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Tiger Moth DH.82

Light support aircraft

De Havilland

Tiger Moth #T7458 of 317 (Polish) Squadron

Tiger Moth #T7458 of 317 (Polish) Squadron.*

The DH.82A training biplane was designed by Capt Geoffrey de Havilland during 1931 as an improved derivative of the DH.60 Gipsy Moth.

Production transferred to Morris Motors Ltd at Cowley in 1941, subsequent deliveries including (in addition to those listed above), 24 for RNZAF, ten for Persian Air Force and five for SAAF. Pre-war deliveries from Hatfield included large batches to equip civilian-operated Elementary and Reserve Flying Training Schools; and total of 124 DH.82As serving with seven of these schools impressed 1940-41 for RAF service (with serials in range BB672 to BB868) plus 41 miscellaneous privately-owned De Havilland Tiger Moths. Production totals in UK were 114 DH.82 and 1,950 DH.82A at Hatfield and 3,432 DH.82A by Morris Motors. For the Royal Norwegian Air Force, Haerens Flyvemaskinefabric built 17 DH.82s and 20 DH.82As. In New Zealand, the de Havilland Aircraft subsidiary built 181

DH.82 De Havilland Tiger Moth I: Initial production batch of 35 for RAF to Specification 23/31, deliveries starting 1932. Also two seaplanes to Specification 6/33 for evaluation in 1932.

DH.82A De Havilland Tiger Moth II: Major production version to Specifications 26/33 and 7/35. Two delivered as seaplanes in 1936. Rear fuselage strakes added retrospectively 1942 as anti-spinning precaution. Equipped 28 Elementary Flying Training Schools in UK during World War II, and many exported to help equip RAF Empire Air Training Schools (in addition to Canadian production noted below). Adapted 1939-40 for use as emergency anti-invasion bomber carrying eight 20-lb (9.1 kg) bombs.

DH.82B Queen Bee: Refer to De Havilland Queen Bee page.

DH.82C De Havilland Tiger Moth: Canadian production version with enclosed and heated cockpits, revised undercarriage with main wheels moved forwards, wheelbrakes and different instrumentation. Production totalled 1,384 by late 1942, for RCAF and British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, including 200 funded by US through Lend-Lease and designated PT-24 for contract purposes, but retained in Canada.

* This Tiger Moth T7458 was from No 317 (Polish) Squadron based at RAF Kirton in Lindsey, Lincolnshire. It crashed at RAF Coltishall on 5 April 1943 killing both pilots on board, Flight Sergeant Handzelka and Sergeant Makowski. (Fighter Squadrons from Kirton in Lindsey and other airfields in No 12 Group, Fighter Command, RAF often forward based at Coltishall (which was also in 12 Group) to take part in fighter sweeps or bomber escort duties (with RAF and USAAF Bombers) over Holland and Belgium).
© Richard Vernon

Tiger Moth DH.82A
Crew 2
Wing span 8.94 m (29 ft 4 in)
Wing area 22.20 m2 (239 ft2)
Length 7.29 m (23 ft 11 in)
De Havilland Gipsy Major 1C 130 hp (97kW)
Empty weight 506 kg (1,115 lb)
Loaded weight 829 kg (1,825 lb)
Maximum speed at altitude 1,448 m (4,750 ft) 167 km/h (104 mph)
Cruising speed at altitude 1,448 m (4,750 ft) 145 km/h (90 mph)
Initial rate of climb 3.23 m/sec (635 ft/min)
Service ceiling: 4,267 m (14,000 ft)
Range 393 km (300 mis)
Bomb load 9.1 kg (20 lb)


  • "Encyclopedia of military engineering" /Aerospace Publising/
  • "British warplanes of World War II" /under cor. Daniel March/