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British Industrial History

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De Havilland: Gipsy

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Gipsy 1. Exhibit at the Shuttleworth Collection.
Gipsy II. Exhibit at the Shuttleworth Collection.
1930. Gypsy engine.
November 1932.
March 1934.

Note: This is a sub-section of De Havilland

The De Havilland Gipsy is a British air-cooled four-cylinder in-line aircraft engine designed by Frank Halford in 1927 to replace the ADC Cirrus in the de Havilland DH.60 Moth light biplane. Initially developed as an upright 5 litre (300 cubic inch) capacity engine, later versions were designed to run inverted with increased capacity and power.

The Gipsy went on to become one of the most popular sport aircraft engines of the inter-war period and was the engine of choice for various other light aircraft, trainers, liaison aircraft and air taxis, British as well as foreign, until long past WWII. Apart from helping to establish the De Havilland Aircraft Company as a manufacturer of light aircraft, it also established the company as an engine manufacturer in its own right.

Gipsy engines remain in service powering vintage light aircraft.


Gipsy I

  • Original production version. 1,445 built.

Gipsy II

  • Stroke increased to 5.5 in (140 mm). Power 120 hp (90 kW) at 2,300 rpm. 309 built.

Gipsy III

  • As Gipsy II, inverted. 611 built.

Gipsy IV

  • A smaller inverted four-cylinder in-line engine, derived from the Gipsy III, intended for light sporting aircraft. Forerunner of Gipsy Minor. Power 82 hp (61 kW).

Gipsy Major

  • Further development of the Gipsy III. Originally 130 hp (92 kW) later 141 and 145 hp (105, 110 kW)

Gipsy Minor

  • Further development of the Gipsy IV. Power 90 hp (67 kW).

Gipsy R

  • Racing engine for de Havilland DH.71 Tiger Moth. 135 hp (100 kW) at 2,850 rpm.

Wright-Gipsy L-320

  • Licence production in the USA of the Gipsy I.

See Also


Sources of Information