Tiger Moth DH 82

About our aircraft...


The de Havilland DH 82 Tiger Moth is a 1930s biplane designed by Geoffrey de Havilland and was operated by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and others as a primary trainer. This means that it was used to teach pilots the basics of flying, literally their “first trainer”, prior to moving on to the Spitfire or Hurricane.
Primary Trainers are distinct by their having two cockpits, with two lots of controls. This allows for instructors to take control if needed. It also means that pilots were no longer expected to learn in considerably more expensive fighters, alone!

The Tiger Moth remained in service with the RAF until it was replaced by the de Havilland Chipmunk in 1952, when many of the surplus aircraft entered civil operation.
In addition to being used by the RAF, the Tiger Moth was also much loved by the public, and became a popular aircraft for private pilots & pleasure flights from the 1930’s onwards. The elegant simplicity of the Tiger Moth makes flying in one feels very much like a step back in time to the golden age of flying. Your first flight in a Tiger Moth is a day you will remember for the rest of your life!

Flight Characteristics

The Tiger Moth responds well to control input, and is fairly easy to fly for a tail dragger. Its big “parachute” wings are very forgiving, and it stalls at a speed as slow as 25 knots with power. Its stall and spin characteristics are benign. It has some adverse yaw, and therefore requires rudder input during turns.
Tiger Moth turning

The Tiger Moth is both graceful and agile.

Tiger Moth cockpit picture

The Tiger’s cockpit is beautifully simple and uncluttered.

Why Tiger Moths?

We are using the Tiger Moth as part of our Fighter Patrol Experience. We make no secret of the fact that it was not used as a trainer in WW1; in fact most Fighter Pilots in WW1 were expected to learn to fly in the aircraft they eventually flew out to War, which led to approximately 8000 pilots being killed in training accidents.
This is why the Tiger Moth was such an incredible aircraft when it was designed, because it was designed to allow tuition in the air, in a forgiving aircraft, so pilots could hone their skills, prior to moving on to something more complicated.

Getting in and out

One of the most common questions we get asked is “will I be able to get in & out?” The answer to this is that a reasonably fit/agile person of average build will normally be able to get in & out without great difficulty – however please do take a look at our FAQ’s to double check your health & fitness prior to booking. We will guide you in and out of the cockpit, and teach you how to do it. No-one is expecting you to know how to do it when you arrive!

Specifications & technical information



  • Manufacturer: De Havilland Aircraft Company
  • Role: Trainer
  • Designer: Geoffrey de Havilland
  • First flight: 26th October 1931
  • Service: Introduced Feb 1932, retired 1959
  • Number built: 8,868
  • Produced: 1931–1944
  • Status: Retired from military service, still in civil use

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two ~ student & instructor
  • Length: 23ft 11in (7.34 m)
  • Wingspan: 29ft 4in (8.94 m)
  • Height: 8ft 9in (2.68 m)
  • Wing area: 239ft² (22.2m²)
  • Empty weight: 1,115lb (506kg)
  • Loaded weight: 1,825lb (828kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 De Havilland Gipsy Major I inverted 4-cylinder inline
  • Power output: 130hp (100kW)


  • Max speed: 109mph @ 1,000 ft (97kts, 175km/h @ 300m)
  • Cruise speed: 67mph (59kts)
  • Range: 302 miles (250nm, 486km)
  • Service ceiling: 13,600ft (4,145m)
  • Rate of climb: 673ft/min (205m/min)