Amy Johnson

D.H.60 Moth 1928 G-AAAH Jason: This is the Gipsy Moth in which Amy Johnson made her solo flight from England to Australia in 1930. It was presented to the nation and can be seen in the Flight Gallery of the Science Museum, London.

The Gipsy Moth made a major contribution to the growth of private and sport flying between the wars. About a thousand were built by the De Havilland company at Edgeware and they were used in clubs and schools throughout Britain.

The Moth was designed for sturdy simplicity. It was relatively cheap and had an easily maintained wood and fabric structure. Although it was not a fast aircraft it was used for a great many aviation feats. In 1925 Alan Cobham flew the first example 1609 kilometres (1000 miles) from Croydon, England to Zurich, Switzerland and back in a day, and many other records followed. It was the forerunner of the D.H.60G Moth upon which the light aeroplane movement in this country developed.

Span 8.84m (29’) Length 7.16m (23’6”) Weight 345kg (760lb) Top Speed 145kph (90mph) Power Plant One de Havilland Cirrus engine of 44.8kW (60hp)

Other aircraft flown by Amy Johnson during her career include:

  • D.H. 80A Puss Moth G-AAZV Jason II (Moscow-Tokyo 1931), given to Johnson on her return to England.
  • D.H. 60G Gipsy Moth G-ABDV Jason III given to Johnson on her return to England.
  • D.H.80A Puss Moth G-ACAB Desert Cloud (England-South Africa 1932)
  • D.H. 84 Dragon I G-ACCV Seafarer (Atlantic crossing 1933)
  • D.H. 88 Comet G-ACSP Black Magic (England-Australia MacRobertson Air Race 1934)
  • Beechcraft 17 G-ADDH Amy Johnson imported this aeroplane from America in 1935, and made made several flights to Europe.
  • Percival Gull Six G-ADZO (London-Cape Town 1936)
  • D.H. 84 Dragon II G-AECZ (1936)

On 20th May 1940 Amy Johnson joined the Air Transport Auxiliary (ATA), and flew mostly Avro Ansons, providing a service for other ATA pilots, but by December 1940 she was engaged on ferrying aircraft from factory airstrips to RAF bases. By the end of the year, she had entered another 275 hours in her pilot’s logbook, including 30 hours in twin-engined Airspeed Oxfords.

References

Babington Smith, Constance, Amy Johnson, London: Collins, 1967
Dixon, Charles, Amy Johnson - Lone Girl Flyer, London: Sampson Low, Marston and Co. Ltd., 1930
Grey, Elizabeth, Winged Victory, the story of Amy Johnson, London: Constable Young Books Ltd., 1966
Kingston upon Hull City Council, Silvered Wings, A Commemorative Brochure, Kingston upon Hull: Kingston upon Hull City Council, 1980
Lomax,Judy, Women of the Air: Amy Johnson, British Heroine from Hull, London: John Murray (Publishers) Ltd., 1986
Longyard, William H, Who’s Who in Aviation History, Shrewsbury, England: Airlife Publishing Ltd., 1994
Nesbit, Roy, What did happen to Amy Johnson?, : Aeroplane Monthly, January, 1988
Snell, Gordon, Amy Johnson, Queen of the Air, London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1980
Welch, Rosanne, Encyclopeadia of Women in Aviation and Space, Oxford: ABC-CLIO, 1998
Underwood, E. Article in The Times, 8th Jan 1941, In: Dictionary of National Biography 1941-1950, London: Oxford University Press, 1959

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