de Havilland Gipsy Moth

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de Havilland Gipsy Moth

de Havilland Gipsy Moth History
de Havilland made a range of light aircraft all called Moths, and the de Havilland dh-60, designed by Geoffrey de Havilland, was powered by the Gipsy engine and is therefore known as the "Gipsy Moth". The name Moth reflected the aircraft's wings which could be folded backwards towards the fuselage, like the wings of a moth, for ease of storage. Like most light aircraft of the 1920's era, the de Havilland dh-60 Gipsy Moth was a wood and fabric biplane with twin tandem cockpits.

de Havilland Gipsy Moth Club Use
The prototype de Havilland dh-60 Gipsy Moth first flew in early 1925 and, unlike the late production aircraft, was powered by a Cirrus engine. The British Government decided that supporting flying clubs was a cheap way of ensuring there would be a good number of qualified pilots available should another war ever occur. With this in mind in 1925 they created five "Royal Aero Club" flying schools and equipped them with de Havilland Gipsy Moths at a unit cost of approximately 550 per aircraft.

de Havilland Gipsy Moth RAF Service
Although de Havilland tried to sell the Gipsy Moth to the RAF as a military trainer, the RAF thought there were several problems with the design when used near it's flying limits, which they expected their trainee combat pilots to reach, consequently they only purchased 120 de-Havilland Gipsy Moth biplane trainer aircraft.

The RAF thought that if the Gipsy Moth was handled very aggressively it would be too easy for the student to enter a spin, and it was quite possible the student would lack the necessary skill to recover control. The trainer sitting in the rear seat would have the option of bailing out, however the upper wing was directly over the trainees head, so trying to get out of this confined space while wearing a parachute in an emergency would be an unacceptable risk. Should the unfortunate trainee stay with the de Havilland Gipsy Moth until crash landing, the position of the petrol tank, and it's fuel line location, would make fire a probable occurrence.

de Havilland eventually made major modifications to the Moth's design to vastly reduce these potential problems, and in so doing created the definitive Moth, the famous de Havilland Tiger Moth.

Various scale models, model kits and plans of the de Havilland Gipsy Moth have been available in the market place.

de Havilland Gipsy Moth Specifications:

de Havilland Gipsy Moth Crew:
Pilot and passenger / student
de Havilland Gipsy Moth Height:
8ft 9.5in (2.68 m)
de Havilland Gipsy Moth Length:
23 ft 11 in (7.29 m)
de Havilland Gipsy Moth Wingspan:
30 ft 0 in (9.14 m)
de Havilland Gipsy Moth Empty weight:
920 lb (417 kg)
de Havilland Gipsy Moth Loaded weight:
1,650 lb (750 kg)
de Havilland Gipsy Moth Engine:
Single 100 hp (75 kW) de Havilland Gipsy I, 4 cylinder, upright, in-line piston engine
de Havilland Gipsy Moth Maximum speed:
102 mph (164 km/h)
de Havilland Gipsy Moth Range:
320 mi (515 km)
de Havilland Gipsy Moth Service ceiling:
14,500 ft (4,420 m)
de Havilland Gipsy Moth Rate of climb:
500 ft/min (2.5 m/s)
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Modified 2018