The de Havilland DH 108 “Swallow”.

by Daniel Russ on December 2, 2011


de Havilland DH 108 Experimental Plane

The de Havilland DH 108 was a British tailless swept wing experimental plane developed during World War II. John Carver Meadows Frost developed this prototype that looked remarkably like the German Me-163 Comet rocket powered interceptor. It had anti spin parachutes in the wings and leading edge slots that would help fight slow speed stalling. Three prototypes all crashed and all killed the test pilots. This technology was used as test bed aeronautics for swept wing flight characteristics. That said, this technology reappeared in the de Havilland vampires series aircraft.


de Havilland DH 108 Experimental Plane

The DH 108 swept wing data helped de Havilland build the Comet, a sleek swept wing aircraft that was almost a predecessor to the Boeing 700 series airliners. The DH 108 was the very first British aircraft to exceed the speed of sound, powered by a Goblin TurboJet. From Frank Whittle’s first jet engine the British had various versions of jet pre jet engines in production and testing. The Gloster E.28/39 was powered by turbojets four years earlier.


The DH 108 resembles the Northrop X-4 Bantam.


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