|This classic British
trainer made its first flight on October 26, 1931. It is one of a number
of models of light aircraft named for moths in recognition of designer
Geoffrey de Havilland's interest in moths and butterflies. It became
popular with air forces throughout the United Kingdom as well as the
civilian aviation market. In Britain, 8,101 were manufactured plus 2,751
more in Canada, Australia,
and New Zealand.
During WWII, most Royal Air Force
pilots trained in Tiger Moths including Americans who flew with the
Eagle Squadrons before the U.S. entered the war. In the United Kingdom,
Tiger Moths performed a variety of roles in addition to that of primary
trainer including submarine patrol, air ambulance, and even prisoner
deliveries in 1939, the RAAF operated 861 Tiger Moths in all, 712 of
which were locally produced (in addition to others not delivered to the
RAAF) by De Havilland Australia at Bankstown, NSW. Several were also
delivered to other Commonwealth countries, and to the USAAF in
Australia. It became the basic trainer for thousands of Australian
Following World War 2,
hundreds of Tiger Moths became available for private ownership, at
asking prices of 300 to 500 pounds Australian, less than a third the
price of a new machine. Yet despite sale of several hundred in the
immediate post-war years, the last RAAF Tiger Moths flew in January
1957, when the remaining ten were flown from Point Cook to Tocumwal for
Span: 29 ft. 4 in.
Length: 23 ft. 11 in.
Height: 8 ft. 9.5 in.
Weight: 1,825 lbs. loaded
Engine: de Havilland Gipsy Major 1 of 120 hp.
Maximum speed: 104 mph/90 knots
Cruising speed: 90 mph/78 knots
Service Ceiling: 14,000 ft.
Range: 300 miles