De Havilland Humming Bird Airplane Videos and Airplane Pictures

De Havilland Humming Bird Video - Shuttleworth Collection evening display at Old Warden

De Havilland Humming Bird Video -

De Havilland Humming Bird Aircraft Information

De Havilland Humming Bird

DH.53 Humming Bird

Warbird Picture - DH.53, G-EBHX, at the Shuttleworth Collection

Picture - DH.53, G-EBHX, at the Shuttleworth Collection

Role: Ultralight Monoplane
Manufacturer: de Havilland
First flight: 1923
Primaryuser: Royal Air Force
Produced: 1923-1924
Number built: 15

The de Havilland DH.53 Humming Bird is a British light aircraft of the 1920s.

Design and development

In response to the Daily Mail Light Aeroplane Competition of 1923 de Havilland built two DH.53s which were named Humming Bird and Sylvia II. The DH.53 was a low-wing single-seat monoplane powered by a Douglas 750cc motor-cycle engine. At Lympne in October 1923 the DH.53s did not win any prizes but gave an impressive performance for a light aircraft. The Air Ministry subsequently became interested in the design and ordered eight in 1924 as communications and training aircraft for the Royal Air Force.

Early in 1924 twelve aircraft were built at Stag Lane Aerodrome and were named Humming Bird after the first prototype. Eight aircraft were for the Air Ministry order, three were for export to Australia, and one was exported to Aero in Prague. One further aircraft was later built for an order from Russia.

The production aircraft were powered by a 26hp (19kW) Blackburne Tomtit two-cylinder engine.

Operational service

The first six aircraft for the Royal Air Force all made their public debut at the 1925 display at RAF Hendon, where they were raced against each other. The last two aircraft would later be used for "parasite aircraft" trials being launched from below an airship - the R.33. The aircraft were retired in 1927 and all eight were sold as civil aircraft.


United Kingdom

Royal Air Force


G-EBHX the prototype is airworthy and on display at the Shuttleworth Collection.
J7326 fuselage is on display at the de Havilland Aircraft Heritage Centre.


Data from British Civil Aircraft since 1919 Vol 2,

General characteristics

Crew: 1
Length: 19 ft 8 in (6 m)
Wingspan: 30 ft 1 in (9.17 m)
Height: 7 ft 3 in (2.21 m)
Wing area: 125 ft (11.6 m)
Empty weight: 326 lb (148 kg)
Loaded weight: 565 lb (257 kg)
Powerplant: 1x Blackburne Tomtit inverted vee, two cylinder engine, 26 hp (19 kW)


Maximum speed: 63 kn (73 mph, 118 km/h)
Cruise speed: 52 kn (60 mph, 97 km/h)
Range: 130 nmi (150 mi, 242 km)
Service ceiling: 15,000 ft (4,570 m)
Rate of climb: 225 ft/min (1.1 m/s)
Wing loading: 4.52 lb/ft (22.2 kg/m)
Power/mass: 0.046 hp/lb (62 W/kg)

Living Warbirds: The best warbirds DVD series.

Source: WikiPedia

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