Puss Moth goes on show

The immaculate Puss Moth, I-FOGL, on display in Milan, with a contemporary Italian product, the world’s only surviving Breda 15, hanging above.

On 3 November, de Havilland DH80A Puss Moth I-FOGL was unveiled at the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia Leonardo da Vinci in Milan, following a five-and-a-half-year restoration by Tim Williams at his workshop in Hungerford, Berkshire (see News, Aeroplane December 2018). Restoration has been funded by the Foglia family, descendants of Dr Antonio Foglia, who originally bought the machine in January 1931.

He operated the aircraft until 1940 when it was put into storage in the garage of the family home in Milan. Post-war, Antonio started lying I-FOGL again, but in the summer of 1954 Italian airworthiness certiicates for old aircraft were no longer issued. During 1956, Guido Ucelli, founder and chairman of Milan’s Science and Technology Museum, asked him to donate the Puss to be exhibited there. It then hung from the ceiling for 25 years until a structural report on the roof suggested that it would be wise to take it down, after which I-FOGL was dismantled and removed to a store in the northern suburbs of Milan. There it remained unattended and was moved several times, for many years being partly exposed to the elements and left in an insecure position. It was also vandalised and any easily removable parts were stolen.

When the museum realised this, it removed the Moth to a more secure store within a military base in Gallarate. Then Tim Williams, long-time owner of Puss Moth G-AAZP, expressed an interest in saving the aircraft. In June 2012 the deeply dishevelled I-FOGL arrived in Hungerford, and was transferred to Tim’s workshop for a complete rebuild.

The now immaculate Puss Moth was unveiled in front of 200 invited guests on the 90th birthday of Antonio Foglia’s son Alberto, who had been just three years old when his father first took delivery of I-FOGL back in 1931.