DH80 Puss Moth

Two or three seater, long-range private touring aircraft.
De Havilland DH80 Puss Moth - G-AAZP De Havilland DH80 Puss Moth (G-AAZP)
 
The De Havilland Aircraft Company DH80 Puss Moth was a high-wing, two-seat light aircraft designed specifically for the private operator. It offered a long range combined with exceptional cabin comfort. The seating arrangement allowed the carriage of a second passenger if and when desired.  
 
The wings could be folded back to reduce hangar space, a common feature of a number of light aircraft of the era and of exceptional appeal to the 'weekend flyer'. The DH80 Puss Moth was immediately successful, achieving sales to wealthy pilots worldwide. The prototype (E-1 / G-AA
HZ) flew at Stag Lane for the first time on 9th September 1929. This 'one-off' test aircraft had a flat-sided wooden fuselage whilst the production aircraft (DH80A) would be a fabric-covered, steel tube fuselage construction for improved rigidity and strength.
 
De Havilland DH80 Puss Moth - G-ABLS DH80 Puss Moth (G-ABLS) at Woburn Rally
 
In the 1930s, the DH80A Puss Moth became a preferred mount for many long-distance record-breaking pilots with the type being flown by famous names such as HJ ‘Bert’ Hinkler and C.J. Melrose (the Master of Semphill).
 
During July 1931, Amy Johnson used 'Jason II' to fly from Lympne to Tokyo in 8 days 22 hours 35 minutes, whilst in 1932, her husband Jim Mollison flew from Lympne to Cape Town in 4 days 17 hours 19 minutes.
 
Mollison's second Puss Moth (G-ABXY) named 'The Heart's Content' had a 727-litre fuel tank installed in the front of the cabin and additional windows in the rear. With an astonishing range of 5,794km enabled him to make the first solo east-west North Atlantic crossing. Departing Portmarnock Strand, Ireland on 18th August 1932 he arrived at Penfield Ridge, New Brunswick some 31 hours 20 minutes later. On 6th February 1933, Mollison also took off from Lympne, heading to Natal, Brazil, and becoming the first man to make a solo crossing of the South Atlantic.
 
'The Hearts Content' DH80 Puss Moth (G-ABXY) 'The Hearts Content' with Jim & Amy Mollison
 
In addition to the exploits of Jim and Amy Mollison (Amy Johnson) in the DH80A Moth, many other notable flights ranged from London across the Atlantic and to and from South Africa, India, Japan and Brazil.
 
A number of early production aircraft were lost in flying accidents however, the cause being ultimately traced to wing flutter. To resolve this, the fleet were modified with an additional bracing strut running from the front wing strut to the wing rear attachment point, whilst a larger rudder was also fitted.
 
In addition to the prototype, a total of 259 aircraft were manufactured at Stag Lane with a further 25 being constructed by de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd

 

Specification


Powerplant
One 120 hp Gipsy III, or 130hp De Havilland Gipsy Major 1
Span
36 ft 9in
Maximum Weight
2,050 lb
Capacity
Pilot and two passengers
Maximum Speed
128 mph
Normal Cruising Speed
108 mph
Range
300 miles

 

Number built


DH80                              284                                                                                                  

 

Survivors


 To be completed 
                                                                         
 

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