de Havilland DH60 Gipsy Moth VH-UKV
The de Havilland Moth series of light aircraft designed by Geoffrey de Havilland brought aviation to ordinary people. The DH60 Gipsy Moth was first of these affordable light aircraft that first flew on February 22 1925 and became the catalyst for the formation of the Aero Club movement in Britain and elsewhere around the world.
A biplane of wooden construction and fabric covered, powered by a four cylinder upright inline de Havilland Gipsy 1 engine featured two tandem cockpits for the occupants. The wings were not staggered but foldable for storage and transport, and the patented de Havilland differential aileron system was fitted to reduce adverse yaw in a turn. Some 740 examples of the machine were produced in twelve variants.
The Gipsy Moth was the aircraft of choice used by many of the record breaking aviators of the 1920s and '30s including Amy Johnson, Jean Batten, Jim Mollison, Francis Chichester, Alan Cobham and others.
The Museum’s Gipsy Moth was built in 1929 and imported into Australia by de Havilland (Australia) in Melbourne and entered into the Register of Aircraft as VH-UKV.
VH-UKV had several owners including Nancy Lyle of Victoria who purchased it in April 1931 and christened it "Diana". She was only the second Victorian woman to hold a pilot licence, and being the first woman to fly solo from Melbourne to Adelaide and later Melbourne to Tasmania. Barbara Hitchens of New South Wales purchased the aircraft in October 1937and christened it "Felicity" and among other things flew the aircraft to New Guinea in 1938, and in October 1939 the Broken Hill Aero Club purchased and operated it until it was impressed into the RAAF in 1940 as Gipsy Moth A7-79 and serving at No1 Elementary Flying Training School at Pt Cook until the end of 1944, coming off RAAF charge and later put up for disposal.
Restored and re-registered VH-UKV in 1954, and following two changes of ownership was struck off the Register of Aircraft and donated to the Museum in 1965 as the first complete aircraft in the collection, where it is on display as "Diana".
Crew : 1 pilot + 1 passenger.
Power plant : 1 x 100hp de Havilland Gipsy 1, four cylinder upright inline engine.
Length : 23'11'' (7.29m) Wingspan : 30'00'' (9.14m) Height : 8'10'' (2.68m)
Weights : empty - 920lbs (417kg) maximum - 1,650lbs (748kg)
Speeds : maximum - 89kt (107mph) (170km/hr) cruise - 74kt (89mph) (144km/hr)
Range : 320 miles (510km)