Dunne D.5

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Dunne D5.jpg
Role Experimental aircraft
Manufacturer Short Brothers
Designer John William Dunne
First flight 1910
Number built 1
Variants Dunne D.8

The Dunne D.5 was an experimental aircraft built in the United Kingdom in 1910. Designed by John William Dunne and built by Short Brothers at Leysdown,[1][2] it was a swept wing tailless biplane along the same lines as the D.1B and D.4 aircraft that he had designed in secret for the Army Balloon Factory. After the War Office discontinued funding for his work he developed his ideas and this aircraft was the first privately built. Like its military predecessors it was driven by twin pusher propellers, but it had a considerably more powerful engine.

The D.5 took off under its own power on its first attempt, piloted by Dunne himself, in the summer of 1910. It proved to be aerodynamically stable in flight, and was one of the first fixed-wing aircraft ever to do so. Two demonstration flights were made for the Royal Aero Club in December 1910, one of which was witnessed by the visiting Orville Wright,[3] after which a licence was sold to the Burgess Company for the sale of aeroplanes built to this plan. Burgess sold several aircraft of the Dunne design in the United States and Canada, including military and floatplane variants.


General characteristics

  • Crew: One pilot
  • Length: 20 ft 5 in (6.21 m)
  • Wingspan: 46 ft 0 in (14.02 m)
  • Height: 11 ft 6 in (3.51 m)
  • Wing area: 527 ft2 (49.0 m2)
  • Gross weight: 1,550 lb (703 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Green, 60 hp (45 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 45 mph (72 km/h)


  1. ^ Barnes C.H. & James D.N. Shorts Aircraft since 1900. London (1989): Putnam. pp. 50, 439. ISBN 0-85177-819-4. 
  2. ^ "The Dunne Aeroplane". Flight: 459–61. June 18, 1910. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  3. ^ Poulsen, C. M. (May 27, 1943). "Tailless Trials". Flight: 556–58. Retrieved 2008-02-27. 
  • Goodall, Michael H.; Tagg, Albert E. (2001). British Aircraft before the Great War. Atglen, PA, USA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7643-1207-3. 
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. (1989). Jane's Encyclopedia of Aviation. London: Studio Editions. p. 347. ISBN 0-7106-0710-5. 
  • Munson, Kenneth (1969). Pioneer Aircraft 1903-14. London: Macmillan. p. 44.