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de Havilland Tiger Moth

An RCAF de Havilland 82A Tiger MothThe design of the well-known de Havilland Tiger Moth was based on the D.H. 60 Moth, a plane first developed by Geoffrey de Havilland in 1925. The Tiger Moth’s wings were swept back to allow for better access to the cockpit. The D.H. 60 and the Tiger Moth both used the inverted D.H. Gipsy engine.

A prototype Tiger Moth flew for the first time in October 1931 in England. The plane was designed as a military trainer, but was also sold to civilians before the Second World War.

A man flying solo in a de Havilland Tiger MothDuring the war, the possibility arose that the supply of D.H. Gypsy Major 1C engines could be blocked, and so the Menasco engine was used in the Canadian Moth. This incarnation was called the "D.H.82C2 Menasco Moth". The new version of the Moth did not perform as well as the Tiger Moth because the Menasco engine had 125-horse power, while the Gipsy engine had 140-horse power.

Photograph of a Tiger Moth.Following the Second World War, the Tiger Moth was used by Allied air forces, including those from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Iraq, New Zealand, Persia, Portugal, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, and Sweden. The Tiger Moth became one of the main elementary trainers of the British Commonwealth Training Program.

Large numbers of Moths were later sold as war surplus to individual citizens, small aviation companies, and flying clubs.


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