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De Havilland
DH94 Moth Minor

A low-powered monoplane for the private owner whose production was curtailed by the outbreak of the Second World War.
De Havilland DH94 Moth Minor E.8 demonstrates hands-off stability. De Havilland DH94 Moth Minor E.8 demonstrates hands-off stability.

 

The DH93 Moth Minor was the final development of the Moth family of low-cost, private owner aircraft which started in 1934 with the DH Moth.  The DH93 was a two-seat low-wing monoplane built in both the UK and at the De Havilland Australia facility at Bankstown.

 

The prototype DH94 Puss Moth (E-4/G-AFRD) flew for the first time at Hatfield on 22nd June 1937 powered by a 90hp Gipsy Minor engine with two occupants sat in tandem open cockpits although the initial test flight was conducted solo by Geoffery de Havilland.

 

The aircraft had a conventional plywood and spruce fuselage, but the high aspect ratio wing was skinned with plywood, like the earlier Comet Racer and Albatross. The wing could be folded from a point outside each undercarriage leg to minimise hangar space requirements.

 

Folding the wings of a Moth Minor Publicity photograph to show the ease of folding the wings of a DH94 Moth Minor.

 

Production started almost immediately with 100 examples being built by the start of World War II and with a sales price of just £575 it was popular with Flying Clubs who were keen to adopt monoplane designs.

 

The clean lines of the DH94 Moth Minor are shown in this photograph of South African demonstrator ZS-ARE The clean lines of the DH94 Moth Minor are shown in this photograph of South African demonstrator ZS-ARE.

 

Due to its clean lines, the aircraft was fitted with a perforated airbrake installed between the undercarriage legs. Nine aircraft were also fitted with an enclosed cockpit canopy and were known as the Moth Minor Coupé.

 

De Havilland DH94 Moth Minor Coupe G-AFNG at Wroughton De Havilland DH94 Moth Minor Coupe G-AFNG at Wroughton.

 

Development of the type was somewhat protracted whilst satisfactory spinning characteristics were achieved and this may have contributed to a relatively slow start to production deliveries.

 

As World War II progressed, production at Hatfield was committed to the war effort and so UK manufacturing was abandoned after 73 aircraft had been completed.  The manufacturing drawings, tools and fixtures were all transferred to De Havilland Australia who produced at least another 40 aircraft.

 

Civil aircraft were commandeered into the Royal Air Force although one aircraft joined the US Armey Air Corps.  Those not required for service were shipped to Australia for use by the Royal Australian Air Force.

 

After the end of hostilities, a number of aircraft returned to private ownership.

 

Specification

  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

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                     
(G-ACEJ, G-AOJH and
G-CIPJ / ZK-AGM)
6 registered as active in February 2017
New Zealand
(ZK-ADI, ZK-APT)
Reported active in 2010
Australia
(VH-UJJ / ex-G-ACCB)
Reported active in 2009
Canada
(C-FYPM / ex-ZK-AEK)
Reported active in 2008
 

More Information