De Havilland DH60 Moth G-AUAF

Following the success of the first De Havilland DH60 Moth to be imported, G-AUAE, the CAB imported in the following year a batch of additional Moths for loan to the Aero Club movement in support of pilot training. Eventually these Moths would number at least 36.

G-AUAF was the first of this batch of CAB Moths in registration mark sequence (although not in manufacturing order). It was built at Stag Lane, UK, in 1926 (c/n 243) and shipped to Australia on the S.S. Largs Bay. An Australian Certificate of Airworthiness was issued for it on 12 July 1926 and it was officially registered to the CAB on the same day.

The photo above was taken at an unknown time and place, but is of particular interest because it shows the early practice of painting the nationality part of the registration mark (in this case 'G' for 'Great Britain') on both the rudder and tailplane. Click here to read more about the registration markings of Australian aircraft.

G-AUAK was powered by an ADC (Aircraft Disposal Company - also known as Airdisco) Cirrus I of 60 hp. This engine was a four cylinder, air-cooled, in-line engine made using components from Great War surplus 120 hp Renault V8 engines which Airdisco had purchased in bulk.

In accordance with the Department's policy of supporting pilot training through the Aero Club movement, G-AUAF was immediately loaned to the Australian Aero Club (Vic Section), based at Melbourne/Essendon.

G-AUAF was not destined to lead a very long life and just over a year later, on 6 August 1927, it was destroyed after crashing into the reservoir on the eastern boundary of Essendon aerodrome. Unlike many of its contemporaries, which were often re-built numerous times, G-AUAF was written off.

(Photo: John Hopton collection - P1234-0055)

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