De Havilland Tiger Moth

De Havilland Tiger Moth
Land Based Trainer & Instructional Aircraft
De Havilland, Bankstown, NSW
Number Ordered
First Delivered
October 1948
Last Delivered
March 1954
23 feet 11 inches
8 feet 9.5 inches
Weights 1115
Dimensions Wing span: 29 feet 4 inches
Speed 109 mph
300 miles
Engines One 130 hp 4 cylinder in-line air cooled
  • Rate of climb: 635 ft/min
  • Ceiling: 14,000 ft

The De Havilland Tiger Moth (DH 82) was first manufactured in the United Kingdom in 1931 and by the outbreak of World War II was the primary basic training aircraft in use in Commonwealth countries.  Almost 1100 of these were built in Australia, between 1940-45, at the de Havilland aircraft factory at Bankstown (Sydney, NSW) with the engines manufactured at the General Motors Holden factory at Fisherman’s Bend in Victoria.  

These aircraft were operated mainly by the RAAF at the Basic Flying Training School’s which were formed in 1940-41 to provide pilots under the Empire Air Training Scheme.  When the RAN Fleet Air Arm was formed in 1948 the majority of its pilots were ex-RAAF or ex-Royal Navy pilots of whom over 90% had learned to fly in a Tiger Moth.   New trainee pilots for the RAN learned to fly in the Wirraway, Winjeel or Vampire.

The RAN operated less than five ex - RAAF Tiger Moths during the period 1948 – 1958 either at the Naval Air Station – Nowra or  at the Navy maintenance facility at RAAF Base Schofields (later to become in 1956  the RAN Apprentice Training Establishment HMAS Nirimba).  Here the aircraft were utilised as instructional airframes for aircraft maintainers and for minor flying duties.   The Tiger Moths were sold during 1957-58.

The RAN used its few Tiger Moths as instructional aircraft for junior aircraft maintainers at the Naval Air Station - Nowra and the maintenance facility at Schofields in Sydney.