Having been around for more than sixty years, the DHC-1 Chipmunk was the RAF’s main plane to turn to when they had to finally replace the Tiger Moth. Although the Moth had more than served its time across the globe, it never quite hit the same heights that it once promised once the opposition started to become more nimble and hard to keep up with.
It was designed at the De Havilland Aircraft Company in Canada, and was used by the RAF for quite some time afterwards. It’s an all-metal fuselage plane with low wings and two seats, giving it great power and responsiveness when in comparison to the outdate Tiger Moth. It’s got better speed, better turning, quicker engines and more effective interfaces on the inside. One of the big problems with the Moth was the difficulty that the pilot may have had learning the layout of the buttons – the DHC-1 changed that entirely, however.
By providing a far more familiar interior to the vehicle, it’s much easier to see the incredible benefits that could have in a dogfight or in a tight situation for a pilot. The design itself has regularly been upgraded when new features have been available an compatible. From the bubble canopies to help the aerodynamics of the plane to many other small upgrades like turboprops, the DHC-1 has been reborn time and time again.
These variety of changes have kept the DHC-1 popular with many people as it provides an incredibly adaptable choice that is not going to be letting anyone down any time soon. It’s extremely reliable and even today, in 2014, it’s still used as a crop-sprayer and a transport for civilians as well as a training vehicle. It’s immense control and strength was at the time seen as one of the biggest breakthroughs in the air industry, and has since provided a strong reference point for any future changes and additions to similar types of plane.
However, there are plenty of great features about the DHC-1 that you just absolutely have to try such as;
- Canopies with working release handles
- Engine hatches will reveal the Gypsy engine
- Ability to fly from either front or the rear cockpit
- Extremely powerful flight dynamics
- Updated to use modern GPS systems
The DHC-1 has seen many other improvements, though, such as the bubble canopy mentioned above. This expansion pack for the DHC-1 Chipmunk makes it even more powerful makes the overall framework much more balanced within the plane itself. The framework was reduced due to the new canopy, which helped agility within the plane as well. The new cockpit provided a much better field of view all around, with no blind spots left. This made it the perfect training vehicle.
This upgrade to the RAF standard was mainly used by the Royal Canadian Air Force, the RCAF, and it stayed commonly used until the early 1970s. The distinguishing features between both versions of the DHC-1 make it an incredibly popular tool for many enthusiasts and historians, even today.
The DHC-1B-2 also brings some new features to the table that can make them even better than before, like;
- Attached canopy with the right emergency release system if needed
- Magneto switches for maximum efficiency
- Oil temperature & pressure gauge to keep an eye on the planes safety
- Heating system within the canopy
- Pull release for harnesses in the seats for safety purposes
Having provided such an incredible backbone to the training and improvement of the RAF and the RCAF since their inception over 60 years ago, the DHC Chipmunk has played an incredibly important role in the development and growth of the air industry and the capabilities of their weapons and hardware ever since then.