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Prior to the development of a successful gun interuptor mechanism British aircraft designers had to rely on the trusted Gunbus formula where the aircraft was powered by a pusher propellor to allow the forward firing gun a clear field of fire. In 1915 Geoffrey De Haviland redesigned his previous two seat DH1 as a smaller, much more nimble single seater. In doing so he produced the first British warplane where its sole purpose was aerial combat. The first prototype was flown by Geoffrey De Haviland in July 1915 although the type did not enter service with 24 squadron commanded by Major Lanoe Hawker VC until February 1916. The DH2 was reasonably succesful at first but was rapidly outclassed by the new breed of tractor biplanes equipped with a gun interruptor gear. The DH2 had more or less disappeared from the front line by early 1917.