Thursday 28 May 2009

The Racing has gone out of Rugby, Racing & Beer.

De Havilland DH60M (Gipsy 11) , c/n 1542 , ZK-AEJ, often referred to as "The Racing Moth" has been cancelled as exported after being advertised for sale some time. The Beech G17S ZK-MOE (c/n B-14) and the DH89A ZK-SWR (c/n 6853) have also been advertised.
ZK-AEJ has an extensive history which I have listed below.
I don't actually have any really good pictures of it, but these three will give some idea of its radiant beauty.
Top pic shows it at Rangiora on 19-06-2002 whilst undergoing repairs following a woopsie.
Centre & lower pics taken earlier at Mandeville on 11-12-1991.
It was cancelled on 20-05-2009 as exported.
Brief history :-
De Havilland DH60M c/n 1542 gained its first Certifiate of Registration as G-AAXG in May of 1930 and although still under the ownership of the De havilland Aircraft Co Ltd went to Alan S Butler. First flight was on 26-06-1930 with its C of A (N0 2603) being issued the same day.
It was built as a special "one off" racer with a flush covering over the front cockpit, a smaller undercarriage and was said to have had non folding wings. [Not sure about that because it certainly has folding wings now].
It was flown into second place in the 1930 Kings Cup race by Alan Butler on 05-07-1930.
It was then entered into the International Touring Competition in July & August of 1930 and was given the competition number of "K5" [As seen in the pic above].
Its UK registration was cancelled in August 1930 and delivered to Eduoard Bret of Cannes, France who won the Coupe Zenith des Avions Legers on 27-09-1930 with a record flight of 8 hours and 44 minutes around the Bordeaux - Tours - Orly - Marseille - Toulouse - Bordeaux circuit. It was registered in France as F-AJZB on 23-10-1930 to Eduoard Bret. He also won the Coupe Zenith in 1931.
The aircraft returned to the UK in February 1933 as part exchange for the DH80A G-ABDG with its French registration being cancelled in April of 1933.
It took up its olde UK registration of G-AAXG on 23-02-1933 with The Honorable Brian Lewis who traded as Brian Lewis & Co Ltd out of Heston. Its C of A was renewed on 09-03-1933 and was then sold to Lieutenant Home R A Kidston and was delivered to DH at Stag Lane in June 1933 for packing and shipping out to NZ.
It was shipped out on HMS Diomede (Kidson was serving on this ship at the time) in January 1934 with the intention of becoming ZK-ADF. But it was not flown and the registration was not taken up. It departed on the ship again until they returned to Auckland again on 12-11-1934
It was then operated in NZ still in its UK markings until they were cancelled in December of 1935.
In the meantime it had been registered in NZ as ZK-AEJ on 16-09-1935 [I think] to R G Tappenden of Auckland. (I assume the date difference between its NZ registration & the UK cancellation would be due to the mail delivery time).
It went to J Allen of Wairoa, but was based in Hastings on 21-10-1936.
With hostillities it was impressed into the military on 09-09-1939 but because of its special nature was not used, but stored until sold off in 1942 to Butler & Carrol.
It then moved to R N Brown who traded as Snake Gully Airways. Its first post war flight was on 20-12-1945.
It returned to J Allen again before being acquired by Gordon Reader under Early Bird Flying of Palmerston North on 12-09-1966. Here it got named "Racing". Two other aircraft in this fleet carried the names Rugby [Rearwin ZK-AKF] and Beer [DH 94 Moth Minor ZK-BFP] .(hence the title of this blog).
Earlybird Flying Ltd of PN appear on 17-03-1967 until it was withdrawn and stored at Paraparaumu of 07-01-1971.
In October 1984 it was sold and on 22-01-1985 was registered to Gerald Grocott of Hasting and roaded to Temple Martin at Hasting for a rebuild and reflown on 01-07-1987.
It was known to then spend time at Mandeville from about February 1991 still owned by Gerald Grocott.
It was damaged whilst taxying at Dargaville on 19-02-2000 and then sent down to Pat Scotter at Rangiora for repairs [pic above]. It was then flown back to Hastings.
& That briefly is the story as I see it.
Any additions, corrections etc most welcome.


  1. Please put up the history of AEJ

  2. I photographed this at a Fly-in at a small airstrip in the UK in 2011 -

  3. I photographed this at a Fly-in at a small airstrip in the UK in 2011 -