De Havilland Australia ADH-1


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Jul 25, 2007
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Does anyone have any details on the ADH-1 fighter concept proposed to the RAAF by de Havilland Aircraft Pty Ltd in 1941?

Below are two snippets - one from Aeroplane Monthly, the other from the Mosquito Aircraft Association of Australia. In a nutshell, the story is this:

In 1941, the General Manager of de Havilland Australia - Major Alan Murray Jones - formed a special design group to produce a simple fighter for the RAAF. Chief Engineer John Mills formed a design group which "produced a proposal for a simple single engine fighter, wooden wings and steel tubular fuselage, powered by the twin Wasp engine..."

Writing back in 2000, John Mills said that a copy of the 1941 ADH-1 proposal still existed at the HDH Bankstown archive. Searching the Boeing Australia website for "ADH-1" gives no results ( just produces 'Adh Bond Repairs' returns).

Does anyone know what happened to the HDH archives?

Aeroplane Monthly, January 2017, Vol 45, no 1. Issue no 525, pg.43

Mills and the 'Mossie': The triumphs and tragedies encountered by de Havilland Australia in production of the Mosquito — and the key role played by one man, by Brian van de Water

[...] The RAAF still lacked a single-seat fighter as of 1941. In a previously untold story, a concerned Murray Jones created a design group,led by John Mills, to develop a locally produced fighter.The proposed engine was the Pratt & Whitney R-1830 being manufactured by CAC for fitment to Beauforts. Design proposal ADH-1 for an aircraft utilising a fabric-covered steel tube fuselage and wooden wings was completed and presented to the RAAF, but rejected. Unknown to DHA, the government had decided in late 1941 to build the Mosquito in Australia in order to fill the fighter gap. Ironically, CAC, responding to the desperate need for afighter in February 1942, came up with the Boomerang. [...]


John Mills Recalls: Experiences with de Havilland Australia and the United Kingdom pre-war and during World War II.

[...] When the Tiger Moth with its steel tube fuselage and wooden wings had successfully reached production, Major Murray Jones and his staff believed that we had the capacity, with outside support, to give the RAAF a simple fighter aircraft quite quickly. At the end of 1940 and start of 1941 there seemed to be no plans around to improve the situation.

The twin row Wasp was now under manufacture at the Aircraft Production Commission’s engine factory at Lidcombe which had been set up to make engines for the Bristol “Beaufort”. This was the first of the APC projects, and we sought to ascertain the top fighter performance we could get from this locally made engine using locally available materials.

We had the enthusiastic support of Professor A. V. Stephens, newly arrived Hargrave Professor of aeronautical engineering at Sydney University, whose considerable background of experience at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in England was available for aerodynamics, controls, stability and performance. We also had his promise of the support of his students for this work.

Additionally, Mr. L. P. Coombes, head of the Aeronautical Research Laboratories at Fishermen’s Bend, Melbourne, offered every assistance including aerodynamics, structures, weights, etc.

At de Havilland, we had a young but dedicated group with a great feeling of confidence and enthusiasm for such a project. At the time, before Pearl Harbour, aircraft from overseas seemed to be unobtainable. Perhaps, in the absence of a close threat, the need for a fighter was perhaps academic, but Major Murray Jones, with it is World War I fighter background was convinced something should be done.

We produced a proposal for a simple single engine fighter, wooden wings and steel tubular fuselage, powered by the twin Wasp engine and using every piece of aerodynamic technique available with the guidance of our advisers.

We called the project “ADH-1” and Major Murray Jones presented it to the Chief of Air Staff, RAAF for his consideration when he visited us. A copy of the proposal is in the H. D. H. archives at Bankstown.

The only response we at the Havilland received from the RAAF was a question “why don’t you use a more powerful engine?” [...]


Senior Member
May 26, 2006
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That's new for me my dear Apophenia,thanks.


I really should change my personal text
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Mar 11, 2012
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Please link this thread to to the “Panic Fighter 1938 ” thread.

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