HE D31-1. “FOX MOTH”
A ” FAMILY ” MACHINE WITH SINGLE ENGINE AND THREE-SEATER CABIN.
AS the private-ownership of aircraft grows in this country so are the requirements of purchasers becoming more varied and more clearly defined.
Manufacturers are finding that besides the normal two-seater, there is now an increasing demand for other types” sports models,” single-seaters, cabin machines, and — very definitely — light aeroplanes which will accommodate more than the usual pilot and passenger. The trend of design is, in fact, now following along similar lines to that found in the automobile industry where the types range from the small economy runabout to the lavishly equipped ” super ” car, and from the utility machine to the onehundred-per-cent. racing model. The De Havilland Company have never lagged behind in the matter of fresh . developments, and it is, therefore, not surprising that they have just lately added yet another model to their range of aeroplanes designed and produced primarily for the private owner. This is the “Fox Moth “, a single-engined biplane powered with a ” Gipsy “
In appearance and characteristics this machine is typically D.H., and when one looks into its construction it is easy to understand why this is so, for most of the main components are identical with those of the “Tiger Moth,” the “Puss Moth” and the” Gipsy Moth.” The main planes, for example, are the standard units used on the “Tiger Moth,” very slightly modified at the roots, while the tail unit, rudder and fin are exactly the same as those of the ” Puss Moth.” As on the “Tiger Moth” the wings have a pronounced sweep-back and stagger. The fuselage is built up of wood with plywood covering, and has a cabin arranged forward and immediately behind the engine, while the pilot’s cockpit is situated behind this. The cabin accommodates three passengers—two facing forward in a
hammock seat and one facing backwards In a swivelling bucket type. Doors are arranged on each side, and a telephone is provided so that conversation may be carried on between the pilot and his passengers. By careful padding of the cabin interior and the use of a long exhaust pipe and a silencer, passengers can converse comfortably and without strain. The ” Fox Moth” has the usual split axle type undercarriage with Dunlop air wheels and Benclix brakes, and a thoroughly up-to-date feature is found in the swivelling tail wheel, the whole making the machine very easy to handle and manoeuvre when on the ground. As has been stated the power unit of the ” Fox Moth “is a” Gipsy “III, which is a four-cylinder air-cooled inverted engine of 120 h.p. This has been very neatly installed and cowled to give the machine a clean and well-streamlined nose, as well as providing the pilot with a good forward vision. When normally equipped, the fuel is carried in a tank housed in the centre section, the feed to the carburetter
being by gravity. An auxiliary tank of 20-gallon capacity can be fitted, if required, as an extra however ; this is housed inside the cabin, and the supply in this case is maintained by an enginedriven pump. The following are the main dimensions, weights and so forth of the” Fox Moth ” :
Span 30 feet 10 inches ; overall length 25 feet 9 inches ; width when wings are folded 9 feet 6 inches ; area of main planes 239 square feet ; area of tail plane 13.4 square feet. Tare weight 1,050 lbs. ; maximum permissible loaded weight 2,050 lbs. Maximum speed 110 m.p.h., cruising speed 90-95 m.p.h., stalling speed approximately 45 m.p.h. Normal cruising range 360 miles.
The price of the “Fox Moth” with usual equipment is £995, which for an aircraft of this type is exceptionally reasonable.
It is interesting to note that three “Pox Moths” have been entered for the King’s Cup Race which will take place on the 8th of next month.
Vintage Postbag, August 1981
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