Airco DH.2

You’ve got to hand it to Geoffrey de Havilland. Faced with the tricky issue of wanting to have a machine gun at the front of his new fighter (after all, if you’re chasing someone, they tend to be in front of you) he wisely realised that positioning a machine gun there would cause the propeller to be blown to smithereens. Other solutions, of a kind, had been worked out previously including having the gunner stand up in the cockpit so as to aim over the propeller, but de Havilland was having none of that.

Instead he moved the propeller behind the pilot. Henceforth, this odd looking aircraft type was known as a ‘pusher’ with the propeller effectively pushing the main wing and pilot (and machine gun too, as that was the whole point of the thing) through the air. And if that all sounds a bit silly to you, then you’ll be chastened to learn that de Havilland’s DH-2 was one mighty little fighter. They were fast, they rose quickly into the air and they were highly manoeuvrable.

All that said, in the Battle for the Ark, they couldn’t possibly have contributed that much. A Lewis machine-gun might make mince-meat of a herd of badgers, but against a floating juggernaut like the Ark, well, I can’t imagine too many Venger Knights were quaking in their armour. And only the luckiest of shots would have had a chance at hitting one of those dragons.



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