de Havilland Leopard Moth
|DH.85 Leopard Moth|
|Leopard Moth exported to Australia in 1935, exhibited airworthy at the Drage Air World Museum at Wangaratta Airport Victoria in 1988|
|Role||Three-seat cabin monoplane|
|First flight||27 May 1933|
|Introduction||8 July 1933|
|Primary users||United Kingdom private pilots
The de Havilland DH.85 Leopard Moth is a three-seat high-wing cabin monoplane designed and built by the de Havilland Aircraft Company in 1933.
Design and construction
It was a successor to the DH.80 Puss Moth and replaced it on the company's Stag Lane and later Hatfield production lines. It was similar in configuration to the earlier aircraft, but instead of a fuselage with tubular steel framework, a lighter all-plywood structure was used which allowed a substantial improvement in range, performance and capacity on the same type of engine. The pilot is seated centrally in front of two side-by-side passengers and the wings can be folded for hangarage.
The prototype first flew on 27 May 1933 and in July won the King's Cup Race at an average speed of 139.5 mph (224.5 km/h), piloted by Geoffrey de Havilland. A total of 133 aircraft were built, including 71 for owners in the British Isles, and 10 for Australia. Other examples were exported to France, Germany, India, South Africa and Switzerland. Production of the Leopard Moth ended in 1936.
44 Leopard Moths were impressed into military service in Britain and others in Australia during World War II, mostly as communications aircraft. Only a few managed to survive six years of hard usage although a small number were still airworthy seventy years after the last was completed. Six remained operational in the U.K. in 2009.
- Force Publique - Aviation militaire de la Force publique. First aircraft (C-1) entered service 9 October 1940.
- Dutch Army Aviation Group
- Southern Rhodesian Air Force - One aircraft only.
- Royal Air Force - a number of former civil aircraft impressed into service as communications and liaison aircraft during the Second World War.
- Royal Navy - at least one former civil aircraft impressed into service.
- Royal Yugoslav Air Force - One aircraft only.
Data from De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 
- Crew: 1, pilot
- Capacity: 2 passengers
- Length: 24 ft 6 in (7.47 m)
- Wingspan: 37 ft 6 in (11.43 m)
- Height: 8 ft 9 in (2.67 m)
- Wing area: 206 ft2 (19.1 m2)
- Empty weight: 1,290 lb (586 kg)
- Loaded weight: 2,225 lb (1,011 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × de Havilland Gipsy Major 4-cylinder air-cooled inverted straight engine, 130 hp (97 kW)
- Maximum speed: 137 mph (119 knots, 221 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 119 mph (103 knots, 192 km/h)
- Range: 715 mi (622 nmi, 1,151 km)
- Service ceiling: 21,500 ft (6,560 m)
- Rate of climb: 550 ft/min (2.8 m/s)
- Related development
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to De Havilland Leopard Moth.|
- Luc Baudoux, Les Avions de la Force Publique du Congo, accessed October 2011
- Ketley, Barry, and Rolfe, Mark. Luftwaffe Fledglings 1935–1945: Luftwaffe Training Units and their Aircraft (Aldershot, GB: Hikoki Publications, 1996), p.11.
- Pran Nath Seth, Pran Nath Seth, Sushma Seth Bhat (2005). An introduction to travel and tourism. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. Retrieved January 20, 2011. Page 112
- Jackson 1987, p.340.
- A. J. Jackson (1987). De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 (Third ed.). London: Putnam. ISBN 0-85177-802-X.
- A. J. Jackson (1988). British Civil Aircraft 1919–1972: Volume II (1988 ed.). London: Putnam (Conway Maritime Press).