The de Havilland Hornet Moth

Enclosed cockpit, side-by-side seats and room for the golf clubs: enter the 1930s and de Havilland’s touring aircraft.

In the 1930s aviation was booming, and – ever the visionary – Geoffrey de Havilland saw the market for wealthy people who fancied their own aircraft for touring. And so, by the middle of the decade, the Hornet Moth was born.

With a maximum speed of 124mph and a range of 620 nautical miles, the Hornet Moth was the perfect aircraft for a weekend away. It had plenty of luggage space, a special compartment for golf clubs, and even folding wings to allow it to fit in the garage.

However, as the de Havilland Museum’s Alistair Hodgson explains in the above video, the Hornet Moth’s game-changing feature was its enclosed cockpit and side-by-side seats. Well-heeled couples would no longer have to wear goggles and have the wind rushing through their hair: now, they could sit next to each other on a comfortable seat, watching the world go by outside.