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31 July 2015
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De Havilland Tiger Moth Manual De Havilland Tiger Moth Manual (paperback)

1931 - 1945 (all marks)

by Stephen Slater


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The de Havilland Tiger Moth is probably the best-known biplane in the world, with a distinctive silhouette that matches its name. The appearance of a Tiger Moth against a summer sky continues to evoke thoughts of a 'golden era' of aviation, before tarmac runways, radios and control towers, when every flight offered some form of adventure.

The de Havilland Tiger Moth
This 'Moth' has been owned and operated by the same12-member syndicate for 40 years.

The Tiger Moth Manual
takes a look at the diverse history of this aeroplane and provides a fascinating behind-the-scenes insight into what is involved in restoring, flying and maintaining a Tiger Moth today, approaching 80 years after the first prototype flew.
Tiger Moth Manual

Engine controls being fitted at the Cowley (Oxford) production plant where Tiger Moths were built during WWII

Even at the peak of its wartime service career, the Tiger Moth was an anachronism, a biplane trainer in an era of monoplane fighters and sophisticated multi-engine bombers. Yet it successfully trained the pilots who went on to fly Spitfires, Mosquitoes and Lancasters. Later graduates would move on to the first generation of supersonic fighters and jet airliners.

The tough, fabric-covered airframe and robust Gipsy Major engine, both revealed in fascinating detail in the Tiger Moth Manual, are proof that good design can stand the test of time. Of around 8,600 Tiger Moths built between 1931 and 1945, over 1,000 survive today. Of these, around 650 remain airworthy - a truly remarkable survival rate.

In addition to looking at the challenges of maintaining an aircraft which has its design roots dating back to the First World War, the Tiger Moth Manual uncovers other equally relevant important skills from the past - from safely swinging the propeller to start the engine, to achieving the elusive three-point landing, when tailskid, mainwheels and the ground connect in unison.
A unique 'under-the-skin' insight into this historic aeroplane.
Pilot's view of skills and procedures required to fly a Tiger Moth safely.
A fascinating insight into the original 1930s de Havilland production line.
Stunning archive photographs and technical illustrations.
Owning and operating a Tiger Moth today.
Author: Stephen Slater is a self-confessed amateur aviator, and has had a passion for vintage aircraft for over 30 years. Like many other pilots, he found the graduation from flying more modern light aircraft to the Tiger Moth a humbling experience, proving the old axiom that 'it is easy to fly, but incredibly hard to fly well'.

In addition to being an enthusiastic member of the de Havilland Moth Club, Stephen is also a council member of the Historic Aircraft Association. He owns a rare 1939 Tipsy Trainer monoplane and is part of the team restoring 'Biggles Biplane', a Tiger Moth-based film replica of a First World War BE-2c observation biplane.
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