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de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth

Basic Trainer Biplane

For its time, there was no more a trusted basic trainer than the storied de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth biplane.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 5/17/2016
The famous de Havilland DH.82 "Tiger Moth" biplane was a dedicated military-minded basic trainer derived from the preceding DH.60T with its 120 horsepower Gipsy II series engine. The DH.82 was specifically developed by the de Havilland concern as a military product from the beginning and instituted a series of modifications to suit the role including a reinforced airframe and provisions for practice drop bombs or reconnaissance equipment. The Tiger Moth incorporated a metal skin and seated the student and instructor in tandem and the product went on to become a famous British-designed and developed biplane trainer which provided many-an-airman their first taste of heavier-than-air powered flight.

The DH.82 was born through eight pre-production airframes that were assigned the same DH.60T designation as the previous "Moth" trainer line. The aircraft retained the same biplane wing arrangement save for the upper assembly being moved slightly forward to ease cockpit entry-exit and improved vision about the aircraft. This forced the use of angled parallel struts. The engine was fitted to a forward compartment and drove a two-bladed assembly. The student and instructor sat in separate open-air cockpits. The undercarriage was fixed through two landing wheels and a tailskid while the empennage utilized a large-area rudder and low-set horizontal planes. Power was served through 1 x de Havilland Gipsy III series engine of 120 horsepower. First flight of the prototype was recorded in October of 1931 with revised wings incorporating more sweep-back.

Serial production of DH.82 aircraft was massive for the inter-war years and totaled 8,868 units from 1931 to 1944. It was formally introduced in 1932 and saw consistent service into 1952 while remaining a popular mount for civilian pilots. The definitive mark became the DH.82A Tiger Moth Mk II with revised rear-decking. Another version, the DH.82B "Queen Bee", was used as a remotely-piloted target drone. The DH.82C became a "winterized" model for Arctic conditions and operations. There were several sub-variants of this mark.

Military operators proved numerous and ran the gamut of Commonwealth nations. Other foreign operators became Brazil, Denmark, France, Iran and Iraq, Spain, Sweden, Thailand and the United States among others. Having served prior to, and during, World War 2, some examples fell to the enemy Germans (Luftwaffe) during the conflict. However, the true Tiger Moth value was well-known to the host nation of the United Kingdom where the aircraft stocked the inventories of some twenty Royal Air Force (RAF) squadrons and served within the Fleet Air Arm (FAA) as well.

The Tiger Moth remains a popular air show traveler even today (2014) and is used in large numbers despite production having begun in the 1930s.


[ 8,868 Units ] :
de Havilland Aircraft Company - UK
National flag of Australia National flag of Belgium National flag of Brazil National flag of Canada National flag of Czechoslovakia National flag of Democratic Republic of the Congo National flag of Denmark National flag of Egypt National flag of Finland National flag of France National flag of Germany National flag of Nazi Germany National flag of Greece National flag of India National flag of Iran National flag of Iraq National flag of Israel National flag of Jordan National flag of Netherlands National flag of New Zealand National flag of Norway National flag of Pakistan National flag of Poland National flag of Portugal National flag of Republic of the Congo National flag of Rhodesia National flag of Spain National flag of Sweden National flag of Thailand National flag of United Kingdom National flag of United States National flag of Uruguay National flag of Yugoslavia Australia; Belgium; Brazil; Burma; Canada; Ceylon; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Czechoslovakia; Denmark; Egypt; Finland; France; Nazi Germany; Greece; India; Iran; Iraq; Israel; Jordan; Malaya; Netherlands; New Zealand; Norway; Pakistan; Poland; Portugal; Rhodesia; Spain; Southern Rhodesia; Sri lanka; Sweden; Thailand; United Kingdom; United States; Uruguay; Yugoslavia
- Training
23.92 ft (7.29 m)
29.33 ft (8.94 m)
8.83 ft (2.69 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth production model)
Empty Weight:
1,102 lb (500 kg)
1,830 lb (830 kg)
(Diff: +728lb)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth production model)
1 x de Havilland Gipsy Major inline engine developing 130 horsepower.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth production model)
Maximum Speed:
109 mph (175 kph; 94 kts)
Service Ceiling:
13,599 feet (4,145 m; 2.58 miles)
Maximum Range:
301 miles (485 km; 262 nm)
675 ft/min (206 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
(Showcased armament details pertain to the de Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth production model)
D.H.82A "Tiger Moth" - de Havilland Model Designation
"Tiger Moth II" - T.26/33 Models Built to Air Ministry Specification; rear cockpit instrument training hood; plywood rear fuselage.

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