de Havilland D.H.82C2 Menasco Moth

  • A biplane used by the RCAF for wireless telegraphy training during the Second World War
  • Unique to Canada (only a small number were built), with a Canadian-built frame and a U.S.-made Menasco engine
  • Engines for standard Tiger Moths were manufactured in the U.K. and concerns over their continuing supply during the war led de Havilland Canada to use U.S. engines
  • Almost identical in appearance to the Tiger Moth, only two small mechanical features distinguish the aircraft: the engine air cooling inlet is on the right side in the Menasco Moth and on the left in the Tiger Moth, and the propellers on the two aircraft rotate in opposite directions
Second World War (1939-1945)
First Flight
October 1931
Display Status
On the Museum Floor

Background History

In the event that U-boat attacks caused a break in supply of British-made engines to Canada, American-built Menasco engines were installed in some Canadian-built Tiger Moths. This is the major difference between the Menasco and Tiger Moths. Because this engine could drive a large generator, most Menasco Moths were used for radio training.

The Menasco engine was not as powerful as the Gypsy engine, resulting in a somewhat reduced performance. This loss of power made the Menasco Moth a less than ideal pilot-training airplane and contributed to the Menasco Moth being used almost exclusively for radio training.

Museum Example

Registration #
4861 (RCAF)
de Havilland Aircraft of Canada Ltd., Canada
Manufacture Date
Construction #
Acquisition Date
Transfer from RCAF
Museum Catalogue #

This Menasco Moth was manufactured in 1941, and served as a wireless (telegraphy) trainer with No. 1 Wireless School in Winnipeg. In 1943, it was converted to a basic training aircraft and transferred to No. 5 Air Observer School in Winnipeg. After the war it was placed in storage in Manitoba until 1962, when it became part of the RCAF's historic aircraft collection at Rockcliffe airport.

Technical Specifications



Wing Span 8.9 m (29 ft 4 in)
Length 7.4 m (24 ft 2 in)
Height 2.7 m (8 ft 9 1/2 in)
Weight, Empty 557 kg (1,229 lb)
Weight, Gross 828 kg (1,825 lb)
Cruising Speed 130 km/h (80 mph)
Max Speed 155 km/h (96 mph)
Rate of Climb 183 m (600 ft) /min
Service Ceiling 3,660 m (12,000 ft)
Range 322 km (200 mi)
Power Plant one Menasco D.4 Super Pirate, 125 hp, inverted in-line engine