Royal Museum of the Armed Forces and of Military History
Brussels
Hanriot HD.1 (HD-78). The Hanriot-Dupont HD.1 was designed by Pierre Dupont and built at the Hanriot factory at Billancourt in France in 1916. At least 79 HD.1's were delivered to Belgium from 1917 (serials HD-1 to HD-79). The example on display (HD-78) is the actual aircraft flown by Belgian's highest scoring fighter pilot, Baron Willy Coppens de Houthulst during World War I, when with 9 Squadron (9me Escadrille). The Baron, who trained to fly at Hendon, England in 1914, is credited with 37 victories 34 of which were observation balloons. In the course of claiming his 37th victory in October 1918and another balloon, he was hit in the leg and crashed. Unfortunately his leg had to be amputated, it was just a month before the war ended. After the war he served military attaché to France and was the first person to congratulate Charles Lindberg after his historic flight. He was also military attaché to Britain, Italy and Switzerland before retiring in 1940. He died in 1986 at the grand old age of 94.