Sk 7 - De Havilland D.H. 60 Moth (1930-1936)

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De Havilland had produced many  successful lightplane designs in the beginning of the interwar period. The company became convinced that military trainers was a large future market. The modern D.H. 60M Moth biplane, with structure of metal rather than wood, was converted  to the D.H. 60T Moth Trainer military variant. This aircraft was further developed to the great success D.H. 82 Tiger Moth. Both types were used in the Swedish Air Force for basic training (Sk 9 and Sk 11). 

Two aircraft of other Moth versions were used  for some years by the Air Force. Both aircraft got the designation Sk 7, although none of them was used for training purpose.  The two versions were also of quite different construction. Both aircraft were bought via AB Aeromaterial, the general agent of de Havilland Co. in Sweden. 

The first of the two was a de Havilland D.H. 60X Cirrus Moth. It had with the civil registration S-AABN taken part of the expedition in 1928 to find and rescue the crew of the airship Italia. The Italian General Umberto Nobile had in the summer of 1928 made a hazardous flight over the north pole with Italia, but had crashed on the return voyage.  Nobile himself (as first man!) was saved by Lieutenant Ejnar Lundborg, but during a later flight to the distressed airship crew aboard on an ice floe, Lundborg crashed with his heavy  S 6 (Fokker CVE). The Cirrus Moth was purchased to get a lighter aircraft as replacement for the destroyed S 6. 

When the aircraft returned to Sweden, it was provided to the Air Force. It was approved for duty first in June, 1930 and got the SwAF/n 51. In December the same year, it crashed. It was officially written off in January 1931. During its few months of service, the aircraft was used by the Air Force Staff.  

This two-seat aircraft was powered by a de Havilland Cirrus four-cylinder engine of  80 hp. 

In January 1931, a new aircraft, now a D.H. 60M Gipsy Moth,  was bought from AB Aeromaterial as a replacement for the crashed aircraft. It got the Air Force registration 552. The Air Force Staff used the aircraft until it crashed in April 1936. 

The Gipsy Moth had a de Havilland  four-cylinder Gipsy II engine, delivering 105 hp.

Photo at top: The D.H. 60X Cirrus Moth at Ljungbyhed four months before the crash that destroyed the aircraft.

Photo below: The D.H. 60M Gipsy Moth at an overhaul in 1934. 

Length: 7,30 m. Span: 9,15. MTOW: 800 kg. Max. speed: 135 km/h



Military Aviation in Sweden - main page

Lars Henriksson

Updated 2009-05-13