de Havilland Hornet Moth
|DH.87 Hornet Moth|
|1936 de Havilland DH87B Hornet Moth|
|Role||Trainer and Tourer|
|First flight||9 May 1934|
|Status||still in operation|
|Primary user||private owner pilots|
The de Havilland DH.87 Hornet Moth is a single-engined cabin biplane designed by the de Havilland Aircraft Company in 1934 as a potential replacement for its highly successful de Havilland Tiger Moth trainer. Although its side-by-side two-seat cabin made it closer in configuration to the modern aircraft that military trainee pilots would later fly, there was no interest from the RAF and the aircraft was put into production for private buyers.
Design and development
The prototype first flew at Hatfield on 9 May 1934 and, with two other pre-production aircraft, embarked on an extensive test program that resulted in the first production aircraft (designated DH.87A) completed in August 1935 having wings of greater outboard taper. These were found to cause problems, especially when landing in three-point attitude: there was a tendency for the tips to stall, causing embarrassment to the pilot and often damage to the aeroplane. From early 1936, de Havilland offered owners of the DH.87A replacement wings of the new squarer shape at a reduced price in exchange for the original wings. Designated DH.87B, new aircraft from about manufacture Number 68 were built with the new square wings. This wing reduced the overall span by 8 inches (20 cm). The alterations slightly increased overall weight at some penalty to performance.
Small numbers survived the war and with time became highly prized by vintage aircraft enthusiasts. A small number are still flying, over seventy years after production ceased.
- DH.87 Hornet Moth : prototypes
- DH.87A Hornet Moth : production model
- DH.87B Hornet Moth : production model with wing modification
Civil charter operators and pilots 1935–2009
- United Kingdom
- South Africa
- Turkey - TC-101
- Royal Air Force (1940–1945)
- Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm
- One aircraft impressed and four from Canada
Data from De Havilland Aircraft since 1909 
- Crew: one, pilot
- Capacity: one, passenger or trainee
- Length: 24 ft 11½ in (7.61 m)
- Wingspan: 31 ft 11 in (9.73 m)
- Height: 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
- Wing area: 244.5 ft² (22.7 m²)
- Empty weight: 1,241 lb (564 kg)
- Loaded weight: 1,950 lb (886 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × de Havilland Gipsy Major I 4-cylinder air-cooled inverted straight engine, 130 hp (97 kW)
- Maximum speed: 124 mph (108 kn, 200 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 105 mph (91 kn, 169 km/h)
- Range: 620 mi (539 nmi, 998 km)
- Service ceiling: 14,800 ft (4,500 m)
- Rate of climb: 690 ft/min (3.51 m/s)
- Wing loading: 7.97 lb/ft² (39.0 kg/m²)
- Power/mass: 0.067 hp/lb (0.11 kW/kg)
- Jackson, A.J. De Havilland Aircraft since 1909. London: Putnam, Third edition, 1987. ISBN 0-85177-802-X.
- Follett, K. "Hornet flight", (translated in italian "Il volo del calabrone", Mondadori Editore S.p.A., Milano, 2003 ISBN 88-04-54428-7) It's a fictitious novel, first printed in 2002, in which a hornet moth plays a key role in the story.
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