During 1931, the De Havilland Aircraft Company took the Gipsy II engine and turned it upside down, allowing for a cleaner, lower engine position and installation. This engine model was named the De Havilland DH Gipsy III (rated at 120 hp) and it was fitted to the De Havilland DH60G Moth airframe to produce a new variant to be known as the DH60GIII Moth.
The prototype DH60GIII (G-ABUI) flew for the first time in March 1932.
An improved version of the engine, the DH Gipsy IIIA, was produced in large quantities as the 130 hp Gipsy Major which powered many types of light aircraft types from the DH Puss Moth to the DHC Chipmunk (with a DH Gipsy Major Mk10). Once powered by this engine, the type then became known as the Moth Major.
A total of 154 De Havilland DH60GIII Moth aircraft were built with either the DH Gipsy III or DH Gipsy Major engines and of these, more than half were exported world-wide. Of those built, 10 were for the RAF as De Havilland DH82 Queen Bee Target Drones.
57 of the 154 were DH Gipsy III Moths with the majority of the remainder (96) being built as De Havilland DH Moth Major at Stag Lane. The remaining example was built by the De Havilland Technical School.
Although not as famous for long distance flying as the DH Gipsy Moth, notable flights made by DH60GIII included Lisbon to Goa, Lympne to Darwin, Calcutta to Leeming (Yorkshire) and New Delhi to Ceylon and back.
Production ceased in May 1935.
Variants & Numbers
|DH60GIII||DH60 powered by 120 hp inverted Gipsy III engine|
|DH60GIII Moth Major||Powered by 130 hp Gipsy Major I engine|
|Total built 154||57 DH60GIII, 97 Moth Major (one built by DH Technical School)|
|DH60GIII Moth||DH60GIII Moth Major|
|Powerplant||120 hp Gipsy III||130 hp Gipsy Major 1|
|Maximum Weight||1,750 lb|
|Capacity||Pilot and passenger|
|Maximum Speed||109 mph||113 mph|
|Cruising Speed||92 mph||96 mph|
|Range||320 miles||300 miles|
|Active||In September 2017, six DH60GIII Moth Major were listed on the UK register|
|On display||EE.1 Moth Major in the Spanish Air Force Museum at Cuatro Vientos, Madrid|