Force
  • Sweden
    Royal Swedish Air Force
  • United Kingdom
    Royal Air Force
    No. 21 Squadron RAF
    No. 26 Squadron RAF
    No. 31 Squadron RAF
    No. 32 Squadron RAF
    No. 60 Squadron RAF
    No. 207 Squadron RAF
    Fleet Air Arm
  • Venezuela
    Venezuelan Air Force
  • Yugoslavia
    SFR Yugoslav Air Force

Accidents and incidents

On 15 January 1958, Dove G-AOCE of Channel Airways crashed on approach to Ferryfield Airfield, Lydd, Kent, United Kingdom due to mismanagement of the aircraft's fuel system, leading to both engines stopping due to lack of fuel. All seven people on board survived.

Specifications (Dove 7)

General characteristics
Crew: 2
Capacity: 8 passengers
Length: 39 ft 3 in (11.96 m)
Wingspan: 57 ft 0 in (17.40 m)
Height: 13 ft 4 in (4.06 m)
Wing area: 335 sq ft (31.1 m²)
Empty weight: 6,325 lb (2,869 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 8,950 lb (4,060 kg)
Powerplant: 2 × de Havilland Gipsy Queen 70 Mk 3 6-cylinder in-line inverted air-cooled engine, 400 bhp (289 kW) each

Maximum speed: 230 mph (200 knots, 370 km/h)
Cruise speed: 187 mph (163 knots, 301 km/h) at 8,000 ft (2,440 m) (econ cruise)
Stall speed: 74 mph (64 knots, 119 km/h)
Range: 880 mi (765 knots, 1,415 km)
Service ceiling: 21,700 ft (6,610 m)
Rate of climb: 1,135 ft/min (5.8 m/s)

Last updated April 09, 2012
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "de Havilland Dove".
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