The Tiger Moth DH.82 prototype was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland, based upon the Gipsy Moth, as a training aircraft.
The main design change on the Tiger Moth was to give the occupier of the front cockpit easy access and an easy means of escape, especially if having to 'parachute' out.
To achieve this, the top wings were moved further forward than normal but swept back to maintain the centre of lift. The structure was also strengthened, fold down doors were put on both sides of the cockpit and the exhaust systems were revised.
The prototype was powered by a de Havilland Gipsy III producing 120 hp and first flew on the 26th of October 1931 flown by Chief Test Pilot Hurbert Broad.
A distinctive feature of the Tiger Moth was the ailerons which were on the lower wings only and controlled by an externally mounted circular bell-crank rotated by cables from the control columns.
The Tiger Moth proved to be an ideal trainer aircraft as it was simple, cheap to own and maintain with a slowness to react from control movements helping to access trainees potential.
The Tiger Moth I, designation DH 82, was operated as a primary trainer by the Royal Air Force with 35 being ordered fitted with the Gipsy III engine producing 120 hp. The Tiger Moth II, designation DH.2A, was fitted with a Gipsy Major I engine producing 130 hp, a further 50 were ordered.
The Tiger Moth entered service with the Central Flying School in February 1932 and by the start of WWII the RAF had 500 of the aircraft in service and many civilian Tiger Moths were impressed to meet the demand.
In 1935, a modified Tiger Moth II, designated DH.82B 'Queen Bee', was produced as a radio controlled target tug with almost 300 in service by WWII.
The Tiger Moth remained in service with the RAF until replaced by the de Havilland Chipmunk in 1952.
De Havilland produced 1,523 Tiger Moth DH.82C's for Canada which were powered by a Gipsy Major 1C engine producing 145 hp. They were also modified to have a tail wheel, a stronger main undercarriage and an enclosed cockpit with sliding canopy as required by the colder climate.
The Tiger Moth DH.82A was also supplied to the USAAF with some 200 being produced and the aircraft being designated PT-24.
After the war, there were large numbers of surplus Tiger Moths and many were sold to individuals and flying clubs to be civil registered. They proved very popular as they were inexpensive to operate and quickly took on roles such as aerial advertising, crop dusting, aerobatic performing and used as a glider tug.
The Royal Navy purchased some ex-civil Tiger Moths in 1956 to be used as target tugs with one being the last bi-plane to land on a carrier during the summer of 1967. They finally left service in the 1970's.
|Crew:||1 or 2 (in tandem)|
|Length:||23ft 11in (7.29m)|
|Wingspan:||29ft 4in (8.94m)|
|Height:||8ft 9.5in (2.68m)|
|Empty Weight:||1,115lb (506kg)|
|Max. Weight:||1,770lb (803kg)|
|Engine:||De Havilland Gipsy III or Gipsy Major.|
|Max. Speed:||109mph (175km/h)|
|Range:||302 miles (486km)|
2 seat trainer aircraft fitted with a Gipsy III engine producing 120 hp, known as 'Tiger Moth I' in the RAF.
2 seat trainer aircraft fitted with a Gipsy Major engine producing 130 hp, known as 'Tiger Moth II' in the RAF.
Radio Controlled target drone known as Queen Bee.
Modified for the RCAF fitted with glass canopies and cockpit heating. Powered by Gipsy Major engine producing 145 hp.
PT-24 Moth was the US designation for DH.82C operated by the RCAF.
'G-ANKT', original serial number T6818, was originally built by Morris Motors Ltd at Cowley in 1940.
It was aquired by the Shuttleworth Collection in 1966, along with the remains of two other Tiger Moths, to be restored with it having it's first flight in October 1977.
The Tiger Moth. 'G-ANKT' is part of the Shuttleworth Collection, based at Old Warden, where it can be seen today.