Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 311
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood
1935 De Havilland DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane

Sold for £ 91,100 (US$ 115,935) inc. premium
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood
1935 De Havilland DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane
Registration no. G-ADLY
Chassis no. 8020
*Pioneering design
*Known ownership history
*Total restoration 2014
*Immensely attractive and popular aircraft

Footnotes

  • We at Bonhams have always maintained a firm interest in aviation in general and vintage aircraft in particular. This particularly attractive and well-known example of the side-by-side seated De Havilland DH87 Hornet Moth has been familiar to us for many years. During the middle to later 1930s this innovative design enhanced the De Havilland company's tremendous reputation for having brought aviation within the reach of the business, farming and technical communities and supplied a growing civilian market. Come the years of the Second World War and many of the still-young Hornet Moths available were impressed into military service. They proved sufficiently rugged for a surprisingly high proportion to survive the conflict, and to re-emerge civilian-owned and operated.

    The documentation file accompanying this Lot reveal that 'G-ADLY' offered here was first registered on October 5, 1935, to British Leicestershire Member of Parliament Sir William Lindsay Everard. It was subsequently impressed into service by the British Air Ministry, "in the national interest", in April 1940.

    Having survived the conflict this aircraft was then sold to Western Airways Limited, based at Weston-super-Mare airport in Somerset, in the south-western leg of England. Its sojourn there was brief as in October that same year it was acquired by none other than the Marquess of Londonderry KG, PC, MVO of Mount Stewart, Newtownards in Northern Ireland. In January 1948 ownership was transferred to Ulster Aviation Limited of Newtownards, and thence in 1950 - still within Newtownards in the Province of Ulster - to the Viscountess Mairi Berry there.

    Eventually, on June 26, 1953, the aircraft was re-registered to George Brett Miller of Callan, County Kilkenny in the Republic of Eire, and on August 25, 1959, it was re-registered again - this time to pioneering Vintage aircraft enthusiast and restorer Vivian Hampson Bellamy of Sarisbury Green, Southampton, Hampshire in England. The subsequent ownership chain is recorded as then including Bruce Campbell of Bursledon, Hampshire (registered October 24, 1962) - Peter Clifford & Company of Kidlington, Oxfordshire (March 16, 1963) - Michael Annison-Newgass of Eaton Terrace, London SW1 (September 30, 1963) - and so on, all as listed, through the 1960s and '70s until it was taken under the wing of leading aviation 'Vintagent' Tony Haig-Thomas of Kirby-le-Soken, Essex in January 1972 - and then into the sophisticated restoration and engineering hands of Andrew Wood (of world-renowned specialists P & A Wood), in October 1980. The celebrated Aston Martin Lagonda Limited owner, Bentley Drivers' Club personality and great classic car collector Victor Gauntlett owned 'G-ADLY' at one period.

    Following P & A Wood's tenure the machine's airframe benefited from a total restoration in 2004.

    The entire fuselage was rebuilt due to glue deterioration, together with the wings and its "tail feathers". The aircraft was completely recovered in Irish linen as per original. At the same time the opportunity was taken to reintroduce the two skylights above the cockpit as on the aeroplane as new.

    The engine, a Gipsy Major 1C, has run approximately 1210hrs since last zero timed. It has 520 hours recorded since its last top-end overhaul and uses 1 litre of oil every 12-14hrs. Its cylinder compression readings are described by its current carers as being "excellent" and we commend this handsome, practical and so supremely evocative 1930s classic cabin biplane most highly, to the market.


    THE HORNET MOTH

    The legendary De Havilland Aircraft Company Limited, based at Hatfield, Hertfordshire, by the time this aircraft was constructed, originated their DH87 design as an experiment to explore the suitability of the side-by-side seated cabin biplane as a potential replacement for their wonderful open-cockpit touring Gipsy Moth.

    Until that time the pilot of de Havilland cabin aircraft had occupied a separate single-seat cockpit section, separated from his or her passengers, or had sat slightly ahead of side-by-side seated passengers as in the DH85 Leopard Moth design - something of a predecessor for the McLaren F1 'hypercar' seating configuration with central driver.... For the first time the Hornet Moth - as offered in this fine example here - permitted sociability in the air between pilot and passengers while also paving the way for a true revolution in ab initio flying instruction.

    The Hornet Moth was derived from the preceding DH85 Leopard Moth, using the same type of sheet plywood box construction in its rear fuselage, but with the forward part of the fuselage frame by welded steel tubing - like the DH80 Puss Moth as introduced in 1929-30. Tapered wood and fabric mainplanes - easily folded by one man - were reminiscent of the larger four-engined DH86 biplane airliner, while the undercarriage firings could be rotated to form air brakes. The flying controls provided a central column mounted between the seats with two handles extending vee-form over each occupant's lap. Behind the pilot's seat was a 35-gallon capacity fuel tank which permitted a standard range of almost 600 miles. The space above it provided a carrying rack for two large suitcases. Powered by a single Gipsy Major engine - offering some 130 horsepower in 1 or 1F tune and 145hp in the Canadian Major 1C variant - the Hornet Moth could cruise at 111mph. The result was described in period as being "an attractive touring aircraft indeed" - British advertising at its most discreet...

    The sociable Hornet Moth became an immensely attractive and popular aircraft in the private, club. No fewer than ten Hornet Moths became the largest single fleet of the type, operated by a chain of flying clubs in southern England run by the Straight Corporation - the brainchild of no less than Whitney Straight, the great English-based American millionaire former racing driver and race team proprietor of classic MG and Maserati fame. Three more Hornet Moths were operated by the aviation executives of the Shell Mex-BP fuel company, and one by the Fairey Aviation Company. Hornet Moths were exported to New Zealand and Uruguay, while De Havilland companies in the Dominions assembled imported examples in South Africa, Canada, Australia and India. Others sold to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt, Eire, France, Greece, Hong Kong, Java, Kenya, both Northern and Southern Rhodesia - to Singapore, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. Four aircraft went to the British Air Ministry for evaluation as floatplanes.

    At the time of the outbreak of World War 2 in September, 1939, the vast majority of Hornet Moths were still relatively new. They were regarded as ideal for impressment into use "in the national interest". The Royal Air Force adopted many of them as communications aircraft, and some were used extensively to help calibrate the UK's pioneering radar early-warning defence system. One example was even flown to Britain in a daring escape from German-occupied Denmark and was impressed into service with No 24 Squadron, RAF, in December 1941.

    The surprisingly high total of 24 impressed Hornet Moths survived wartime service to fly again on the civil Register. By 1976 15 remained flying in the UK alone, with more in Australia, Canada, the USA etc. So here we offer De Havilland DH87 Hornet Moth 'G-ADLY' as an outstanding example of its type - the celebrated Hatfield company's aircraft design which pioneered cockpit "...sociability and paved the way for a revolution in ab initio instruction" ... It is truly a lovely survivor from that classical private flying period.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that this Lot is a two-seat aircraft to correct Hornet Moth specification, and not a four-seater as incorrectly catalogued.
Contacts
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020
Formerly the property of Victor Gauntlett and P&A Wood,1935 De Havilland  DH87 Hornet Moth Four-Seat Cabin Biplane  Chassis no. 8020
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge what is known as a Buyer's Premium. Buyer's Premium on all Automobilia lots will adhere to Bonhams group policy:

25% up to £100,000 of hammer price,
20% from £100,001 to £2,000,000 of hammer price,
and 12% on the balance thereafter. This applies to each lot purchased and is subject to VAT.

For Motor Cars a 15% Buyer's Premium is payable on the first £50,000 of the final Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on any amount by which the Hammer Price exceeds £50,000. VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Some lots may be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price. These lots will be clearly marked with the relevant symbol printed beside the lot number in the catalog.

Payment Notices

For payment information please refer to the sale catalog.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.