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The de Havilland Aircraft
Association of South Africa
The de Havilland DH.87B Hornet Moth
de Havilland DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8142 ZS-ANN.
Photograph: Douglas Mail collection, South African Airways Museum Society archives
de Havilland DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8121. Originally registered as ZS-ALA before entering SAAF service in 1940 as SAAF 2007.
Now part of the SAAF Museum at Swartkop. Photograph: Vic Fouche collection.
de Havilland DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8121. Originally registered as ZS-ALA before entering SAAF service in 1940 as SAAF 2007.
Now part of the SAAF Museum at Swartkop. Photograph: Paul Dubois
Type c/n Reg History
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8013 ZS-AFR DH.87A Hornet Moth c/n 8013 [CofA 5162 issued 7.10.35 to Johannesburg Light Plane Club Ltd] Regd 21.11.35 to Johannesburg Light Plane Club Ltd. Impressed as SAAF 1525 3.40. To 1 AS [4.41-6.41]. To 3 AS [7.41-9.41]. To 4 AS 1.10.41.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8017 ZS-AMD DH.87A Hornet Moth c/n 8017 ex VP-KBM Regd 1.12.37. Impressed as SAAF 1585 3.40. To 2 AS [3.41-5.41]. To 7 AS [6.41-7.41]. To 4 AD [10.41-10.42]. To 42 AS 4.43. To 7 AD 12.44. Soc 26.1.45.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8047 ZS-AFY DH.87A Hornet Moth c/n 8047 [CofA 5280 issued 13.12.35 to DH Acft of SA]. Regd 19.2.36 to De Havilland Aircraft of South Africa Ltd. Regd [37] to Johannesburg Light Plane Club. Impressed as SAAF 1535 3.40. To 1 AS [4.41-1.43]. To 4 AD [2.43-1.44].
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8048 ZS-AFZ DH.87A Hornet Moth c/n 8048 [CofA 5283 issued 17.12.35 to DH Acft of SA]. Regd 19.2.36 to De Havilland Aircraft of South Africa Ltd. Regd to Natal Aviation (Pty) Ltd. Crashed Cathkin Peak, Natal 13.9.37; salvaged and rebuilt. Impressed as SAAF 1542 .40.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8059 ZS-AHF DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8059 [CofA 5331 issued 19.2.36 to DH Acft of SA]. Regd 29.4.36. Impressed as SAAF 1522 3.40. To 1 AS [4.41-6.41]. To 3 AS [7.41-9.41]. To 4 Air School 1.10.41-[.42]. To 3 AS [4.45]. Regd ZS-AHF .46. Wfu and regn cld .50.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8060 ZS-AHG DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8060 [CofA 5327 issued 14.2.36 to DH Acft of SA]. Regd 13.6.36 to De Havilland Aircraft of South Africa Ltd. Impressed as SAAF 1571 3.40. To 2 AS [3.41]. To 5 AS 4.10.41. To CFAD, Port Elizabeth 19.1.43. To 7 AD [6.43-3.44]. To 4 AD 4.44. To Congella 17.8.44. Regd ZS-AHG 27.2.46. Regn cld 25.7.52 as sold Mozambique. Regd CR-ADN 7.52.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8088 ZS-AHP DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8088 [CofA 5529 issued 4.6.36 to DH South Africa]. Regd 13.7.36. Impressed as SAAF 1587 3.40. To 2 AS [3.41]. To 15 AD 8.5.44. To 24 Group Comm Flight 12.8.44. To 61 Squadron [12.44]. To 24 AS 18.4.45. Regd ZS-AHP [12.46] to H Noble. Damaged on landing Wakkerstroom, Transvaal 27.12.46; repaired. Regd in S Rhodesia as VP-YIX 5.11.51. Crashed Concession 11.10.51 and regn cld as not taken up.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8098 ZS-AII DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8098 ex G-ADSL [ntu]. [CofA 5616 issued 7.8.36 to DH South Africa]. Regd 8.3.37. Impressed as SAAF 1572 3.40. To 1 AS [4.41]. To 6 AS 2.10.41. To 15 AD and sold 8.45. Regd ZS-AII. Regn cld as sold Rhodesia 10.2.50. Regd VP-YIH 2.50 to AM Robinson, Bulawayo. Regd .52 to Rhodesian Native Labour Supply Commission, Belvedere. Regd .55 to RH Purchase, Karoi. Regd to LP Pearson.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8103 ZS-AHU DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8103 [CofA 5598 issued 22.7.36 to DH South Africa]. Regd 24.8.36. Regn cld 12.10.36 as sold Rhodesia. Regd VP-YBF 10.36 to D Robertson, Bulawayo. Regd 12.37 to GW Valentine, Odzi. Regd [CofR 50] 2Q.38 to British Air Transport Ltd, Salisbury.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8113 ZS-AKA DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8113 [CofA 5866 issued 8.4.37 to DH South Africa]. Regd 28.6.37. Impressed as SAAF 1450 3.40. To 2 AS [3.41-11.41]. To 1 AS [1.42]. To CFAD [Durban?] 17.1.43. To 15 AD [?]; to 7CA [TCA?] 29.11.45 [?]. Regd ZS-AUE 8.48 but NTU and scrapped Wonderboom in SAAF marks
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8114 ZS-AOS DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8114 ex G-AEWM [Flown by Mr/Mrs WFH Purcell London to Brooklyn Aerodrome, Cape Town 7-8.37; then sold locally] Regd 26.7.38. Impressed as SAAF 2013 3.40. To 7 AS [4.41-12.42]. To 4 AD [2.44] Soc 9.6.44.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8117 ZS-AKG DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8117 [CofA 5871 issued 14.4.37 To Mrs W Carrick]. Regd 30.11.37 to Mrs W Carrick. Impressed as SAAF 1591 3.40. To 15 AD [3.41]. To 4 AD 21.3.41-[9.44]. To 61 Squadron [11.44-4.45]. To 15 AD [5.45]. Sold 7.45. Regd ZS-AKG. Regn cld as sold Rhodesia 10.50. Regd VP-YIW 6.9.51. Regd (53) to SFE Marnie, Kumalo. Regd in South Africa as ZS-DIH 10.9.53 to L Geary & JH Aiken, Stamford Hill. Badly damaged on landing Durban 11.10.54. Regd 6.58 to DS McCall & AC Campbell, Pietersmaritzburg. Regd (8.68) to PR Viljoen, Roodebank. Regn cld 10.72. Regd ZS-ROY 3.73 to Roy J Watson, Baragwanath. On rebuild [93] by RA Meyer, Gallo Manor.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8118 ZS-AKF DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8118 [CofA 5877 issued 20.4.37 to DH South Africa]. Regd 3.5.37 to Peter Campbell. Crashed on forced landing with engine failure Hilton College 5.6.37 and w/off. Regn cld .37.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8121 ZS-ALA DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8121 [CofA 5904 issued 5.5.37 to DH South Africa]. Assembled Stamford Hill, Durban 15.6.37 and regd 9.7.37. Impressed as SAAF 2007 3.40. Operated by 7 Air School, Kroonstad [5.41-12.42]. To 3 Air School, Wonderboom [43]. To 27 Squadron 13.7.43 for communications use. To 15 Air Depot 4.45. To 3 AD. Sold [4.1.46]. Regd ZS-ALA 4.3.46 to JT Slabbert. Sold 6.46 to R Whitley. Sold 31.7.48 to Mark W Spencer, Rand. CofA lapsed 8.51; reflown 10.5.53 & CofA renewed 22.5.53. Last flight 9.12.68 and stored on farm at Bultfontein. Regn cld 3.74. Sold 22.1.81 to SAAF Museum, Lanseria [with ZS-APD c/n 8163]. Rebuilt to airworthy condition and reflown Lanseria .86, painted as SAAF 2007. Overhauled by Streckers .95, reflown .96. On display [9.02] Swartkop.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8123 ZS-AKH DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8123 [CofA 5927 issued 25.5.37 to Van den Heeven] Regd 14.7.37. Impressed as SAAF 1568 3.40. To 2 AS [3.41]. To 5 AS 4.10.41. To 4 AS 28.10.44-[6.45]. To 15 AD [8.45]. Regd ZS-AKH. Regd to WO Lawrie, Rand. Crashed on take-off Grand Central, Johannnesburg and dbf 10.10.53. Regn cld 28.3.55.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8142 ZS-ANN DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8142 [CofA 6095 issued 19.10.37 to DH South Africa]. Regd 12.2.38. Impressed as SAAF 1540 3.40. Operated by 1 EFTS .41. To 1 AS [4.41-9.41]. To 6 AS 2.10.41. To 4 AD. To 1 AS 17.3.42. To 6 AS. To 4 AD 23.5.44. To 6 AS 19.10.44.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8148 ZS-AOT DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8148 [CofA 6282 issued 17.5.38 to DH South Africa]. Regd 5.7.38. Impressed as SAAF 1545 3.40. To 1 AS [4.41-4.42]. To 7 AS 11.5.42. To 6 AS 13.12.44. To 15 AD. Possibly restored as ZS-AOT. Regn cld 11.47. Regd in Kenya as VP-KEP 16.10.47. Crashed 16.11.49.
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8161 ZS-AOA DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8161 [CofA 6348 issued 12.7.38 to JR Paget; first flown 9.7.38]. Test flown by DH Johannesburg 23.8.38 and regd 23.8.38 to John R Paget. Impressed as SAAF 1584 3.40. Damaged in collision 1.41 and starboard mainplanes replaced. To 2 AS [3.41]. To 61 Squadron [1.43-6.45]. To 15 AD and sold 18.7.45 [or 9.45]. Regd ZS-AOA 22.1.46 to Mark W Spencer, Johannesburg. Regd .53 to HD Blume, Rand. Regd 10.57 to DD Mackenzie, Benoni. Regd 4.59 to CF Strecker; operated by Germiston Flying School, Rand Airport, Germiston. To A Malherbe, De Dur? Regd (68) to JD Haupt & WC Whitfield, Benoni. Regn cld as sold abroad 5.10.78. Sold to Ed Zalesky, Canada 8.77; not regd locally. Reported to Australia .79, thought unlikely. To Bob McJohnston, CA c81. Sold .84 & regd N74EC 8.85 to Ed L Clark, t/a The Moth Aircraft Co, Hawthorne, CA. Rebuilt and reflown 20.9.86; painted as ZS-AOA. Regd 8.93 to Walter Kessler/Kessler Marketing Services, Kessler Field, Marengo, IL. For sale [5.00].
DH.87B Hornet Moth 8163 ZS-APD DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8163 [CofA 6425 issued 27.10.38 to DH South Africa]. Regd 21.4.39. Impressed as SAAF 1550 9.40. Operated by 4 Air School, Benoni 9.40. To 1 Air School [4.41-2.44]. To 3 AS 25.3.44. To 11 OTU 3.3.44. To 15 AD [9.45]. Regd ZS-APD 18.6.46 (or 30.8.46). Regd to JA Williams, Baragwanath. Regd 10.54 to JC Loretto, Baragwanath. Damaged in forced landing en route Lusaka-Ndola 2.2.55. Regd 3.56 to AJ Jonker, Bethlehem. Regd 1.57 to CW Havemann, Springs. Crashed Springs, Transvaal 6.4.58; no cas. Regn cld 14.10.58. To Mark W Spencer, Johannesburg for spares for ZS-ALA. Stored on farm at Bultfontein .77, and offered by owner to SAAF Museum [78]. Sold 1.81 [with ZS-ALA] to SAAF Museum, Lanseria. Regd 5.2.86 to ETD Phelps, Empangeni [later Ridgeview]. Current .97.
The majority of the information below has been generously contributed by Malcolm Fillmore and the researchers at Air Britain and Andrew Pentland of de Havilland Aircraft Production
de Havilland DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8142 ZS-ANN.
Photograph: Stewart Fritz Johl via Tinus le Roux
Received from Frank Whitley 20 July 2012.

Hi John,

Having just stumbled across your web site, we were very interested to read about Hornet Moth ZS-ALA.

My father was Reginald William Whitley and was the proud owner of ZS-ALA at one time. The tales that he told about all the trips from Germiston down to Richards Bay to collect prawns for dinner at the VLC yacht club (Victoria Lake Club) were amazing.

In the mid 1990s I managed to trace his old aircraft to the SA Museum at Swartkop and eventually made contact with Dave Knusen. Long story short we ended taking my father out to the museum to meet Dave and see his old plane.

My father still had the Hornetís old logbook which started in 1936 when it arrived in South Africa and was taken out of the crate it arrived in, then all the assembly with the riggers details etc. etc. This he gave to Dave with a lot of photos for the Museumís archive.

An interesting side note is that the current colours of the aircraft as displayed are incorrect. Before and after the War the aircraft was always silver with blue trim and not blue with silver trim.

I still have my fatherís own logbook which gives all the flights and the hours that he flew in the Hornet.

One Saturday morning Dave arranged to take my father and myself up for a flip in ZS-ALA. He was in his 80s by then but it was the flip of a lifetime Ė something he never stopped talking about.

At one time my father started looking around for a spare Gipsy Major engine for the Hornet so that he could have a spare and just swop engines so he would not have to sit on the ground during services.

He ended up at an air force auction at Grand Central on 27 July 1947 where he bought a new Tiger Moth for 25 pound!!!!! And when he went to collect it, it had a second brand new engine standing under the wing still in its box. So he eventually had 3 engines which he swapped around and spent very little time waiting for services.

As he was only interested in the Hornet, the Tiger airframe was dismantled and stuffed between two hangers, never to be seen or heard of again. The Tiger airframe was SAAF 576 and one of the engines was No 88318.

Kind regards,

Frank Whitley

Some interesting documentation including the purchase of the Tiger Moth here
de Havilland DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8121 ZS-ALA prior to entering SAAF service, in 1940, as SAAF 2007.
Photograph: Frank Whitley
de Havilland DH.87B Hornet Moth c/n 8163 ZS-APD.
Fly-past at the Baragwanath Air Show on 18 October 1952.
The show celebrated the 25th Anniversary of The Johannebsurg Light Plane Club
Photograph: Sunday Times
Caption to the above image in the Sunday Times newspaper, 19 October 1952, reads:

Thrilled By Air Display. Road Traffic Controlled From the Air. A plane flies over a section of the crowd of 25,000 which saw one of the finest air displays ever held in the Union, when the Johannesburg Light Plane Club celebrated its 25th anniversary at Baragwanath airfield, near Johannesburg, yesterday. Crack aerobatic pilots thrilled the spectators with a magnificent exhibition of flying. Although the crowd was a record one, the traffic was well controlled from the air - the first time in South Africa such vehicle control methods were adopted.