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De Havilland Moth Minor

De Havilland Moth Minor

The Moth Minor was designed as a low-wing monoplane to replace the biplane Moth series, intended to give similar performance on lower power, and not requiring rigging. Its predecessor was the DH.81 Swallow Moth monoplane of 1931, of which only one was built. The wooden prototype of the DH.94 was first flown by Geoffrey de Havilland on 22 June 1937 at Hatfield Aerodrome.[1] Production started and nearly 100 examples had been built by the outbreak of World War II. With a selling price of only £575[1] the Moth Minor was popular with flying clubs keen to acquire modern monoplanes. Nine aircraft were specially-built with hinged coupe tops instead of the normally open cockpit.

As the factory at Hatfield was needed for the war effort the drawings, jigs, components and unfinished aircraft were delivered to the de Havilland factory at Bankstown, Sydney. More than 40 aircraft were produced in Australia.[1]

Civil aircraft operated in the United Kingdom were impressed into wartime service with the Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm, one example was used by the United States Army Air Corps. A large number of civil aircraft from the UK were sent to Australia, where they and a handful of locally-built Australian civil aircraft were impressed into the Royal Australian Air Force.[2]

After World War II, several Moth Minors have continued to fly with private owners in the United Kingdom.