de Havilland 

DH 82

Tiger Moth

Preserved and airworthy Tiger Moth VH-SCC


The Tiger Moth is one of the major success stories of the aviation. The pre-war biplane trainer Tiger Moth was evolved from the DH 60 Gipsy Moth, a 1924 design. Flown for the first time on 26 October, 1931, the Tiger Moth was subsequently developed during the early 1930s as a military trainer.  The DH 82 was powered by a 120 hp Gipsy II engine, but the 1939 DH 82a  received the 145 hp Gipsy Major. More than 1,000 Tiger Moths were delivered before WWII, and subsequently 4,005 were built in the UK and shipped all over the world. 1,747 were built in Canada (the majority being DH 82c's with enclosed cockpits, brakes, and tail wheels), 1,085 in Australia and 345 in New Zealand. A number of Tiger Moths have been converted as four-seat cabin biplanes know as the Jackaroo.

It was a basic trainer of the BCATP (British Commonwealth Air Training Plan) during WWII, where by air crews from all over the British Commonwealth trained in Canada; and with the RAF in India, South Africa and elsewhere.

The Tiger Moth along with the Harvard was selected as the favoured trainer aircraft in Canada, Australia and New Zealand as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme (EATS) or British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), and trained many Fleet Air Arm personnel. The BCATP evolved following a meeting of Government representatives from United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada in Ottawa, and signed an agreement to set up the Plan in December 1939, converting Canada into what President Roosevelt later termed "the aerodrome of democracy." The first schools opened in Canada in April 1940, and by 24 November 1940 the first trainees from the Scheme arrived in the UK. In total 137,000 aircrew came to Canada from all corners of the globe to earn their wings in the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. One of the main training schools was at the RCAF Station, Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, where the Royal Navy had the eastern side of the airfield whilst the RCAF flew anti-submarine patrols in Cansos from the other side of the field.

At the end of WWII, pilots could buy and modify a Tiger Moth for recreational or agricultural crop spraying use relatively cheaply. This, combined with its popularity within the aero club movement, provided employment for the Tiger Moths until the late fifties when the more modern closed cockpit aircraft forced them into retirement.

In total over 8,700 Tiger Moths have been built, 4,200 of them for the RAF alone. The
type is credited with training thousands of pilots for the Allied war effort and remained in service until as late as 1951 in the UK and 1955 in NZ.

PH-CSL as "002" in the Dutch Navy in 1946

The Fleet Air Arm received all its 113 Tiger Moths as various transfers from the RAF. THe first was deliverdd to 6 MU in September 1939 thence to 780 squadron at Lee on solent in May 1940 (N9201). the majority of the FAA Tiger Moths saw service with 780 squadron from July 1941 until 1943, as well as 758 and 756 squadrons. Many ogf the aircraft were sent overseas to Kenya, to the BCATP to RN airfields at Australia at Bankstown, Nowra, and with the RAAF, also to Kai Tak, and Dekheila, as well as to RNARY Fayid.

The last aircraft in RN service were in September 1945 with Tiger Moth A-17-750 of the RAAF flown by RN personnel, and in August 1946 with Tiger Moth A17-84 RAAF flying with 721 squadron at Kai Tak.

     Fleet Air Arm history
         De Havilland Tiger Moth
          Total FAA 1939-1945             113 (others served in the Commonwealth as part of the BCATP)
          First delivered to RN:              6 MU 9.39
          First squadron 1939-1945:        780 sqdn Lee on solent 5.1940 (N9201).
          Operational squadron:              None
          Last served with RN                1946
Aircraft Type:
de Havilland DH82 Tiger Moth
Primary Role:
First Flight: 
26 October, 1931
Date operating with FAA squadrons:
De Havilland 
One 145 hp deHavilland Gipsy Major I four cylinder (inverted) engine
 Wing Span: Length: Height: Wing Area: 
Span 29 ft 4"
Length: 23 ft 11"
Height 8 ft 10"
Wing area: 239 sq ft
Empty Weight: Max.Weight:
Empty weight: 1,115 lbs.
Loaded weight: 1,825 lbs.
Maximum speed: 109 mph
Ceiling: 15,800 ft
Range:275 miles
(1833 post war in 1953)
Battle honours:
None with FAA
Additional references and notes:
Battle Honours and Operational History
None with the FAA

Preserved and airwirthy Tiger Moth VH-BJE of Antique Airways (Australia)
one of the first Australian built Tiger Moths, constructed on 24 July 1940

Surviving aircraft and relics

Former FAA Tiger Moth Mk II T8191/G-BWMK

Former Naval aviation Tiger Moth PH-CSL preserved in Netherlands
Another fomer naval aviation Tiger Moth known to be preserved is Tiger Moth PH-CSL and numbered as "002" ( (formerly PG 712, RNLAF A2, ex OO-DJU). The aircraft, built in 1944, arrived in Holland in 1946 to serve in the Royal Netherlands Air Force as the A-2, until 1961. In the mean time the A-2 was lent out for a period of 2 years to the Royal Netherlands Navy as the "002" (see picture above). In 1962 th A-2 left for Belgium to become OO-DJU, and was based at Antwerp and Brasschaat Air Force Base. In 1968 she was bought by the previous owner, and returned to Holland in 1971 as PH-CSL. Only then she was fitted with the Fokker tail, or "beddenplank" (bedboard).

Tiger Moth G-ANDE preserved in flying condition

Associations and reunions

The Tiger Moth Ring is maintained by Flying Wires, operators of Tiger Moth G-AJHS.  The Tiger Moth Ring is a Webring that aims to link all websites related to Moth aircraft in general
and the Tiger Moth in particular. 
CNAPG Individual Aircraft Details Tiger Moth Page  This page contains serials/registrations and details of the owners and individual history of many of the Tiger Moths produced.
Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum Details of the BCATP in Canada
 An A-Z of Aircraft Profiles by FAUCONBERG AEROGRAPHICS Profile including DE HAVILLAND TIGER MOTH T. Mk.2, 16 Reserve Flying School, Royal Air Force , Derby, June 1947
Australian Tiger Moths Details by serial number
The Tiger Moth in Israeli Service Part of an Israeli Air Force site, this page details the Tiger Moth's service with the fledgling Israeli Air Force before and during the War of Independence.
Individual aircraft detail page deHavilland Tiger Moth Aircraft are grouped under their registration /military serial numbers. Not all of these have had their individual links completed yet.
Tiger Moth Discussion List The aim of this discussion list is to provide a forum for (Tiger) Moth owners,
pilots, engineers, operators, restorers, etc. for discussing all (Tiger) Moth related
issues - with a wide margin.
Tony Stigle photographs Photographs and history of Tiger moths G-ASKP and G-ACDC
Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995) 'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to 1945'  Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1995 ISBN: 085130 232 7 
Created 3-4-1999, Modified 3-4-2000


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