DH82A Tiger Moth
The venerable De Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth, the namesake of this site. So many people have wound up here looking for DH82A information, I reckon this is a long-overdue page. This is not going to be a Cowboy Guide, because I have personally never flown one, although it is definitely on my “must do” list. So why, you may be wondering, would I name my site DH82.com? During the 1939-1945 World War II, my father trained on, instructed in and eventually commanded C Flight, NZ EFTS, Taieri, in the DH82A. He is the inspiration for the site, my career in aviation -and for me personally. He was a man who tempered his advice with a strong element of common sense, a dearth of Political Correctness -and humour.
RIP, LJ. Keep her straight with Rudder 😉
So, the Tiger Moth… not an easy machine to find a lot of information on, online. As I mentioned earlier, I have no experience of the aircraft myself to draw on, so what little I present here is what I have been able to glean from a variety of sources. There are a number of places out there that either do, or at least used to provide Tiger Moth data, handling notes, maintenance and parts manuals -at a cost! The best I can do is provide links, as and when I become aware of them. What little information I am able to provide, has been gleaned from sources that are probably best described as frangible -the data will eventually disappear, so I have republished it here in hope of providing some level of durability and longevity. Perhaps the one relevant piece of information I can provide from personal experience is a link to the Croydon Aircraft site. They are based at the old Mandeville airfield, about a 20 minute drive from Gore, in Southland, New Zealand. Their workmanship is remarkable. Perfection is the only word to describe the standard they achieve. They have a world-wide reputation as rebuilders and restorers of De Havilland airframes (amongst others!), fabric re-coverers and manufacturers of replacement parts, including fuel and oil tanks.
Should you have an interest in old aircraft, aircraft in general or the Tiger Moth in particular, this site (and indeed, location should you find yourself in NZ for any reason) is a must-see.
The Tiger Moth responds well to control input, and is fairly easy to fly for a tail dragger. Its big “parachute” wings are very forgiving, and it stalls at a speed as slow as 25 knots with power. Its stall and spin characteristics are benign. It has some adverse yaw, and therefore requires rudder input during turns. The take off is then uneventful, and it has a reasonable rate of climb. However, full power should not be maintained for more than a minute or so to avoid damaging the engine. The Tiger Moth’s biplane design makes it strong, and it is fully aerobatic. But it only has ailerons on its bottom wing, which makes its rate of roll relatively slow for a biplane. Most manoeuvres are started at about 90 to 110 knots, and it has a Velocity Never Exceeded (VNE) of 139 knots. It is important to lock the automatic slats (leading edge flaps) during aerobatic manoeuvres. “Wheel” landings are straight forward, as the plane is pushed on to the runway at a moderate speed with just the front wheels on the ground, and then the tail is held up until the speed reduces. The open cockpit allows pilots to stick their heads over the side to see the runway. As the aircraft is a tail dragger, it is essential to land it straight with no sideways movement to avoid ground loops. I was hoping to have been able to provide a comprehensive pre- and in-flight checklists, but am unable to do so at this moment. Tigger Checklists provide an example of a checklist appropriate to one airframe, as an example. As more links and information become available, I will update this document. Any current DH82A pilots that see any need for revision of information here, or that wish to provide any additional information, please feel free to Contact Us.
de Havilland Support may be a good source for the purchase of relevant documentation.
Tiger Moth Club of New Zealand has some excellent and relevant resources available.
As usual, use of any information provided here is at your own risk. Please seek the advice of current instructors before acting on anything here.