Designed to carry the maximum possible payload on a 120 hp DH Gipsy III engine, the Fox Moth had a low cost due to its use of many Tiger Moth Components. The prototype first flew in January 1932.
Only the fuselage was new, reverting to wooden construction. Four passengers were accomodated in the cabin, behind which sat the pilot in an open cockpit. About ninety one DH 83s were produced by the parent company, forty eight being registered in Britain and the remainder sold overseas. In 1934, Bert Mercer’s Air Travel NZ Ltd began using Fox Moths on the West Coast of the South Island. These aircraft had enclosed cockpits, as did the fifty subsequently built by de Havilland Canada post 1945.