This huge, incredibly detailed and striking, hand-made, retro-style all-metal model of the iconic de Haviland Tiger Moth would take pride and place on any lounge room side-table, executive desk, cabinet table, hotel or office foyer, or suspended from a bedroom ceiling and is guaranteed to turn heads wherever it's displayed.
A fantastic executive or man-cave gift or an awesome display piece in any teenager’s bedroom, the all metal retro-style de Haviland Tiger Moth takes us back to the pioneering days of early aviation and those magnificent men in those flying machines.
The de Havilland DH.82 Tiger Moth was a 1930s biplane designed by Geoffrey de Havilland and built by the de Havilland Aircraft Company. It was operated by the Royal Air Force and many other operators as a primary trainer aircraft. In addition to the type's principal use for training, the Second World War saw the RAF Tiger Moth operating in other capacities, including maritime surveillance, defensive anti-invasion preparations, and even some aircraft that had been outfitted as armed light bombers.
After testing of many early prototypes, the first 'true' Tiger Moth, the prototype E6, conducted its maiden flight at Stag Lane Aerodrome, Edgware, London on October 1931 and shortly after construction of the first 35 production aircraft for the RAF, designated K2567-K2601, began including, two float-equipped seaplanes. By the start of WWII, the RAF had over 500 Tiger Moths in service.
In December 1939, owing to a shortage of maritime patrol aircraft, six flights of Tiger Moths were operated by RAF Coastal Command for surveillance flights over coastal waters, known as "scarecrow patrols". The aircraft operated in pairs and were armed only with a Very pistol. The intention was to force any encroaching U-boat to dive; one aircraft would then remain in the vicinity while the other would search for a naval patrol vessel which could be led back to the spot. Because they were not radio equipped, each aircraft also carried a pair of homing pigeons in a wicker basket to call for help in case of a forced landing at sea.
During the pre-war years increasing numbers of Tiger Moths were procured for the RAF and by overseas customers; by 1939, nearly 40 flying schools operating the type had been established, nine of which operated civil-registers models as well.
From 1937 onwards, the Tiger Moth was made available to general flying clubs, production having been previously occupied by military customers. The type was quickly used to replace older aircraft in the civil trainer capacity, such as the older de Havilland Cirrus Moth and Gipsy Moth.
The Tiger Moth remained in service with the RAF until it was succeeded and replaced by the de Havilland Chipmunk during the early 1950s. Many of the military surplus aircraft subsequently entered into civil operation. Many nations have used the Tiger Moth in both military and civil applications, and it remains in widespread use today as a recreational aircraft in several different countries.
Over 80 years since its first flight, the Tiger Moth continues to grace our skies across the globe and has proven to be one of the oldest and most loved airplanes from a bygone era.