de Havilland DH 82C Tiger Moth
Flown for the first time on October 26, 1931, the Tiger Moth was derived from the DH 60 Moth. The Moth design, with the fuel tank directly above the front cockpit, restricted cockpit access for air force pilots wearing a parachute. The solution was to move the upper wing forward and sweep the wings back for correct positioning of the centre of lift. Initially the DH 82 was powered by a 120 hp Gipsy III engine, but the DH 82A received the 130 hp Gipsy Major. More than 1,000 Tiger Moths were delivered before World War 2, and subsequently 4,005 were built in the U.K. and shipped all over the world; 1,747 were built in Canada between 1938 and 1942, 1,085 in Australia and 345 in New Zealand.
The first Canadian-produced Tiger Moth flew in December 1937, with some being powered by the Menasco engine. The majority were DH 82Cs, powered by the 140 hp DH Gipsy Major 1C engine and with enclosed cockpits, cockpit heaters, brakes and tail wheels. Other changes to make them more suitable for operation in Canada included wider walkways on the lower wings, mass-balanced ailerons, metal interplane struts and heavier axles.
The Tiger Moth was a basic trainer with the BCATP (British Commonwealth Air Training Plan) during WW2, whereby aircrew from all over the British Commonwealth trained in Canada; and with the RAF in India, South Africa and elsewhere. In 1940, there were 120 Tiger Moths based at Boundary Bay, near Vancouver, BC.
Restoration of this airplane was accomplished under the first grant ever received from the British Columbia Provincial Government in 1983. The airplane was built up from a small pile of bare frames and parts, employing laid off apprentice aircraft mechanics under the direction of Harry Fordham and Bill McGarrigle. This is the Canadian version and accurate for the type.
In 1999 the volunteers of the Canadian Museum of Flight restored the static Tiger Moth to airworthy condition. At that time the RCAF numbers on the side of the aircraft were changed from 5875 (original number) to 4236 in memory of Ted Harris, a museum member / volunteer who sadly passed away before the Tiger Moth once again took to the skies. Tiger Moth 4236 was the first aircraft in which Mr. Harris soloed.
The Museum’s Tiger Moth was recorded as ‘taken on strength’ by No. 2 Training Command on 29 October 1941. It was erected at No. 8 Repair Depot in Winnipeg. It was sent to Mid-West Aircraft in Winnipeg, Manitoba for overhaul, 5 March to 8 May 1943 and flew until 27 June 1944 when it was listed as ‘pending disposal.’ This was followed by storage at No. 8 Repair Depot at No. 26 Elementary Flying Training School at Neepawa, Manitoba, where it was reported with 2366:20 total time, 1158:35 since overhaul. It was ‘struck off charge’ and handed over to War Assets Corporation for disposal on 13 March 1945.
The Tiger Moth is one of the Museum's flight worthy aircraft and can be seen at many events around the Lower Mainland of Vancouver promoting our rich Canadian history.
Tiger Moth Restoration
P/N DHC1980 Front Cowling) has now been fitted and is awaiting finishing.
under restoration. Is there just a suggestion of a 1960s 'hair-in-curlers' morning?
Progress Report, January 2016
Progress Report, November 2015
The restoration is making steady progress with the fabric covering on two of the wings completed. The other two wings are structurally complete and the covering process has been started on one of them by Museum volunteers.
Trial installation of the firewall in progress
Progress Report, September 2015
The forward fuselage has been stripped and detailed inspection completed on the structural components. Metal parts have been sourced from new, or repaired as required. A new firewall (the major component between the engine and the cockpit) has been fabricated. The fabrication of wooden structure is under way. All four wings are structurally complete, with the first two nearing the end of the complex and time-consuming process of attaching the new fabric.
Alf meticuously applies heat to the fabric reinforcing strips to fasten them to the fabric
Front cockpit with rudder and brake mechanism exposed for inspection
Progress Report, June 2015