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 De Havilland Aircraft Company DH94 was designed to replace the traditional biplane configuration of the Moth series but with no loss of performance from its reduced power.
 

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

 

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 wings 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.

 

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 a hinged canopy enclosed cockpit 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.  100 aircraft were scheduled for production before the outbreak of the Second World War, selling at just £575 each which proved very popular with the Flying Clubs.

 

Following the outbreak of hostilities however, production at Hatfield was abandoned after just 73 aircraft had been completed and the manufacturing drawings, tools and fixtures were passed to the De Havilland Factory at Bankstown near Sydney, Australia where at least another 40 aircraft were completed.

 

Civil aircraft were operated in the UK after being commandeered by the RAF and the Fleet Air Arm with one Moth Minor joining the United States Army Air Corps. Some UK built aircraft were also commandeered by the Australian Air Force for the duration although a number were destroyed by inexperienced pilots, generally during rough landings.

 

Specification


Powerplant One 90hp De Havilland Gipsy Minor 1                                       
Span 36ft 7in
Maximum Weight 1,550 lb
Capacity Two occupants
Maximum Speed 118 mph
Normal Cruising Speed 100 mph
Range 300 miles

 

Numbers Built

Total 113 40 of these built in Australia                                                            

 

Survivors


G-AFPN                  Sole flying example in UK (Welshpool?)
VH-AIB, VH-CZB Airworthy in private ownership in Australia
G-AFOJ
(Moth Minor Coupe)
De Havilland Museum. London Colney www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk
 

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