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  • de Havilland DH.94 Moth Minor


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    The de Havilland DH.94 Moth Minor was a 1930s British two-seat tourer/trainer aircraft built by de Havilland at Hatfield Aerodrome, England, and by de Havilland Australia at Bankstown Aerodrome, Australia.

    General Information

    The Moth Minor was designed as a low-wing monoplane to replace the biplane Moth series, and was intended to give similar performance with less power, and without the need for rigging of the biplane's tensioners and struts. 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. Production started and nearly 100 examples had been built by the outbreak of the Second World War. With a selling price of only £575 the Moth Minor was popular with flying clubs keen to acquire modern monoplanes. The Moth Minor was fitted with a speed brake which could be etened below the fuselage. 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 shipped to the de Havilland factory at Bankstown, Sydney. As a result, 42 Moth Minors were constructed in Australia, all of which ended up serving with the RAAF due to high demand for training aircraft. Taken on charge between January 1940 and November 1942, the aircraft were found to not be satisfactory for RAAF training because they were not fitted with brakes in both cockpits, but flew in various Empire Air Training Schools until replaced by locally-built Tiger Moths. At the end of World War II, the aircraft were sold off to private owners and aero clubs.


    Civil aircraft operated in the United Kingdom were commandeered for use by the Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm, and 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 commandeered by the Royal Australian Air Force. Moth Minors also served with the RNZAF.


    The aircraft featured in the photograph above spent many years suspended from the ceiling if an auto museum on the Gold Coast before being restored to flying conditiion and  now enjoys a new lease on life as one of the oldest airworthy ex-RAAF aircraft in Australia.  It is located at the Benalla Aviation Museum and is displaye at airshows.


    DH.94 Moth Minor
    : Two-seat touring and training aircraft.
    Moth Minor Coupe : Two-seat touring and training aircraft, with a built-up rear fuselage and hinged cabin top.




    Moth Minor Speed Brake




    Moth Minor Coupe




    24 ft 5 in (7.44 m)
    36 ft 7 in (11.15 m)
    6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
    Wing Area:
    162 sq ft (15.1 sq m)
    Wing Loading:
    9.57 lb/sq ft (46.7 kg/sq m)
    Empty Weight:
    983 lb (446 kg)
    1,550 lb (703 kg)
    1 × de Havilland Gipsy Minor 4-cylinder inverted air-cooled in-line piston engine, 90 hp (67 kW)
    Maximum speed: 118 mph (190 km/h, 103 kn)
    Cruise Speed:
    100 mph (160 km/h, 87 kn)
    300 mi (480 km, 260 nmi)
    Rate of Climb:
    620 ft/min (3.1 m/s)
    Service Ceiling:
    16,500 ft (5,000 m)
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