De Havilland Tiger Moth biplane

2 min

De Havilland Tiger Moth biplane

De Havilland tiger moth-like aircraft De Havilland Tiger Moth
De Havilland Tiger Moth biplane ride.  What an amazing opportunity I will not soon forget.  So let me to share my trip in a World War I vintage aircraft – the Tiger Moth.  The flight was over southern Ontario’s country-side in a well restored plane.  Because the fall day was crisp and sunny it was perfect for a flight.

The De Havilland Tiger Moth aircraft was  a trainer.  This plane was used extensively for training with Canadian World War II pilots.

This plane was to the British Commonwealth what the Boeing Stearman was to the United States.  And as such, the aircraft that most pilot hopefuls initially traveled to start their flight training or to end it if they didn’t have the “Right Stuff.”

Fabric-skin covers the Tiger Moth biplane.  The pilot’s vision was increased with the base wing staggered in reverse to help and reduce obstruction between the wings. This arrangement also aids cockpit access. Slightly swept back wings are one unique design feature.


Jet aircraft use the sweep-back wing design.  The Tiger Moth was an exception.  Because the Tiger Moth cannot fly even close to the speed of sound.  This may have been to enhance pilot access or exit in flight when essential.  The plane has a unique structure.  Middle bracing struts for the upper wing were moved from the back of the front position to the front. The back sweep kept up the focal point of gravity and center of lift after this change.


Well thought out science makes so much sense.  It is a treat to witness the growth of technology.

This aircraft was first designed almost a century ago.   But this technology, of decades ago, still works well today.  That was incredible and impressive to witness.

The engine in the Tiger Moth is a de Havilland Gipsy Major. Air-cooling was used on the four-cylinder inline motor.  It creates a modest 122 horsepower from its 374 cubic inches.  Installed reversed, which was a surprise. This gave a high center line for the crankshaft to drive the propeller.  It additionally gave it a profound “chin” appearance beneath the propeller.

Just the base wing had ailerons. But it was cleverly built with the goal that when the airplane banked, the aileron within the turn rotated significantly, while the outside aileron barely moved. This basic framework decreased adverse yaw.

De Havilland Tiger Moth aircraft.  The ride of my life was provided by this amazing plane. A memory I will not soon forget.

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Rick Davis


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