Donnet-Denhaut flying boat

The Donnet-Denhaut flying boat was a maritime patrol and anti-submarine warfare aircraft produced in France during the First World War. Known at the time simply as "Donnet-Denhaut" or "DD" flying boats, the DD-2, DD-8, DD-9, and DD-10 designations were applied retrospectively to denote the various changes in configuration made during their service life.

Donnet-Denhaut flying boat
Class Aircraft
Type Utility
Manufacturer Donnet
Origin France
Country Name Origin Year
France 1915
Country Name Operational Year Retirement Year
France View
Portugal View
United States of America View
ManufacturerName Production From Production To Quantity
Donnet 1085 View

Developed in response to a French Navy requirement, these were biplane flying boats of conventional configuration with two-bay unstaggered wings and a rotary engine mounted pusher-fashion on struts in the interplane gap. The French Navy ordered some 90 aircraft in this original configuration (later dubbed DD-2), and in 1917, requested Donnet-Denhaut to redesign the aircraft to take advantage of the new Hispano-Suiza 8 engine. So equipped, the Navy ordered another 365 machines. In order to take full advantage of the more powerful engine, Donnet-Denhaut increased the wingspan by adding a third bay to the wing cellule and used the extra lift to incorporate a place for a second gunner, bringing the total crew to three. This version (later, the DD-8) became the most produced, with perhaps 500 aircraft built. The DD-8 was also known as the Donnet-Denhaut 300-hp.

Further developments added a second machine gun to each gunner's station (the DD-9) and twin engines mounted in a push-pull configuration (the DD-10). Following the war, a few military surplus DDs were remanufactured as the Donnet HB.3 and operated commercially for a time.

Apart from French Navy service, DD flying boats were operated by the United States Navy in Europe, flying from Île-Tudy and Dunkirk to protect convoys from submarines. Some 50 aircraft of this type were purchased, and the first attack (against U-108; unsuccessful) took place on 23 April 1918. 

Role Patrol flying boat
Manufacturer Donnet-Denhaut
First flight 1915
Primary users French Navy
United States Navy, Portuguese Navy
Number built ca. 1,085

General characteristics

  • Crew: Three
  • Length: 10.75 m (35 ft 5 in)
  • Wingspan: 16.80 m (55 ft 1 in)
  • Height: 3.00 m (9 ft 10 in)
  • Wing area: 53.0 m2 (570 ft2)
  • Empty weight: 950 kg (2,100 lb)
  • Gross weight: 1,800 kg (3,970 lb)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Hispano-Suiza 8b, 149 kW (200 hp)


  • Maximum speed: 130 km/h (80 mph)
  • Endurance: 4 hours
  • Rate of climb: 2.5 m/s (500 ft/min)


  • 2 × .303 trainable Lewis guns in open cockpits at bow
  • 2 × 35 kg (70 lb) bombs

End notes