de Havilland, Sir Geoffrey

SUBJECT AREA: Aerospace
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b. 27 July 1882 High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England
d. 21 May 1965 Stanmore, Middlesex, England
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English designer of some eighty aircraft from 1909 onwards.
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Geoffrey de Havilland started experimenting with aircraft and engines of his own design in 1908. In the following year, with the help of his friend Frank Hearle, he built and flew his first aircraft; it crashed on its first flight. The second aircraft used the same engine and made its first flight on 10 September 1910, and enabled de Havilland to teach himself to fly. From 1910 to 1914 he was employed at Farnborough, where in 1912 the Royal Aircraft Factory was established. As Chief Designer and Chief Test Pilot he was responsible for the BE 2, which was the first British military aircraft to land in France in 1914.
In May 1914 de Havilland went to work for George Holt Thomas, whose Aircraft Manufacturing Company Ltd (Airco) of Hendon was expanding to design and build aircraft of its own design. However, because de Havilland was a member of the Royal Flying Corps Reserve, he had to report for duty when war broke out in August. His value as a designer was recognized and he was transferred back to Airco, where he designed eight aircraft in four years. Of these, the DH 2, DH 4, DH 5, DH 6 and DH 9 were produced in large numbers, and a modified DH 4A operated the first British cross- Channel air service in 1919.
On 25 September 1920 de Havilland founded his own company, the De Havilland Aircraft Company Ltd, at Stag Lane near Edgware, London. During the 1920s and 1930s de Havilland concentrated on civil aircraft and produced the very successful Moth series of small biplanes and monoplanes, as well as the Dragon, Dragon Rapide, Albatross and Flamingo airliners. In 1930 a new site was acquired at Hatfield, Hertfordshire, and by 1934 a modern factory with a large airfield had been established. His Comet racer won the England-Australia air race in 1934 using de Havilland engines. By this time the company had established very successful engine and propeller divisions. The Comet used a wooden stressed-skin construction which de Havilland developed and used for one of the outstanding aircraft of the Second World War: the Mosquito. The de Havilland Engine Company started work on jet engines in 1941 and their Goblin engine powered the Vampire jet fighter first flown by Geoffrey de Havilland Jr in 1943. Unfortunately, Geoffrey Jr and his brother John were both killed in flying accidents. The Comet jet airliner first flew in 1949 and the Trident in 1962, although by 1959 the De Havilland Company had been absorbed into Hawker Siddeley Aviation.
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Principal Honours and Distinctions
Knight Bachelor 1944. Order of Merit 1962. CBE 1934. Air Force Cross 1919. (A full list is contained in R.M.Clarkson's paper (see below)).
Bibliography
1961, Sky Fever, London; repub. 1979, Shrewsbury (autobiography).
Further Reading
R.M.Clarkson, 1967, "Geoffrey de Havilland 1882–1965", Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society (February) (a concise account of de Havilland, his achievements and honours).
C.M.Sharp, 1960, D.H.—An Outline of de Havilland History, London (mostly a history of the company).
A.J.Jackson, 1962, De Havilland Aircraft since 1915, London.
JDS

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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  • De Havilland, Sir Geoffrey — born July 27, 1882, Haslemere, Surrey, Eng. died May 21, 1965, Watford, Hertfordshire British aircraft designer and manufacturer. In 1910 he built and flew an airplane with a 50 horsepower engine. He formed his own company in 1920 and built the… …   Universalium

  • De Havilland, Sir Geoffrey — (27 jul. 1882, Haslemere, Surrey, Inglaterra–21 may. 1965, Watford, Hertfordshire). Diseñador y fabricante de aviones británico. En 1910 construyó y piloteó un avión con un motor de 50 HP. Formó su propia compañía en 1920 y fabricó el biplaza… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Geoffrey de Havilland — en Perth, Oeste de Australia tras ganar en 1929 la Centenary Air Race …   Wikipedia Español

  • Geoffrey de Havilland — Sir Geoffrey de Havilland (* 27. Juli 1882 in Haslemere, Surrey; † 21. Mai 1965 in Watford) war ein britischer Flugpionier und Konstrukteur. Er war ein Cousin der Schauspielerinnen Olivia de …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Havilland —   [ hævɪlənd],    1) Sir Geoffrey De, britischer Flugzeugkonstrukteur, De Havilland, Sir Geoffrey.    2) Olivia de, amerikanische Schauspielerin, de Havilland, Olivia …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Geoffrey de Havilland — Infobox Person name = Geoffrey de Havilland image size = 150px caption = Geoffrey de Havilland (left) with Frederick Handley Page birth name = birth date = Birth date|1882|07|27|df=y birth place = High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England death date …   Wikipedia

  • sir — /serr/, n. 1. a respectful or formal term of address used to a man: No, sir. 2. (cap.) the distinctive title of a knight or baronet: Sir Walter Scott. 3. (cap.) a title of respect for some notable personage of ancient times: Sir Pandarus of Troy …   Universalium

  • Geoffrey — /jef ree/, n. a male given name: from Germanic, meaning divine peace. * * * (as used in expressions) Chaucer Geoffrey Dawson George Geoffrey George Geoffrey Robinson De Havilland Sir Geoffrey Derby Edward George Geoffrey Smith Stanley 14th earl… …   Universalium

  • Geoffrey — (as used in expressions) Chaucer, Geoffrey Dawson, George Geoffrey George Geoffrey Robinson De Havilland, Sir Geoffrey Derby, Edward (George Geoffrey Smith) Stanley, 14 conde de Geoffrey de Monmouth Taylor, Sir Geoffrey Ingram …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • sir — (Voz inglesa.) ► sustantivo masculino Tratamiento honorífico empleado por los británicos. * * * sir (ingl.; pronunc. [ser]) m. *Tratamiento de respeto usado en Inglaterra delante de un nombre de hombre o para dirigirse a la persona de que se… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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