De Havilland DH104 Devon – NZ 1813

Constructors No.: 04396
Assembled by De Havilland UK at their Broughton facility near Chester
Cost 31,422.11.00 pounds
Ferried to NZ by RNZAF crew
B O C Wigram as Communications aircraft with
Aerial photographic fittings 13 Apr 1953
To 42 Sqn Ohakea 22 May 1953
Converted to Inst 216 at 4 TTS Woodbourne 13 Oct 1981
Stored At 4 TTS Woodbourne

Transferred to Air Force Museum of New Zealand and displayed at MOTAT

On loan to RNZAF Historic Flight and returned to Ohakea late 2019


Type History

The Dove was de Havilland’s first post-war production aircraft, developed as a small airliner to replace the Dragon Rapide. The all metal, tricycle undercarriage design was a substantial change from de Havilland’s pre-war airliners. Development began in 1944, and the prototype (G-AGPJ) made its first flight on September 25, 1945. The airliner underwent a number of improvements, primarily relating to engines and weights. The 11 seat Dove 1 and 6 seat executive Dove 2 were powered by the 330hp Gypsy Queen 70-3. The Dove 1b and Dove 2b were powered by the 340hp Gypsy Queen 70-4. The Dove 3 was intended as a high altitude survey aircraft which was not produced. Adapted in 1947 as a communications aircraft, the Dove 4 was the civil designation of Devon C.Mk.1 and and Sea Devon C.Mk.20, and other export military aircraft.

A number of Air forces outside the UK including the Indian, Argentinian, and RNZAF operated the Devon, or modified Doves. The Dove 5, and 6 were an uprated version 0f the Dove 1 and 2 respectively, powered by the 380hp Gypsy Queen 70-2 with increased weight limits. The 6b was further weight limited. The Dove 7 and Dove 8 were again variants of the Dove 1 and 2 powered by the 400hp Gypsy Queen 70-3. Production ended in 1967 with 542 aircraft completed (including the two prototypes). After market modifications included the Riley Turbo executive 400 powered by 400hp Avo Lycoming IO-72-A1A, and the Carstedt Jet Liner 600 using the 600shp Garrett AirResearch TPE331 turboprop with a stretched fuselage increasing capacity to 18 passengers.

The RNZAF operated 30 Devon/Doves (NZ1801-1830) between 1948 and 1981. The first two were Doves which arrived in 1948, and were used as VIP transports. The remainder being Devons taken on charge between 1952 and 54. They were purchased to undertake a number of roles, taking over from Oxfords as twin-engine trainers, Ansons as navigation/signals trainers, and Consuls and Rapides in communications duties.

Seven aircraft were lost in service (NZ1810 (c/n 04318), NZ1811 (c/n 04321), NZ1815 (c/n 04398), NZ1816 (c/n 04399), NZ1824 (c/n 04418), NZ1830 (c/n 04428)). Two aircraft taken out of store were passed to the Royal Malaysian airforce in 1968 (NZ1823 (c/n 04417) becoming FM1056, and NZ1825 (c/n 04419) becoming FM1057. Official service ceased with the retirement of NZ1822 in 1981, with the Devon replaced by Fokker F27 Friendships and Cessna 421 Golden Eagles.