De Havilland Puss Moth

De Havilland Puss Moth

Infobox Aircraft
name = DH.80 Puss Moth
type = Light utility aircraft
manufacturer = de Havilland

caption = de Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth G-ABLS first registered in 1931
designer =
first flight = 9 September 1929
introduced = March 1930
retired =
status =
primary user =
more users =
produced = 1929-1933
number built = 284
unit cost =
variants with their own articles =

The de Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth is a three seater high-wing monoplane aeroplane designed and built by the de Havilland Aircraft Company between 1929 and 1933. It flew at a speed approaching 200 km/h (100 kts), making it one of the highest-performance private aircraft of its era.

Design History

The unnamed DH.80 prototype which first flew in September 1929 was designed for the flourishing private flying movement in the United Kingdom. It was a streamlined all-wooden aircraft fitted with the new de Havilland Gipsy III inverted inline engine that gave unimpeded vision across the nose without the protruding cylinder heads of the earlier Gipsy II engine.

After the prototype was tested, the aircraft was redesigned with a fabric-covered steel-tube fuselage and as such redesignated the DH.80A Puss Moth. The first production aircraft flew in March 1930 and was promptly sent on a sales tour of Australia and New Zealand. Orders came quickly and in the three years of production ending in March 1933, 259 were manufactured in England. An additional twenty-five aircraft were built by de Havilland Canada. Most were fitted with the 130 hp Gipsy Major engine that gave slightly better performance.

Most DH.80As were used as private aircraft, though many also flew commercially for both passenger and mail carrying. Seating was normally two although in commercial use two passengers could be carried in slightly staggered seats allowing the rear passenger's legs to lie beside the forward passenger seat.

It was replaced on the production line by the DH.85 Leopard Moth that, with a plywood fuselage, was both cheaper to build and, being lighter, had better performance on the same rather modest 130 horse-power Gipsy Major engine.

Surviving British civilian aircraft were impressed into service during World War II to act as communication aircraft. A small number survive into the early 21st century.

Record Breaking Flights

DH.80s were used for a number of record breaking flights during the early 1930s. Early in 1931 Nevill Vintcent made the first flight from England to Ceylon in G-AAXJ. In July-August 1931 Amy Johnson made an eight-day solo flight to Tokyo in G-AAZI "Jason II". Late in 1931, the Australian Bert Hinkler piloted a Canadian-built CF-APK on a series of important flights including New York-Jamaica, Jamaica to Venezuela, and a 22-hour west-east crossing of the South Atlantic, only the second solo transatlantic crossing. Most famous of the record breaking Puss Moths was Jim Mollison's G-ABXY "The Heart's Content" which included the first solo east-west Atlantic crossing in August 1932 and the first east-west crossing of the South Atlantic from Lympne to Natal, Brazil in February 1933. His wife Amy Johnson made record flights between England and Cape Town using G-ACAB "Desert Cloud" in 1932.It was also used in a number of world war 2 battles, including D-day

Technical Faults

Early in its career the DH.80A was plagued by a series of fatal crashes, the most famous being to Australian aviator Bert Hinkler while crossing the Alps in CF-APK on 7 January 1933. The cause was eventually pinned down to "flutter" caused by turbulence leading to wing failure - this could be corrected by adding a small strut to the rear wing root fitting. One aircraft took part in the Challenge 1934 European tourist plane contest, but dropped out due to an engine fault on one of last stages.


* de Havilland DH.80 : Prototype, 120 h.p. Gipsy III engine.
* de Havilland DH.80A Puss Moth : Two or three seat light aircraft, mostly with 130 h.p. Gipsy Major engine.


*Royal New Zealand Air Force
**No. 42 Squadron RNZAF;flag|Spain|1931
*Spanish Republican Air Force;flagicon|Spain|1939 Spanish State
*Spanish Air Force;UK
*Royal Air Force
**No. 510 Squadron RAF

pecifications (DH.80)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop
crew=one, pilot
capacity=1 or 2 passengers
payload main=
payload alt=
length main= 25 ft 0 in
length alt= 7.6 m
span main= 36 ft 9 in
span alt= 11.2 m
height main= 7 ft 0 in
height alt= 2.1 m
area main= 222 ft²
area alt= 20.6 m²
empty weight main= 1,265 lb
empty weight alt= 575 kg
loaded weight main= 2,050 lb
loaded weight alt= 932 kg
useful load main=
useful load alt=
max takeoff weight main=
max takeoff weight alt=
more general=
engine (prop)= de Havilland Gipsy III
type of prop=4 cylinder aircooled straight engine
number of props=1
power main= 120 hp
power alt= 97 kW
power original=
max speed main= 128 mph
max speed alt= 196 km/h
cruise speed main=
cruise speed alt=
stall speed main=
stall speed alt=
never exceed speed main=
never exceed speed alt=
range main= 300 miles
range alt= 483 km
ceiling main= 17,500 ft
ceiling alt= 3,335 m
climb rate main= 630 ft/min
climb rate alt= 192 m/min
loading main=
loading alt=
power/mass main=
power/mass alt=
more performance=

ee also

*DH.85 Leopard Moth

similar aircraft=
*Comte AC-12


see also=


*cite book| author=A. J. Jackson| title=British Civil Aircraft 1919-1972: Volume II| edition=1988| publisher=Putnam (Conway Maritime Press)| location=London| year 1988|

External links

* [ The de Havilland Moth Club]

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