The Airco DH.10 Amiens was a United Kingdom twin-engined medium bomber designed and built towards the end of the First World War. It served briefly postwar with the RAF.
The DH.10 was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland to meet the requirements of Air Board Specification A.2.b for a single- or twin-engined day bomber. It was a development of the earlier Airco DH.3 bomber, which had flown in 1916, but had been rejected by the War Office because of a belief that strategic bombing would be ineffective and that twin engines were impracticable.
The first prototype flew on 4 March 1918, powered by two 230 hp (186 kW) Siddeley Puma engines mounted as pushers. When evaluated by the RAF, the performance of this prototype was well below expectation, reaching only 90 mph (145 km/h) at 15,000 ft (4,572 m) with the required bomb load, compared with the specified 110 miles per hour (180 km/h). Owing to this poor performance, the DH.10 was redesigned with more powerful engines in a tractor installation.
The second prototype, known as the Amiens Mark II was powered by two 360 hp (268 kW) Rolls-Royce Eagle VIII engines and first flew in April 1918, showing greatly superior performance and proving to be faster than the DH.9A while carrying twice the bomb load. While shortages of the Eagle meant that the Amiens Mark II could not be put into production, it proved the design of the definitive aircraft, the Amiens Mark III, which was powered by the more readily available 395 hp (295 kW) Liberty 12 from America, as was the DH.9A. Following successful evaluation, large orders were placed, with a total of 1,291 ordered.
First deliveries of DH.10s went to No. 104 Squadron RAF in November 1918, flying a single bombing mission on 10 November 1918 before the Armistice ended the First World War. Postwar, DH.10s equipped 120 Squadron, which used them to operate an air mail service to the British Army of Occupation on the Rhine. Amiens were also used by 97 Squadron (later renumbered 60 Squadron) which deployed to India . It provided support to the Army on the North-West Frontier, being used for bombing operations in the Third Anglo-Afghan war. DH.10s were also used by 216 Squadron in Egypt, where they provided an air mail service between Cairo and Baghdad, starting on 23 June 1921.
Daimler were producing 80 a month by the end of 1918. They were part of the BSA group which purchased Airco after the war and began a charter and scheduled service known as Daimler Air Hire and Daimler Airway.
Apart from the Aircraft Manufacturing Companies order for 420 aircraft the following companies had sub-contracts to build the DH.10, although due to the end of the war not all were built:
Data from The British Bomber since 1914