DH.82a Tiger Moth
Despite being a completely British design, many Australians associate the venerable Tiger Moth with this country as so many were built here.
Most RAAF pilots of WWII learnt to fly on them. They were then popular training aircraft in flying schools around Australia for decades after the war and can still be seen flying at many airfields today.
The type was built in significant numbers (1,070) in Australia from 1941 to meet wartime training requirements, but Geoffrey de Havilland actually designed and flew this, the best known of all his aircraft, back in 1931.
This was his 82nd design. He had learnt a lot from the aircraft he developed during WWI, including the DH2, DH4, DH5, DH6 and DH9, which all had some limited success. He designed a great deal more aircraft during the 1920s.
In 1931 de Havilland sought to produce a light aircraft superior to his previous types for both the military and civil market. An RAF training requirement specified easy access and egress from the front cockpit, as the front seat occupant had to be able to escape quickly whilst wearing a parachute.
Access previously was restricted by the proximity of the aircraft's fuel tank, directly above the front cockpit and the rear cabane struts for the upper wing. The solution adopted was to shift the upper wing forward but sweep the wings back to maintain the centre of lift.
de Havilland also added fold-down doors on both sides of the cockpit.
On 26th October 1931 the first true Tiger Moth, the prototype E6, conducted its maiden flight at Stag Lane Aerodrome, Edgware, London.
The type went on to serve as a military trainer with 39 different countries, most notably during World War II. The last 'Tiger' wasn't retired from the RAF until 1959!
Length: 7.34 m (23 ft 11 in)
Wingspan: 8.94 m (29 ft 4 in)
Height: 2.68 m (8 ft 9 in)
Wing Area: 22.20 m2 (239 ft2)
Empty Weight: 506 kg (1,115 lb)
Useful Load: 323 kg (710 lb)
Loaded Weight: 828 kg (1,825 lb)
Crew: 2 (Student and Instructor)
1 x 130 hp (100 kW) de Havilland Gypsy Major I inverted 4-cylinder inline engine
Maximum Speed: 175 km/h (109 mph, 95 kn) at 5,000 ft
Cruise Speed: 148 km/h (92 mph, 80 kn)
Range: 486 km (250 nautical miles)
Service Ceiling: 4,145 m (13,600 ft)
Rate of Climb: 3.4 m/s (673 ft/min)
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