In the 1930s, the British Air Force formulated the standard for the T6/36 multi-purpose trainer, and de Havilland developed the DH.39 Don advanced trainer based on this, which should be one of the most advanced trainers before World War II.
The first prototype of the DH.39 made its first flight on June 18, 1937. It is a low-wing, single-engine aircraft with a simple and smooth shape. It adopts a wooden internal structure + stress skin, and the main landing gear can be used. Fully integrated into the aircraft, you can conduct various trainings such as flying, bombing, and shooting.
This aircraft uses an inverted V-12 air-cooled piston engine with air intakes located at the wing roots on both sides. It can output 525 horsepower and drive a variable-pitch 2-blade propeller. The power of the engine is not strong. A trainer is enough, allowing the aircraft to reach a maximum speed of about 300 kilometers per hour, a maximum ceiling of 7,100 meters, and a maximum range of about 1,400 kilometers.
The aircraft can accommodate 4 people. The pilot and the instructor sit side by side in the front of the cab. There is a hemispherical turret at the rear of the cab. A machine gun is installed here to simulate self-defense shooting. In addition to the shooter, it can also accommodate a radio Therefore, when the front two people need to train in flight, the latter two can carry out shooting or radio communication training.
A Browning machine gun is installed on the wing, and there are 16 pylons under the wing, which can mount 16 mini training bombs, so the aircraft can also simulate fighter shooting and ground attack tactics. It is said that its aircraft There is a small window in the abdomen, which can be used to simulate the operation of a bomber bomber.
As an early advanced trainer, the DH.39 is simply a universal trainer, which can be used for training fighters, attack aircraft, and bombers. However, the problem of heading stability was found in the previous test, so it was added under the horizontal tail. Small fins were removed, and the back turret was later removed to reduce weight. The back of the aircraft was restructured to form a closed cabin inside. With pilots and battles, a total of 4 to 6 people could be carried.
The British Air Force initially placed an order for 250 aircraft, which is not a small number, and proposed the idea of modifying several additional communication aircraft. However, the situation changed in the mid-to-late 1930s. At that time, the number of multi-engine aircraft equipped by the British Air Force increased, and the performance of fighter jets was greatly improved. The British needed trainers that could simulate multi-engine flight and more professional fighter pilot instructors. aircraft, so the order for DH.39 was reduced to 50.
Forty-eight of the 50 were produced without the turret, only 30 were actually produced, and the other 20 were only produced for the fuselage and were not actually delivered to the military for service. The destinations of the aircraft that have been in service are different. Some are used as static teaching materials, and some are used as communication aircraft. Few are really used for flight training.