Aircraft manufacturer de Havilland of Canada (DHC)
was created in 1928, and became a manufacturer in its own right in 1937. A number of English designs were produced by the fledgling company. Cirrus Moths, Tiger Moths, Fox Moths, and Dragons were produced before WWII, and Tiger Moths, Ansons, and Mosquitos during the war years. Although the designs were English, DHC made many modifications to meet local conditions.
The DHC-1 Chipmunk was designed by Wsiewolod Jan Jakimiuk, former chief designer with PZL Warsaw, and now designer with DHC, as the successor to the classic DH82 Tiger Moth. Wsiewolod J Jakimiuk, studied aeronautical engineering at the famous Stefan Batory University in Vilnius (Wilno) Poland-Lithuania and later continued his studies at the Ecole Supérieure d'Aéronautique in France. He became responsible for the design of the PZL24 and PZL50 Jastrzab fighters during the interbellum. After escaping from his homeland Poland in 1940 he joined de Havilland in Downsview, Canada. After the war, Wsiewolod Jakimiuk continued his successful career in aeronautical engineering, and returned to Europe to play an important role in the development of Concorde in the 1960s and 70s.
The design of the DHC 1 was assigned to de Havillands Canadian subsidiary as Hatfield was fully occupied with the Comet and other post-war aircraft. The Chipmunk was the first primary trainer manufactured by de Havilland Canada, of Downsview (North York) Ontario.

The prototype first flew on 22 May, 1946 under civil registration CF-D IO-X and the design proved most successful. The assembly-lines in Downview were to produce two hundred and seventeen units of this plane, the last one in 1951. Two early models suitably modified to RAF specifications were flight-tested at Boscombe-Down, urging the British authorities to order a basic trainer intended for the RAF - these were to be built by the factories at Chester and Hatfield. The first plane flew in August 1949 and deliveries to Oxford University Air Squadron began in February, 1950.

Eventually a total of 1283 were built, 1000 in England, 217 in Canada, and 66 under licence in Portugal to serve within the Portuguese Air Force following an agreement concluded between de Havilland and the Portuguese company, Oficinas Gerais de Material Aeronáutico (OGMA). The RAF was the largest user with 740 in service. These were flown by University Air Squadrons and Volunteer Reserve flying schools, and served as primary trainers for the RAF, Army Air Corps and the Royal Navy.

The RCAF accepted its first three DHC-1 Chipmunks in 1948 and did not retire the last one until 1971, three years after unification in 1968 had led to the demise of the RCAF. Large numbers were released onto the surplus civil market in the early 1960's, many of which were later considerably modified including horizontally-opposed engines, single seat versions, etc. The Chipmunk's long service was due, in part, to its fully aerobatic capabilities and superb flying characteristics, similar to the Spitfire's, which made it a delight to fly. It is also a mechanically sound aeroplane and, consequently, some 500 Chipmunks are still operational around the world, having been supplied to in Burma, Ceylon, Colombia, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Ireland, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Thailand and in Uruguay.

In the UK two are still operated by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Royal Navy, one with the Army Air Corps whilst in Portugal, seven are still in service with the Air Force Academy.

With the Portuguese Air Force (FAP)

The Portuguese Air Force ordered a version equipped with Gipsy Major 8 et 10 Mk 2 engines, electric starters and the original metal propellers were replaced with wooden ones supplied by OGMA. In 1952 OGMA reached an agreement to construct under licence in order to reduce the cost associated with a trainer in terms of having to invest in large numbers of stock including spare aircraft and maintenance. Therefore 66 aircraft were built by OGMA, preceded by 10 which were built in the UK : C1-0261, 0255, 0286, 0280, 0298, 0351, 0299, 0292,0346, and 0365 which received the registrations FAP 1301 to 1310. These and the other version were designated type Mk.20 with a Gipsy Major 10 Mk.2. engine.


The first aircraft were issued to the 1' Military Academy of the 1' Aéronautique de Sintra , Granja do Marques, Air Base N°1 in order to replace the Tiger Moth of which the operational life ended towards 1954. From 1953 onward, the first units produced by OGMA arrived in their unit at EIEP ( Esquadra de Instruçao Elementar de Pilotagem basic training sqn at Aveiro. This unit became the Base n° 2 in 1957 and later in 1958 Base n°7. The student pilots with the Academy received 4 weeks basic instruction on Chipmunk at the end of their first year at Aveiro. During their second year the remaining students flew two sorties per week following a conversion on T6 whilst navigational exercises were flown on multi engine aircraft. The conscript pilots (FAP short term contracted pilots) received four months basic instruction on Chipmunks in Sao Jacinto plus additionally 8 months in Sintra.

In 1987, the FAP bought 18 Aérospatiale Epsilon which were delivered between February and December 1989, in order to replace the Chipmunks and T37s. The Academy received 6 Chipmunks of which 3 were kept in reserve and 3 were used for towing gliders such as ASK 21 In 1989 the Chipmunks were decomissioned , finishing their career in Air Base 2 (Ota) and only three from the Academy remained. Two further aircraft were donated to the Air Museum at Alverca and the rest was put in storage of which more than twenty were later given to Portuguese aeroclubs.


In November 1996, the FAP decided to modify 7 Chipmunks ( FAP N°s 1312, 1315, 1316,1319, 1335 and 1339, followed by n° 1306) for IFR training with the AFA. The modifications started in 1997 with the first 5 aircraft at the OGMA works and 2 further with the IAC (Industrias Aeronauticas de Coimbra). The modifications were: installation of a lycoming O-360-A1A engine with 180 Hp, metal props, new brakes, anti spin fins, new radios, new transponders and a new livery indicating basic training. The first two aircraft were delivered to 1' AFA on July 7th 1997. It is to be noted that the British engineer Richard FARER had done identical modifications to his ex FAP 1345 registered G-OACP. This aircraft was to serve a "test" aircraft for the FAP at Sintra. In exchange, Richard FARER was given 3 ex-FAP Chipmunk in recognition.

In 1997 a new life started for this aircraft continuing its active service with the Portuguese Air Force since 1951. We wish it a long life flying the Cross of Christ colours.

History of the CHIP 1375 with the FAP
s/n Built @ Date Markings Unit Address
65 Ogma January 6th 1961 1375 Assembly Alverca, Portugal
February 6th 1961 First flight 20 mins. Alverca, Portugal
February 6th 1961 Base Aérea No. 7 San Jacinto, Portugal
October 14th 1970 Base Aérea No. 1 Sintra, Portugal
March 25th 1976 Base Aérea No. 2 Ota, Portugal
End 1989 The Chipmunks were decomissioned and sold to Portuguese Aeroclubs.

CHIP 1375 was restored to flying condition in France in 1997 and is operated under the French 'Avions de Collection certificate'.

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