The aircraft was developed for Hanriot company by Pierre Dupont in summer, 1916.
The plane was constructed as a classical biplane made mostly of wood; the rudder frame and the nose part were metal. It had two-spar wings, the upper one with a small V-angle, the lower one was straight. There were 3 fuel tanks in the fuselage: two behind the engine and one more behind the pilot's back. The plane was driven by a rotary engine Le Rhone 9J and carried one synchronized 7.7mm Vickers Mk.I machine gun.
Initially HD.1 was supposed to replace the older Nieuport 11 and 17. But new Spad 7 had been already deployed on the front lines, it received a good recognition among the pilots for its in-line engine while the Le Rhone engine was still used by squadrons on Nieuports. SO, the French Air Force command (Aviation Militaire) found it unprofitable to switch to HDs and cancelled acquisition. Initially HD.1 was supposed to replace the older Newports 11 and 17. But new Spad 7 had been already deployed on the front lines , it received a good recognition among the pilots for its in-line engine while the Le-Ron engine was still used by squads on Newports. SO, the French Air Force command (Aviation Militaire) found it unprofitable to switch to HDs and cancelled acquisition.
However, the Entente allies found this plane attractive - it was more firm, maneuverable and it was slightly better than the Nieuport in general.
The Italian Air Force (Aviazione Militaire) were the first to order this plane. Societa Nieuport-Macchi started manufacturing HDs in November 1916, and in summer 1917 first Hanriots were delivered to the front lines. In total the Italians had 831 Hanriots by the end of the war.
Aeronautique Militaire Belge (Belgian Air Force) were second to purchase these new planes, and the French Hanriot manufacturer built 125 aircraft. Belgian squadrons started flying HD1s on August 22nd, 1917, and they used them successfully, the Belgian aces particularly, such as Coppens, de Meulemeester and Olieslagers.
The French army never used Hanriot HD.1 however Aviation Maritime (French Navy) put HD.2 to good use by modifying them with floats, larger tail fin and Clerget 9B engine, and used it as a hydro-plane. Some HD.2 were additionally equipped with a second machine gun.
In total, 125 Hanriot HD.1 were built in France by Hanriot company, and 831 more were constructed in Italy by Macchi.