Sunday 26 May 2013

Japanese Moths DH-60

On May 12, Edcraft requested:

"Is there any chance to find any images of Japanese DH-60 "Moth" aircraft?
For example, one DH-60 "Cirrus Moth" plane (serial # 274) was sold to Mitsubishi Shoji Kaisha Ltd, and delivered to Japanese Army.
One DH-60M "Moth Major" plane was operated at the Japanese Army Air Force Training School, Manchukuo [Manchuria] in 1943.
Any help is Welcome !"
"Encyclopedia of Japanese Aircraft" vol. VI mentions:
In 1926 Ishikawajima bought one De Havilland D.H. 60 Moth trainer with a 60hp engine from the UK. The aircraft arrived by ship and in May 1929 automatic Handley Page type slots were installed on the upper wing edge.
There are two photos in the Encyclopedia:

Our friend Yokokawa "Aikoku" Yuichi sent us the following material:
1. A July 1926 IJAAF document mentions one Curtis single-seat fighter and one Moth Light plane.
2. Another May 1927 IJAAF document is requesting the DH60 Moth for testing at the Technical Department of the Army Aviation headquarters.
3. IJAAF statistics document, 1929 mentions that a Type C with a 60hp engine was test flown by the Technical Department 103 times; 19hours and 22 minutes flying time. Accident during testing, aircraft badly damaged, engine suffered little damage.
4. 1930 IJAAF document mentions that a Type C with a 60hp engine was test flown four times (22minutes flying time) by the Test Department in Tokorozawa.

Newspaper news
1. May 8, 1929 - Nichi Nichi Shimbun.
On May 7, at 11o' clock in Tachikawa tests were conducted with one Avro and one Moth trainer with leading edge slots modified by Ishikawajima. The slots wre designed by a Professor Gustav Lachmann who flew the Moth. The Avro was flown by pilot Kamata and together they took-off testing the slots successfully during dives from 600 meters.
2. July 11, 1929 - Tokyo Nichi Nichi
On July 10 there was an accident in Tachikawa during testing of the Ishikawajima Moth (Siemens 100hp engine) with the slots by the Technical Department of the Army Aviation headquarters. Pilot 1st Lt Tanaka Jinhei after dive testing the aircraft, tried to make a very low pass coming down from a height of only 50 meters. At 20 meters the slots didn't respond, the pilot lost control and crashed.
3. On June 14, 1930, from 14:00, there was an aviation meeting organised by the Gakusei Koku Renmei (Aviation Society of Students) in Tachikawa with many aircraft and exhibition flights. Aircraft from the Student society included: one each Caudron C-109, C-161, (Blackburn) Bluebird Model 4, Moth with slots, Nieuport and two each Hanriot 2 and Avro.
From the IJAAF participated one each Type 87 Heavy Bomber (Kawasaki Dornier Do.N), Type 87 Light Bomber (Mitsubishi 2MB1), Ko-4 Fighter (Nieuport 29C1), Fokker Trainer, Type 88 Reconnaissance (Kawasaki KDA-2).
IJNAF aircraft included one fighter and one attacker (no types mentioned).
One Fokker Super Universal and one Fort 3M participated from Nihon Koku Yuso and one Ford, 15 passenger aircraft from Okura Shoji Kaisha.

Regarding the DH-60M "Moth Major" operated by the IJAAF Training School  in Manchukuo in 1943, the Japanese captured a number of DH.60 Moths of the Chang Hsueh-liang (Zhang Xueliang) airforce during the Mukden Incident and the capture of Manchuria in 1931. Although most probably these were operated by the Japanese until spares run out there is no record that any of these ended up in the hands of the Manchukuoan Air Force and their Aviation School in Mukden. The IJAAF operated in Manchukuo a number of branches of their mainland schools, Koku Shikan Gakko (Army Officer's School) for example, so perhaps the Moth was operated in one of these. 

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