The de Havilland Moth Club

History of the de Havilland Moth Club

No Requirement Charity Flying The Stockbox
The Means The Mainwaring Volunteer Force Manuals and Books
The Need Membership Eligibility Calendar of Events
Evolution The Moth Magazine Moth Market/advertisements
Services Moth Minor Update Membership Application Form
The Moth Forum The Moth Service Register Email Policy

No Requirement

Unlike motor vehicle associations, aeroplane type-clubs were a phenomenon that had not been much in evidence in Great Britain. Pre-war, a proliferation of manufacturers, large and small, tended to their customers' technical and engineering needs, whilst sporting and competitive flying was conducted under the auspices of The Royal Aero Club. Aerodrome and social facilities were provided by a country-wide network of professionally managed Flying Clubs and Schools.

An attempt to form a British Private Aircraft Owners Club in February 1926 was a direct result of the instant success of the de Havilland Moth aeroplane, but appears to have run out of support after just a few touring meetings. Although private ownership was rapidly expanding, there was no urgency for mutual association nor basic need outside of what was already freely available from established sources.

By 1975 the situation had radically changed.

The Means

Thousands of Moth aircraft of varying designs had been manufactured and exported to every part of the globe between 1925 and 1939 when World War II put a temporary end to ownership (in many cases) and all private flying. Many oft the requisitioned aircraft did not survive enemy action, the climate, or the attentions of trainee aircrew and engineers. However, massive and unimagined orders for new Tiger Moth training aeroplane unwittingly provided the nucleus of the post-conflict interest, and the hard core of present day survivors.

Wartime training had produced tens of thousands of pilots around the world who had learned to fly on Tiger Moths, thousands of engineers who had learned their craft of maintaining and repairing them.

For every whole Moth flown away from the factories, several times as many airframes followed on; copiously packaged as spare parts. Engines were plentiful and cheap. Aerodromes were scattered across the nations with more than ample hangarage and storage space for all. Petrol and oil supplies were increasingly unrestricted and still relatively cheap.

Once most British and Commonwealth military use of Tiger Moths ceased in the early 1950s (having trained or re-vitalised a post-war generation), huge numbers of functional aircraft, tons and tons of unused airframe and engine spares and tools were sold into the civil market at knock-down prices (in Great Britain, £50 for a flyable Tiger Moth; £5 for a brand new Gipsy Major engine, still in the maker's crate) to become the mainstay of flying clubs both large and small; government sponsored flying schools; cropsprayers; air taxi operators and some private owners. But as modern light aircraft appeared increasingly, the commercial taste for what were seen clearly as  obsolete Moths changed and the type went into near terminal decline.

By 1975 the situation was serious and had to be changed.

The Need

The de Havilland Moth Club evolved in 1975 from a belief that an association of owners and operators of Tiger Moth aeroplanes should be formed to create a suitable environment for safeguarding the type; for the interchange of spare parts and encouragement of the widest possible spread of technical information and assistance.

In the beginning, the name "Tiger Moth Owners Circle" (TMOC) was adopted which limited the interest to de Havilland Tiger Moths in general and ownership in particular. Requests for membership details which started to trickle in came from owners of other de Havilland Moth types, past owners and pilots, engineers, designers, instructors and many who just wished to be associated with an organisation attempting to keep the de Havilland standard at the masthead.

With the Golden Jubilee year of de Havilland's first Moth, the DH60, looming large, it was decided that the new organisation should formalise under the title  THE de HAVILLAND MOTH CLUB, and all members who joined during the twelve month span February 22nd 1975-February 22nd 1976, would become Founder Members. In the event, and by extraordinary co-incidence, exactly 60 Founder Members were enrolled. February 22nd, a significant date in aviation history as maiden flight of the first Moth (it was a cool Sunday afternoon), has remained the Club's subscription renewal date ever since.


From small beginnings and a few typed sheets of news and information circulated from a weary spirit copier housed in a garden shed, the de Havilland Moth Club has grown into a world-wide body of like minded enthusiasts, each receiving a quarterly journal (The Moth), with items of a more domestic nature carried by a sister paper, Moth Minor.

Aircraft type coverage was established at an early stage, largely centred on the Gipsy engine, and is finite.


The de Havilland Moth Club offers an advisory service on all matters concerning its primary interests:

     Perpetuation of the Moth marque.
     Maintenance and safe operation of the Marque.
     Education and training of pilots and engineers.
     Provision of technical data, manuals and drawings.
     Historical reference and research.
     Provision of lecturers and lecture material.
     Sourcing and provision of original manufacture spare parts.
     Remanufacture of 'out-of-stock' parts.
     Valuation service for aircraft sale/purchase/insurance.
     Aircraft location service for prospective owners.
     Provision of advertising facilities.
     Provision of a group insurance scheme

The Club has active members throughout the world and news networking has often proved more efficiently productive than expensive advertising in general interest publications.

An increasing number of organisations offer Club members discounts on labour rates or the provision of parts, subscriptions or fees.

The Moth Forum

Held in Great Britain at the beginning of the European flying season, the Moth Forum has developed into a centre of learning covering all aspects of Moth purchase, ownership, maintenance, operation, repair, upgrading and pilot protocol/airmanship.
Lasting three days, Forum attendees receive lectures from acknowledged experts, followed by flying demonstrations, including individual tuition in aerobatics, all standards, and formation flying, as required.

The Moth Forum is specifically designed for the new owner, prospective owner or low time Moth pilot, although long-time owners and experienced pilots are always welcome to attend to take the opportunity to brush up or learn even more. There is always something new.

Charity Flying

At a date near mid-summer, pilots and Moth aircraft make themselves available for two days to fly paid joyrides for members of the public. The activity is operated under supervision of the British Civil Aviation Authority who grant Dispensation from the Air Navigation Order. Generated funds are donated to children's medical charities. All owners, pilots and groundcrew volunteer their services and their aeroplanes free of charge. Check the Calendar of Events about Charity Flying dates.

The Mainwaring Volunteer Force

No Club event could be staged satisfactorily or safely without assistance from a growing and dependable band of hard core volunteer members known as the Mainwaring Volunteer Force (MVF). Members of the MVF act as Stewards at Woburn and passenger chaperones during Charity Flying occasions.

Membership eligibility

You do not have to be an owner, pilot or engineer to become a member of the de Havilland Moth Club! Membership is open to anybody interested in the maintenance and safe continued operation of all de Havilland aircraft, especially those covered by the Club's Representative Types list.

The Moth magazine

Unsolicited contributions of articles, photographs, news, technical descriptions, letters, drawings and cartoons are welcomed and encouraged. Copy date is usually one month prior to publication which occurs during the first week of March, June, September and December.

Moth Minor update

Carrying news of a more domestic nature; invitations, changes to the Moth Service Register, revisions to the Stockbox, briefing data for Club events and activities etc., Moth Minor is published on an opportunistic basis, alternating between issues of The Moth, sometimes co-incident with publication of The Moth.

The Moth Service Register

The Club publishes a Moth Service Register detailing recommended sources of supply of goods and services relevant to the Moth owner/operator/pilot. The Moth Service Register is updated through the medium of Moth Minor as required.

The Stockbox

The Club maintains a supply of a number of Moth related hardware lines, and arranges bulk manufacture of out-of-production essentials and consumables. Books, manuals, magazines, insignia and a range of miscellaneous items are carried, as listed in the Stockbox catalogue.

This page last updated on 3 June, 2012.

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