Soviet-built analog of the DH-4/
DH-9 biplane bomber.
The DH-4 was fast, versatile and well-armed. DH-4 production in Russia on Dux factory was about to start in October
1917. Guess if it did or not? Manufacturing was frozen due to absence of the
engines, but preparations did not stop. N.N.Polikarpov was steadily working on
blueprints for assembly lines. During the Civil War some latest DH-9 and DH-9a were captured, and modifications were included
into the project.
When Bolshevik government decided to gain airpower, one of the simplest solutions was to re-start old projects. Intermediate
DH-4, DH-9/R-1, DH-9/R-2 were built in
1921-1923, using parts imported
from the Great Britain. Gained experience and started production of the M-5/
Liberty engine allowed to create first Soviet mass production aircraft. First combat ready R-1
were built on the GAZ-1 factory under the supervision of
N.N.Polikarpov in 1923. They
were named "Imeni Izvestij VTsIK" and "Moskowskij Bolshevik". Mass production started same year at GAZ-10 (Taganrog).
First squad of 19 aircraft was designated 'Lenin' and presented to XIII Congress of the
RKP(b) on May 23-31 1924. One of the
Congress resolutions called to The Party and Workers organizations to intensify mass propaganda of
gaining air fleet power as a necessary reaction of growth of military and civil aviation in capitalist countries.
It is not correct to call the R-1 a copy of DH-4/9. It was build from all domestic materials, whole construction was
revised to utilize technologies available in war burnt Russia. It was heavier, carried more payload and had substantially
Group of R-1s performed flight Moscow-Peking-Tokyo
(M.M.Gromov as a leader), proving high quality and
reliability of the first Soviet series aircraft.
The R-1 became the first Russian aircraft to be exported - Afghanistan(!!!) purchased some 20 in
During 1924-1931 ~2800 were
"History of aircraft construction in the USSR" by
V.B.Shavrov, Vol.1 p.334-336;
Virtual Aircraft Museum
See more about DH-4...
at the USAF museum
de Havilland DH-4 at NASM