Out of Africa Gipsy Moth goes ‘home’

Bonhams had a rather interesting little lot come up in its recent sale at the Grand Palais in Paris: the 1929 American Moth Corporation De Havilland 60GMW Gipsy Moth which featured in the seven-time Oscar-winning 1985 movie Out of Africa.

Glorious colour scheme from its movie star days is retained by G-AAMY

Glorious colour scheme from its movie star days is retained by G-AAMY

This is the aircraft in which Robert Redford wooed Meryl Streep and director Sydney Pollack wowed audiences with the spectacular aerial footage of Kenya at its best. The little yellow and black Gipsy Moth was registered as G-AAMT for the movie, a registration given to a DH.60 Moth on September 16 1930 and ‘lapsed’ when the aircraft was written off barely two months later.

Wearing the registration G-AAMY not only to retain as much of its movie identity as possible but also to pay tribute to Amy Johnson, the American-built Moth sold for €201,250 to an anonymous Kenyan telephone bidder, held during the celebrated Rétromobile event. The sale set a new world record for a Gipsy Moth, and means that the aircraft will leave England after many years and return ‘home’ to Africa.


Gladiator in action

Here’s a little treat: the Shuttleworth Collection’s wonderful Gloster Gladiator in action at Old Warden, very tastefully led in by a couple of minutes of static filming to the sound of Billy Cotton’s orchestra playing Clouds Will Soon Roll By in 1932.