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De Havilland
DH83 Fox Moth

The Fox Moth could carry a pilot and four passengers on just the modest power of a Gipsy III or Gipsy Major. 

The second De Havilland DH83 Fox Moth G-ABUT modified for racing The second De Havilland DH83 Fox Moth G-ABUT modified for racing
 
The DH83 was another aircraft in the family of Moths created by Geoffery de Havilland in the mid-1920's and combined the flying pedigree with a certain amount of comfort.

 

Designed as a single engine biplane, the prototype DH83 Fox Moth (G-ABUO) flew for the first time in March 1932.  The Fox Moth had an open cockpit for its pilot, located well aft on the plywood covered fuselage. Ahead of the pilot and enclosed within the fuselage, there was a small cabin that could seat four passengers.
 
The passengers were provided with side windows and the pilot was provided with a circular glass ‘porthole’ in the instrument panel so that he could check on the well-being of the passengers. The Fox Moth made use of many Tiger Moth components (including wings, engine mounting and undercarriage).
 
Two De Havilland DH83 Fox Moths of Air Travel New Zealand Ltd Two De Havilland DH83 Fox Moths of Air Travel New Zealand Ltd
 
Despite its limited power, most Fox Moths were delivered to commercial operators including Scottish Motor Traction Ltd (a fleet of eight) and Scottish Air Ferries Ltd (with four).
 
The type played an important role in the formation of Scottish domestic air services and it was also popular for passenger pleasure flights both pre and post-war. G-ACEJ was used for many years to fly holiday makers from the expansive sands of Southport beach.

 

De Havilland DH83 Fox Moth G-ACEJ at Woburn Abbey in August 2014 De Havilland DH83 Fox Moth G-ACEJ landing at Woburn Abbey in August 2014
 
A total of 98 were built at Stag Lane, with a further 53 in Canada and two in Australia (for a grand total of 153 aircraft. Canadian examples (DH83C), which were built post-war, used the 145 hp Gipsy Major 1C and were usually fitted with an enclosed sliding cockpit for the pilot.
 
A particularly notable flight was made by John Grierson in 1934, flying a float-equipped Fox Moth (G-ACRX) to Ottawa via Iceland and Greenland and continuing from there to New York.
 
De Havilland DH83C Fox Moth G-AOJH at Wroughton De Havilland DH83C Fox Moth G-AOJH at Wroughton
 
A number of DH83's went into use with Qantas and the Australian Flying Doctor Service, replacing their ageing DH50's with others becoming reknowned as an excellent bush plane.

Specification

  Data for DH83 fitted with Gipsy Major 
Powerplant One 120 hp Gipsy III, or 130hp De Havilland Gipsy Major 1, or (DH83C) one 145 hp Gipsy Major 1C
Span 30 ft 10.5 in
Maximum Weight 2,070 lb
Capacity Pilot and four passengers
Maximum Speed 110 mph
Normal Cruising Speed 96 mph
Endurance 375 miles

Variants & Numbers Built

Total of 153 built, made up of:
DH83 98 built in UK, 2 in Australia and 2 in Canada
DH83C 53 built post-war in Canada with 145hp Gipsy Major IC

Survivors

UK 6 registered; G-ACEJ, G-AOJH and G-CIPJ (ZK-AGM) active in February 2017 - G-ACCB under restoration
New Zealand ZK-ADI, ZK-APT reported active in 2010 - ZK-AGM owned by Bruce Broady
Australia VH-UJJ (ex-G-ACEB) - VH-UVL owned and operated by Roy Fox
Canada C-FYPM (ex-ZK-AEK) reported active in 2008