Gipsy Moth


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).


gypsy2      gypsy3

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.


Technical Specifications

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