DE HAVILLAND DH-60G GIPSY MOTH VH-ULJ
Single engine civil and military trainer
History of VH-ULJ
First registered in 1929, the aircraft went to Holden’s Air Transport Services Ltd in 1933 and was flown to PNG. Based initially at Salamaua, it was purchased by Guinea Airways Ltd in November 1937 and based at Lae. It operated until September 1941.
The aircraft is reported to have flown to Parafield, SA, in February 1942 via Daru, Horn Island and Townsville. It was then sold to the SA Education Department for instructional purposes. Its total flying time was 4,300 hours.
It was put on display in the SA Museum of Applied Science, North Terrace, Adelaide, from November 1942 until 1961 when it went into storage. In 1965 it was transported to the Birdwood Mill Museum. The DH-60 came to the Museum on 1 June 1991.
VH-ULJ is noteworthy for its wooden frame fuselage, as well as its interesting PNG experiences.
History of Type
The prototype De Havilland DH-60 G-EBKT first flew on 22 February 1925 at Stag Lane, UK, piloted by Geoffrey de Havilland (later Sir Geoffrey). Its simple lines and outstanding performance on low power set an instantly popular fashion in light aircraft configuration, which lasted for several decades.
This two-seat basic trainer was an instant success around the world with the first of the type being imported into Australia in 1926. They were initially used by Aero Clubs and the RAAF. The latter used them until replaced by the DH-82 Tiger Moth. The DH-60 type was also used by charter operators, for news reporting, aero medical services, mineral exploration, by private owners, and for aerial photography (most notably by Adelaide photographer D Darian Smith).
One wing of the Gipsy Moth has been uncovered so visitors can see the wooden construction close up.
The Gipsy Moth’s engine has sections cut away showing visitors some of the inner workings.
Engine: De Havilland Gipsy I of 100 hp
Maximum take-off weight: 750 kg
Length: 7.20 m
Wing span: 9.09 m
Height: 2.70 m
Cruising speed: 75 kt (142 kph)
Range: 533 km (295 nm)
Capacity: 1 pilot and 1 passenger