World War I Single-Engine Single-Seat Biplane Fighter, France
Archive Photos 1
Hanriot-Dupont HD-1 on display (4/16/2000) at the Champlin Fighter Museum, Mesa, Arizona
Hanriot-Dupont HD-1 (75) on display (c.1994) at the Royal Air Force Museum London, Hendon Aerodrome, London, England
Hanriot-Dupont HD-1 (s/n 1398-5934) on display (8/27/2993) at the Planes of Fame Air Museum, Chino, California
The Hanriot HD.1 was a French World War I single-seat fighter aircraft. Rejected for service with French squadrons in favor of the SPAD S.VII, the type was supplied to the Belgian and the Italian air forces with whom it proved highly successful. Of a total of about 1,200 examples built, 831 were in fact produced by Italian companies under license.
Development and Production 2
The Hanriot company produced a series of pioneering monoplanes pre-war, but had settled down as a license manufacturer, notably of Sopwith 1½ strutters, when the HD.1 was produced in 1916.
The type was a conventional fighter with the general characteristics of a typical Sopwith type, being strongly but lightly built, and combining clean lines with a light wing loading. In particular, it used the same 1½ (or "W") cabane strut arrangement as the Sopwith two-seater. It had a flat lower wing, though the top wing had quite sharp dihedral.
On the power of its 110 hp (82 kW) Le Rhôone rotary engine it was not outstandingly fast, but it was very maneuverable and proved popular with pilots as a safe and pleasant aircraft to fly. To maintain a competitive climbing and altitude performance it was usual practice to restrict armament to a single synchronized Vickers gun, although there was provision for a second gun, and one was occasionally fitted. The gun (or guns) were fitted to the sides of the cockpit, and were accessible to the pilot without their butts being directly in front of his face in the event of a crash - an unusual but welcome feature, even if its origins lay in the form of the cabane struts.
The type was also produced by the Nieuport-Macchi company of Varese, Italy, which built almost 900 HD.1’s between 1917 and 1919; more than the parent firm.
Operational History 2
The new type was ordered into production as a possible replacement for the Nieuport 17, but became surplus when it was decided to replace the Nieuport with the SPAD S.VII in the French air service. Some were supplied to the French Navy, a few of which were eventually passed to the U.S. Navy - some naval Hanriots were converted to, or built as, float-planes with enlarged tail surfaces.
The bulk of early production, however, was diverted to the Belgians, who notoriously had to make do with aircraft unwanted by their allies. With the Belgian fighter squadrons the HD.1 proved surprisingly successful, and the type remained the standard Belgian fighter for the rest of the war. Willy Coppens, the top Belgian ace of the war was the most successful HD.1 pilot.
The type was also supplied in small numbers to the Italians who manufactured it in quantity, and used it to replace not only Nieuports but also SPADs in their service. The type was considered (by the Italians) to be a better all-round fighter than even the SPAD S.XIII and it became the standard Italian fighter, equipping sixteen of the eighteen operational Italian fighter squadrons by November 1918. Surplus Italian-built Hanriots were used by several countries postwar, including the Swiss.
The U.S. Naval Aircraft Factory built (or possibly modified/converted) ten HD.1’s in the immediate postwar years. These were mainly used as trainers, although they were also involved in experiments with takeoff platforms on warships - they could be fitted with twin guns, and at least one machine had a hydrovane and flotation bags of the type developed for the Royal Navy.
Specifications (HD.1) 2