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.
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.
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.
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.
|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|
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|
(G-ACEJ, G-AOJH and
G-CIPJ / ZK-AGM)
|6 registered as active in February 2017|
|Reported active in 2010|
(VH-UJJ / ex-G-ACCB)
|Reported active in 2009|
(C-FYPM / ex-ZK-AEK)
|Reported active in 2008|