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De Havilland
Tiger Moth
& Queen Bee

De Havilland's Classic biplane trainer and early pilotless 'drone'.
DH82a Tiger Moth DH82a Tiger Moth
The prototype DH82 Tiger Moth E-6 (later G-ABRC) flew for the first time on 26th October 1931.
Intended from the outset for a primary training role, the DH82 Tiger Moth was developed from the DH60T Moth Trainer by the adoption of the inverted Gipsy III engine.

A modified centre section allowed the front seat occupant (Instructor) to escape more easily in emergencies and this was achieved by moving the centre section forward of the front cockpit. Wing sweep was then required to restore the centre of gravity position together with increased lower wing dihedral to improve tip clearance. These key features distinguish the Tiger Moth from the Moth or Moth Major.

Initially, the RAF only ordered 35 dual-control aircraft with the company designation DH82 although this was quickly followed by another for a further 50, powered by the DH Gipsy Major 1 engine.  These were known as DH82a or to the RAF ‘Tiger Moth II’.

In February 1932 the Moth entered service at the RAF Central Flying School at RAF Upavon in Wiltshire although by the outbreak of World War II the RAF these were supplemented by a large number of commandeered civil aircraft.

DH82 Tiger Moth (R-5130) 1940DH82 Tiger Moth (R-5130) 1940
During the full production run of over 8,800 aircraft, over 4,000 were built during the war years with over 50% of that number being built at Morris Motors in Cowley in order to free up capacity at Hatfield for the production of the DH98 Mosquito.

Nowadays, the DH82 Tiger Moth is part of what appears to be a growing family of original and restored Moths spread around the world.

The introduction of the Gipsy Major engine resulted in a change of designation to DH82A and the Tiger Moth rapidly became the standard trainer for civilian and RAF use and was widely exported.

Tiger Moths, like its fore-runners, were also built by De Havilland Canada although their variant feature Menasco engines and are known better as DH82C Menasco Moths.  Canada created 1,548 aircraft as well as an additional 200 Tiger Moths for the USAAF Lend-Lease scheme which were designated PT-24 before being delivered to the Canadian Air Force.

Initially, De Havilland Australia produced 20 aircraft from UK built components which lead to a further 1,070 being built at Mascot Aerodrome near Sydney.

Other overseas manufacturing added to the tally with 23 aircraft being built in Sweden as the SK.11, 91 by OGMA in Portugal, 38 in Norway and 133 in New Zealand.  There are also records showing that an unquantified ‘large number’ of kits were also assembled around the world.
DH82 Queen BeeDH82 Queen Bee
A pilotless derivative, the Queen Bee, was developed for use as a gunnery training target, 320 being built at Hatfield and 60 by Scottish Aviation at Prestwick. Final numbers are unknown as so many aircraft were destroyed without first receiving either registration or record.

A further development of the Tiger Moth was the Thruxton Jackaroo which was a conversion of 18 x DH82’s, carried out by Thruxton Aircraft in Wiltshire and a single conversion by Rollason’s at Croydon Airport in 1960.   A four-seat cabin biplane, the Jackaroo saw little success with 3 of the aircraft eventually ending up as crop sprayers.

The Tigers Moth was also the basis for the DH83 Fox Moth which utilised re-rigged wings and converted fuselage to accommodate a passenger cabin with the pilot still operating in an open cockpit.

Officially retired from service in 1959, Tigers and many other Moths continue to the a pilots first taste of the air which is something still favoured by many Airline Captains during the ‘downtime’.


DH.60T Moth Trainer
/ Tiger Moth
Military training version of the De Havilland.
DH.60 Moth
8 built
First prototypes.
DH.82 Tiger Moth                        Configuration aircraft were re-named Tiger Moth.
DH.82 Tiger Moth I Two-seat primary trainer aircraft, powered by a 120 hp (89 kW) De Havilland piston engine.
DH.82A Tiger Moth II Two-seat primary trainer aircraft, powered by a 130 hp (97 kW) De Havilland Gipsy Major piston engine and fitted with a hood over the rear cockpit for blind flying instruction.
DH.82B Tiger Moth III
1 built
Improved variant with a De Havilland Gipsy Major III engine, a wider fuselage and larger fin - The designation is often applied to the Queen Bee in error.
DH.82C Tiger Moth
1,523 built
(inc Menasco Moths & PT24's)
Cold weather operations version, fitted with sliding perspex-canopies, cockpit heating, brakes, tail wheels and metal struts. Powered by a 145 hp (108 kW) De Havilland Gipsy Major piston engine.
DH.82C-2 Menasco Moth I
10 built
DH.82C fitted with Menasco D-4 Super Pirate 125 hp inline inverted 4-cylinder engine (due to shortages of Gipsy Major). Primarily as radio trainers - distinguishable from DH.82C by opposite rotation of propeller and reversal of the cowling openings.
DH.82C-4 Menasco Moth II
125 built
As DH.82C-2 but with reduced fuel capacity and further detail alterations - One example survives and is on display at Canada Aviation and Space Museum in Ottawa.
DH.82C-4 Menasco Moth III
1 built
Fitted with American AT-1/AR-2 radio and intended as a radio trainer from outset but project cancelled when shortages of British radios and engines was resolved - The sole example (RCAF 4934) was converted from Menasco Moth II.
DH.82 Queen Bee
405 built
Unmanned radio-controlled target drone used Tiger Moth wings and for economy a wooden fuselage based on that of the DH.60 Moth. The Queen Bee was intended to be operated from either floats or wheels.
PT-24 Moth
200 built
United States military designation for the DH.82C ordered for Lend-Lease to the Royal Canadian Air Force. Built by De Havilland Canada. 
Thruxton Jackaroo
19 conversions
Four-seat cabin biplane, modified from existing DH.82A airframes by widening the gap between the fuselage longerons.

Specification (DH82A)

Powerplant                                 One 130hp De Havilland Gipsy Major, or (DH83C) one 145 hp Gipsy Major 1C
Span 29 ft 4 in Maximum Weight 1,825 lb
Capacity Pilot and passenger or instructor and pupil
Maximum Speed               104 mph
Cruising Speed 90 mph Range 300 miles

Number built

DH82a, b & c Approx 8,800                               
DH82 Queen Bee  380


Numerous examples of the Tiger Moth are still flying today (an estimated 250). 
The number of airworthy Tiger Moths has increased as previously neglected aircraft (or those previously only used for static display in museums) have been restored.
DH82 Tiger Moth
Alberta Aviation Museum, Edmonton, Canada.                                                        
DH82 Tiger Moth
(A-38 MLD)
Nationaal Luchtvaart-Themapark Aviodrome, Lelystad, Netherlands
DH82 Tiger Moth
(RCAF 4841)
Canadian Air and Space Museum, Toronto, Canada
DH82C2 Moth
(RCAF 4861)
Canada Aviation and Space Museum, Ottawa, Canada
DH82C2 Moth
(RCAF 5875)
Canadian Museum of Flight, Langley, Canada
DH82C2 Moth
(RCAF 8922)
Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum, Hamilton, Canada
DH82C Tiger Moth  Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, Brandon, Manitoba, Canada
DH82C Tiger Moth (CF-IVO)
EAA AirVenture Museum, Oshkosh, United States
DH82C Tiger Moth Heritage Park, Calgary, Canada
DH82 Tiger Moth
Indian Air Force Museum, Palam, India.
DH82C Tiger Moth Israeli Air Force Museum, Hatzerim, Israel
DH-82A Tiger Moth
Luskintyre Aviation Flying Museum, Luskintyre, NSW Australia
DH82A Tiger Moth
Mackay Tiger Moth Museum, Mackay, Australia.
DH82A Tiger Moth
Mackay Tiger Moth Museum, Mackay, Australia.
DH82A Tiger Moth
Malta Aviation Museum, Malta
DH82A Tiger Moth
De Havilland Aircraft Museum, London Colney, England
DH82A Tiger Moth Museo Aeronáutico "Coronel (Aviador) Jaime Meregalli" (es), Uruguay
DH82A Tiger Moth
Museo Nacional Aeronáutico y del Espacio (es) Chile
DH82A Tiger Moth
Museu Aeroespacial, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
DH82A Tiger Moth
Museu do Ar, Sintra, Portugal
DH82A Tiger Moth
Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, Wellington, NZ
DH82A Tiger Moth
(N9510 / G-AOEL )
National Museum of Flight at RAF East Fortune in Scotland
DH82A Tiger Moth
National Museum of the United States Air Force, Dayton, Ohio, USA
DH82A Tiger Moth
Cole Palen's Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome,Rhinebeck, New York, USA
DH82A Tiger Moth
PAF Museum, Karachi, Pakistan
DH82 II Tiger Moth
Polish Aviation Museum, Kraków, Poland
DH82A Tiger Moth
RAAF Museum, RAAF Williams Point Cook, Australia
DH82A Tiger Moth
Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin, Canada
DH82A Tiger Moth
Royal Aero Club of Western Australia (Inc.), Jandakot, Australia
DH82A Tiger Moth II
Royal Aero Club of Western Australia (Inc.), Jandakot, Australia
DH82A Tiger Moth
Royal Museum of the Armed Forces/Military History, Brussels, Belgium
DH82A Tiger Moth II
Royal New Zealand Air Force Museum, Wigram, New Zealand
DH82A Tiger Moth
Royal Newcastle Aero Club, Rutherford, NSW, Australia
DH82C Tiger Moth
Saskatchewan Western Development Museum, Moose Jaw, Canada
DH82A Tiger Moth
Shuttleworth Collection, Old Warden, Beds, UK
DH82A Tiger Moth
Sri Lanka Air Force Museum, Sri Lanka
DH82A Tiger Moth
Temora Aviation Museum, Temora, Australia
DH82A Tiger Moth
Temora Aviation Museum, Temora, Australia
DH82C Tiger Moth
Western Canada Aviation Museum, Winnipeg, Canada
DH82A Tiger Moth
Yugoslav Aeronautical Museum, Serbia

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