de Havilland Hyena

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DH.56 Hyena
De Havilland DH.56 Hyena.jpg
The DH.56 Hyena J-7780
Role Army cooperation aircraft
National origin United Kingdom
Manufacturer de Havilland
First flight 17 May 1925
Number built 2
Developed from de Havilland DH.42B Dingo II

The de Havilland DH.56 Hyena was a prototype British army cooperation aircraft of the 1920s. A single-engined biplane, the Hyena was designed against an RAF requirement, but was unsuccessful with only two being built, the Armstrong Whitworth Atlas being preferred.

Development and design[edit]

The DH.56 Hyena was developed to meet the requirements of Air Ministry Specification 30/24 for an Army Cooperation aircraft to equip Britain's Royal Air Force.[1] It was a development of de Havilland's earlier DH.42B Dingo, and like the Dingo, was a single-engined two-bay biplane carrying a crew of two. It was armed with a forward-firing Vickers machine gun and a Lewis gun operated by the observer. A hook to pick up messages was fitted beneath the fuselage, while the aircraft was also equipped for photography, artillery spotting, supply dropping and bombing.[2]

The first Hyena flew on 17 May 1925,[1] powered by a 385 hp (287 kW) Armstrong Siddeley Jaguar III radial engine. With this engine it was underpowered, and was quickly re-engined with a 422 hp (315 kW) Jaguar IV before it was submitted for official testing (which was against the requirements of Specification 20/25, which had superseded 30/24).[1] The two prototype Hyenas were tested against the other competitors for the RAF's orders, the Armstrong Whitworth Atlas, the Bristol Bloodhound and the Vickers Vespa, including field evaluation with No. 4 Squadron RAF.[3] Handling close to the ground was found to be difficult, with a poor view from the cockpit, and the orders went to the Atlas, with the Hyena being abandoned, being used for testing at the Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough until 1928.[1]

Specifications (Jaguar IV)[edit]

Data from De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 [4]

General characteristics



See also[edit]

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ a b c d e f Mason 1994, p.172.
  2. ^ Jackson 1987, p.213.
  3. ^ Jackson 1987, pp. 214–215.
  4. ^ Jackson 1994, p.215.


  • Jackson, A.J. De Havilland Aircraft since 1909. London:Putnam, Third edition 1987. ISBN 0-85177-802-X.
  • Mason, Francis K. The British Bomber since 1914. London:Putnam, 1994. ISBN 0-85177-861-5.

External links[edit]