The De Havilland Tiger Moth 

Great Britain
Great Britain

side view front view under view

The Tiger Moth is a legend. Not because it's role during the War (trainer), but because of its aerobatic endeavours.
Because of the success of a civil aircraft, the D.H.60 Moth, de Havilland decided to produce a military version as well. The D.H.60T Moth trainer was a reinforced version, and had provisions for practice bombs, a gun camera or a reconnaissance camera, and a revised front cockpit for a quick exit in case of an emergency.


Further pictures:

The De Havilland Tiger Moth
The De Havilland Tiger Moth


Technical data on the De Havilland Tiger Moth Mk II
Powerplant 1 × Gipsy Major 1 inverted inline, rated at 130 hp (96.91 kW) Role during war
  • Trainer
Length 23 ft 11 inch Height 8 ft 9.5 inch
Empty weight 1115 lb Operational weight 1750 lb typical,
1825 lb max
Wing Span 29 ft 4 inch Wing Aspect ratio Bi-plane
Wing Area 239 sq ft Service ceiling 14000 ft
Maximum speed 104 mph at sea level Cruising speed 93 mph at optimum altitude
Initial climb rate 635 ft per min,
Climb to 10,000 ft in 23 min 30 sec
Range 302 miles typical
Fuel capacity internal 22.8 Imp gal (27.4 US gal) Fuel capacity external -
Machine guns - Cannons -
Bomb load Some aircraft had provisions for two bomb racks, to be able to carry 8 × 20 lb bombs for emergency and anti-submarine activities Torpedoes/rockets -
Crew 2: pilot, instructor Naval or ground based Ground
First flight (prototype) 26 October 1931 Operational Service February 1932 - 1953
Manufacturer De Havilland Aircraft co. Ltd. Number produced 9.216 total (including drones), 7.058 this version
Metric system
Length 7.29 m Height 2.68 m
Empty weight 506 kg Operational weight 794 kg typical,
828 kg max
Wing Span 8.94 m Wing Aspect ratio 1
Wing Area 22.2 m² Service ceiling 4267 m
Maximum speed 167 km/h at sea level Cruising speed 150 km/h at optimum altitude
Initial climb rate 194 m per min,
Climb to 3050 m in 23 min 30 sec
Range 486 km typical
Fuel capacity internal 103.6 liters Fuel capacity external -
Machine guns - Cannons -
Bomb load Some aircraft had provisions for two bomb racks, to be able to carry 8 × 9 kg bombs for emergency and anti-submarine activities Torpedoes/rockets -

Here is a quick overview of all different versions, without the full technical specifications:

Different versions of the De Havilland Tiger Moth 
De Havilland D.H.60T Tiger Moth Direct fore father of the Tiger Moth. Powered by the de Havilland Gipsy III Inline, rated at 120 hp (89 kW).
Number built: 8
De Havilland D.H.82 Tiger Moth Mk I Success of the Tiger Moth ensured antother contract, and revised specifications forced de Havilland to adapt their existing design to the D.H.82 standard. The main change only concerned the lower wing. Empty weight was 1,075 lb (488 kg), maximum take-off was 1,825 lb (828 kg), max level speed was 109 Mph (175 km/h).
Number built: 101
De Havilland D.H.82A Tiger Moth Mk II Similar to the Mk I, it differed only in a slightly more powerfull engine and plywood covering on some areas in stead of fabric. It also featured a hood over the rear cockpit to train instrument flying. Production started at a leisurely rate, but when the War broke out it was decided that the Mk II would be the main trainer of the Empire Air Training Scheme schools all over the world. Production ensued in over 6 countries.
Number built: 7.058
De Havilland D.H.82B Queen Bee An all-wood radio controlled target for target practice. It featured the fuselage of the D.H.60 Moth Major, wings of the D.H.82A Tiger Moth, Gipsy Major engine, a large fuel tank, and a slipstream-driven generator for electricity.
Number built: 800
De Havilland D.H.82C Tiger Moth Canadian winterized version, featuring ean enclosed, heated cockpit, wheel breaks, a tailwheel in stead of a tailskid, and the provision for use of ski's or floats in stead of wheels. The powerplant was either the Gipsy Major 1C, rated at 145 hp (108 kW), or the Menasco Pirate D4 Inverted inline, rated at 120 hp (89 kW), depending on the availability of the Gipsy Major. 786 aircraft finally received the Menasco engine, the rest Gipsy's.
Number built: 1.553


A lot of the Tiger Moths were exported to foreign countries to serve in their respective airforces as a trainer, one of which was the Netherlands (my home :-) ). The rest went to civil owners, and quite a few are still flying today.





© by Frans Bonné, 2000
Last revision: 9/20/00