de Havilland DHC1 Chipmunk T.Mk.10

Aircraft overview:

The first aircraft designed and built by de Havilland Canada, the Chipmunk tandem two-seat trainer first flew at Downsview, Toronto, in 1946. It was the cantilever monoplane successor to the Tiger Moth biplane. Aside from avoiding the rigging problems of a braced biplane, advances and refinements on the Chipmunk included:


  • an enclosed cockpit with rear-sliding canopy,
  • hand-operated single-slotted wing flaps for reduced landing speed,
  • wheel disc brakes,
  • a castering tailwheel,
  • a thinner and more durable solid light-alloy propeller,
  • electric and Coffman cartridge engine starter options,
  • en engine-driven vacuum pump in place of external venture tubes for driving gyro instruments,
  • a taxiing light on the port undercarriage leg,
  • cockpit lighting and radio,
  • anti-spin strakes,
  • a rear fuselage lifting point (a tube straight through for insertion of a lifting bar or rope),
  • an identification light under the starboard wing root,
  • stall breaker strips on the inboard wing leading edges to ensure that the stall starts here rather than outboard.


In many respects similar to the pre-war Moth Minor in configuration, the Chipmunk used metal (mainly stress-skinned) airframe construction, allowing thinner wings and better performance, as well as giving greater durability. The Chipmunk was usable for aerobatic and instrument flying as well as basic training. Some 214 Chipmunks were built in Canada, a further 1,014 in Britain, and 60 in Portugal.

Aircraft specifications:

Power Unit: One 145 hp de Havilland Gipsy Major 8

Wing Span: 34 ft 4 inches (10.46 m)

All-up Weight (A.U.W): 2,100 lb (953 kg)

Max speed: 135 mph (217 kph)

Cruise Altitude: 16,000 ft (4,877 m)

Range: 280 miles (451 km)

Crew: 2

On display at the Museum:

The Museum’s exhibit was built at Chester in 1952, the fuselage being acquired by the Museum in 1974. Undoubtedly the finest exhibit at the museum.