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Two Griffins holding a 74th shield. The Spirit of the 74th.

de Haviland Tiger Moth .

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My Earliest Flying Experience.

As young Air Cadets at RAF Usworth in county Durham, our biggest thrill was to fly in one of their Tiger Moths. I expect this would have been the experience of many of my contemporaries at RAF Halton. Whist we were at RAF Sutton Bridge with 58 MU Ted Pinchin and I were seriously saving up to buy one of many that were for sale after the RAF abandoned them in favour of the Canadian de Havilland Chipmunk. The going rate in the mid fifties was around £150. But Ted got posted overseas and I never did get my Tiger Moth. A sad none story.

The de Haviland Tiger Moth.

Sketch of a Tiger Moth Aircraft flying over a farm.

[de Haviland Tiger Moth: Sketch by Joe Bosher.]

The Tiger Moth is one of the major success stories in aviation history. The pre-war biplane trainer Tiger Moth was evolved from the de Havilland Gipsy Moth, a 1924 design. Flown for the first time on 26 October, 1931, the Tiger Moth was subsequently developed during the early 1930s as a military trainer. The DH 82 was powered by a 120 hp Gipsy II engine, but the 1939 DH 82a Tiger Moth received the 145 hp Gipsy Major. More than 1,000 Tiger Moths were delivered before WWII.

The Tiger Moth went on to become one of the world's most famous training aircraft. During the Second World War it provided the majority of RAF pilots with their elementary flying training. By the end of World War II, over 7,000 Tiger Moths had been built; 4,005 of Tiger Moth IIs were built during the war specifically for the RAF. Nearly half the aircraft were built by the Morris Motor Company and shipped all over the world. The Tiger Moth was replaced for RAF training purposes by the de Havilland Chipmunk between 1950 and 1953.

I would be pleased to hear from anyone who has any stories about this aircraft; humorous, technical or historical. Please use the Feedback Form to contact me briefly, in the first instance.

Joe Bosher (74th).

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