Most enthusiasts of the Chipmunk will know that the type dates back to Canadian origin and that the prototype first flew on May 22nd. 1946. However, many will be unaware of the export to the U.K. of six of the first twenty Canadian built DHC-1 examples and the early years of the Chipmunk in England prior to Royal Air Force entry in February 1950.

First on the list was none other than the prototype which was registered CF-DIO-X at the time of the first flight and continued with test and development work along with the second aircraft CF-DJF-X, which was first flown on June 30th. 1946. Both aircraft continued with this programme until November of that year when 'DIO-X was dismantled and prepared for shipment to the parent company at Hatfield on the ss Beaverglen, the official delivery date being given as the 20th. No other Chipmunks were built and completed in 1946 and 'DJF-X crashed on January 19th. 1947 in the first spinning accident involving a Chipmunk aircraft.

CF-DIO-X arrived in the U.K. in the company colours of polished metal with dark green lettering and cheat line both outlined in white and was re-assembled in late December and first flown on January 15th. 1947. It made its first public appearance at White Waltham on the eighteenth of that month at a meeting which was organised by members of the Informal Light Aircraft Committee and sponsered by the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (MTCA). The purpose of the meeting was to gather together as many new light aircraft as possible for both inspection and flying by all interested parties. Flown by Pat Fillingham, it was well received.

DHC-1 Chipmunk CD-DIO-X at Hatfield on January 22, 1947. Note the trim tabs on both elevators.
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