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De Havilland Fox Moth on the sea ice
Title : De Havilland Fox Moth on the sea ice De Havilland Fox Moth on the sea ice
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Creator : Rymill, John, 1905-1968
Source : Southern lights; the official account of the British Graham land expedition, 1934-1937, opposite p. 206
Place Of Creation : London
Publisher : Chatto and Windus
Date of creation : 1935
Format : Book
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Description :

The Fox Moth was used throughout Rymill's expedition to make aerial reconnaissance of the country, which would then be followed up by surveying on the ground, and where possible by boat. It was equipped with an Eagle III electrically operated automatic survey camera. The plane was also used to transport supplies to depots to enable longer journeys by the ground parties.

The hangar for the plane was part of the same building as the expedition's house. When the expedition re-located further south in the second summer, this arrangement was maintained with some improvements including the installation of a winch for hauling the aeroplane into the hangar. This meant any work on the plane could be carried out without leaving the safety of the hut.

With limited funds, the expedition could only afford one single-engined plane. It would be required to operate with both skis and floats, on snow and water. These under-carriages would need to be quickly and easily interchangeable depending on local conditions at any one time. The wooden fuselage was also essential, enabling major repairs if necessary from any timber at hand. Rymill had used driftwood on the Greenland expedition for this purpose.

The plane's range was about 450 miles or just over five hours. It was powered by a 130hp Gipsy Major air cooled engine. Developed as recently as 1932 the Fox Moth had already been trialled successfully in Canada's northern areas.

Related names :

De Havilland Aircraft Company

De Havilland DH-83 Fox Moth

Coverage year : 1934
Place : Antarctica
Further reading :

Rymill, John, Southern lights; the official account of the British Graham land expedition, 1934-1937, ... London: Chatto and Windus, 1938

Bechervaise, John, Arctic and Antarctic: the will and the way of John Riddoch Rymill Huntingdon [England]: Bluntisham Books, 1995

The explorers Penola, S. Aust.: Penola Branch, National Trust of South Australia, 1996: John Rymill by Andrew Rymill

Burke, David, Moments of terror: the story of Antarctic aviation Kensington, N.S.W.: NSW University Press, [1993]

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