91st Bombardment Group Flight Academy

In-Flight Training - Basic

IFT - B - 102

de Havilland DH 82

Tiger Moth

de Havilland DH 82 Tiger Moth


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.

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 stall as slow as 25 knots with power. Its stall and spin characteristics are benign. It has some adverse yaw, and so requires rudder input during turns.


As the Tiger Moth has no electrical system, it must be started by hand. This needs to be done with care to prevent being struck by the propeller which would result in serious injury. Being a tail-dragging biplane, taxiing also requires care. The pilot cannot see directly ahead, the lower wing can hit obstructions, and it is susceptible to gusts of wind on its inclined, large, upper wing.


The take off is then uneventful, and it has a reasonable rate of climb. However, full power should not be maintained for more than a minute or so to avoid damaging the engine.


The Tiger Moth's biplane design makes it strong, and it is fully aerobatic. But it only has ailerons on its bottom wing, which makes its rate of roll relatively slow for a biplane. Most maneuvers are started at about 90 to 110 knots, and it has a Velocity Never Exceeded (VNE) of 140 knots. It is important to lock the automatic slats (leading edge flaps) during aerobatic maneuvers.


"Wheel" landings are straight forward, as the plane is pushed on to the runway at a moderate speed with just the front wheels on the ground, and then the tail is held up until the speed reduces. The open cockpit allows pilots to stick their heads over the side to see the runway. As the aircraft is a tail dragger, it is essential to land it straight with no sideways movement to avoid ground loops.


General Data

Manufacturer: De Havilland Aircraft Co. (Aust)

Purpose: Elementary Trainer

Type: Single engine two seater fabric covered biplane

General Characteristics

Crew: 2, student & instructor

Length: 23 ft 11 in (7.34 m)

Wingspan: 29 ft 4 in (8.94 m)

Height: 8 ft 9 in (2.68 m)

Track: 5 ft 3 in

Airscrew Clearance: 24 in

Wing area: 239 ft² (22.2 m²)

Empty weight: 1,115 lb (506 kg)

Loaded weight: 1,825 lb (828 kg)

Powerplant: 1 × de Havilland Gipsy Major I inverted 4-cylinder inline, 130 hp (100 kW)

Cooling: Air

Octane of Fuel: 73

Oil: DTD 109

Takeoff Power: 130 BHP 2350 rpm


Maximum speed: 109 mph at 1,000 ft (97 kts, 175 km/h at 300 m)

Cruise speed: 67 mph (59 kts)

Range: 302 miles (250 nm, 486 km)

Service ceiling: 13,600 ft (4,145 m)

Rate of climb: 673 ft/min (205 m/min)


8x 20 lb bombs


Flying Controls


Dual controls are fitted and are interconnected between the cockpits. Solo flying must be carried out in the rear cockpit. The front control column may be removed for solo flying or when carrying passengers.

Longitudinal trimming is affected by spring loading the elevators. A lever is located on the left side of both cockpits.


Automatic Slots


Auto slots are fitted to the top wings and will automatically deploy at low speed. There is a locking lever located on the right hand side of the rear cockpit (the top of which may be obscured by the GPS).


Click on the lever to pull it back which will lock the slots and prevent them from opening. You should lock the slots when taxiing or attempting aerobatics.


Engine Controls


A throttle lever is mounted on the left hand side of each cockpit. Pull back to fully close the throttle, push forward to open the throttle. In addition, the rear cockpit has a mixture lever (red knob). Fully back = full rich.


However, there is a hook which prevents the mixture lever being in front of the throttle lever. You cannot use the mixture lever to stop the engine (use the magnetos to do this)




Simple instruments to display airspeed, engine revolution, oil pressure, altitude and turn and slip are provided in both cockpits. A simple wind driven airspeed gauge is located on the forward left wing strut (note, airspeed is displayed in MPH).


A compass is also included. This features a locking lever to prevent accidentally turning the heading dial.


Additional Equipment


Additional equipment has been added to the rear cockpit to reflect the modern aircraft. Bendix/King Air KY196A comms and KT70 transponder are located between the pilot’s legs. Battery and generator controls are located on the panel to provide power for the radios.


A smoke switch will turn the smoker on and both cockpits feature independently switchable lights although as no landing, strobe or nav lights are fitted to the aircraft you should not try flying at night.


Stowage Space


A storage compartment is located behind the cockpit.


If the payload is set to greater than 0 you will see some snacks there. The wheel chocks are also stored here although only visible if the payload is 0.


Flight Operations 


Preparation for Flight

  1. Place the wheel chocks in front of the wheels. Set the handbrake on (note that the wheel chocks are visual only and do not affect the aircraft performance in any way).
  2. Make sure tie downs are removed and pitot cover is removed (if left on the airspeed indicator will not work).
  3. If a copilot is not flying in the front seat remove the passenger joystick.


Starting the Engine


(This procedure is for flight simulation only)


The magnetos are located on the exterior of the aircraft on the left hand side below the windows. There are two duplicated sets, one for each cockpit.

  1. Check chocks and handbrake are ON. Battery and radios OFF
  2. Turn magneto switches OFF, fuel cutoff ON and throttle CLOSED
  3. Set throttle to nearly closed.
  4. "Contact". Set front (left) magneto ON (up).
  5. Switch to front on VC view and grab the prop and pull down. (note, prop rotates clockwise from front on view anti-clockwise from the pilot seat)
  6. Once started place rear magneto in ON position.


Warming Up


  1. Engine will idle at about 600-700 rpm.
  2. Set altimeter to correct altitude for airfield.
  3. Oil pressure at 35lbs/ sq in at 1000 rpm.
  4. Lock auto slots for Taxiing.
  5. Check fuel gauge (on top of fuel tank between the two upper wings).
  6. Check flight controls for free movement.


Running Up


  1. Ensure handbrake is on.
  2. Hold stick right back.
  3. Open throttle to 1600 rpm and test magnetos independently (drop in rpm
  4. should not exceed 100 rpm)
  5. Open throttle fully, rpm should be 1825 minimum, normal 2100.
  6. Throttle back to idle of 600-700rpm.




  1. Ensure wheel chocks are removed.
  2. Auto Slots locked (rearward position)
  3. Think ahead. There are no brakes on a Tiger Moth and once rolling can
  4. take a while to stop.




  1. Prop torque will tend to turn the aircraft to the right (remember prop spins opposite to most other aircraft) so a bit of left rudder may required to
  2. keep aircraft straight.
  3. Set elevator trim to neutral.
  4. Auto slots unlocked (lever fully forward)
  5. Full throttle for takeoff and initial climb. After 200-300 ft reduce to climb power.




Climb speed is 60 knots (70 mph) at 200-300 ft reduce throttle to 2100

rpm and you will climb at 600 fpm (or use 58 knots at 2050 rpm).




Straight and level flight is achieved at 1950 rpm with an airspeed of 65-70

knots (75-80 mph). Safe endurance should be 2 1/2 hours.


Stalling and Spinning


Stalling will occur around 35 knots. To recover from a stall push the

control stick forward and apply full throttle.


Ensure auto slots are locked before spinning. To enter the spin from level

flight close the throttle. As the airspeed slows try to maintain your altitude.


As the airspeed approaches 35 knots push the rudder in the direction of the spin (left turning spins seem to work much better than right turning, I don't know why, they just do) and pull back the control stick. Hold until established in the spin. To restore control apply opposite rudder.




Ensure auto slots are locked before attempting any aerobatics


Typical entry speeds are as follows:

  • Loop 100 knot 115 mph
  • Stall turn 78 knots 90 mph
  • Slow roll 95 knots 110 mph
  • Barrel roll 100 knots 115 mph
  • Half roll of the top of a loop 118 knots 135 mph
  • Half roll 82 knots 95 mph




Engine assisted descent is achieved with 1100-1200 rpm at 60 knots (68

mph) which will yield a descent rate of 500 fpm


For gliding without the engine use 58 knots (66 mph)


Approach and Landing


On downwind ensure you have enough fuel, mixture fully rich and auto

slots unlocked (lever fully forward).


Approach at 58 knots (66 mph). Cross the fence at 50 knots and

touchdown at 40 knots.


Stopping the Engine


You cannot use the mixture lever to stop the engine. 

  1. Switch off both magnetos and slowly open the throttle fully as the airscrew slows.
  2. Return throttle to closed position.
  3. Set fuel cutoff OFF (fully back).


Flying Notes


These notes provide some tips on how to fly this Tiger.

- The prop rotates opposite to most aircraft. i.e. anti clockwise from the

pilot’s viewpoint. You will therefore need to apply left rudder to maintain

a straight line for takeoff.


- Windmill start. If the prop stops spinning in flight go into a dive. Ensure

magnetos are on and fuel is on. At about 110 knots the prop will start

spinning again and the engine should restart. Pull out of the dive before

you become a pancake.


- There are no flaps to slow you down on approach. Side slipping will

bleed about 10 knots off your airspeed but you should plan your approach

otherwise you may arrive too fast.


- Try 3 point landings at around 40 knots.

Operating Data


Engine Limitations

Full throttle (5 min limit) 2350 rpm

Minimum Take off 1825 rpm

Maximum Climbing 2100 rpm

Maximum Cruising 2100 rpm

Normal Cruising 1900 - 2050 rpm


Desired Operating Figures

i. Warm up for 4 minutes 800-1000 rpm

  • Testing engine on chocks Full throttle for not more than 10 secs.
  • Normal full throttle 2100 rpm
  • Take off 2100 rpm
  • Climbing 2050 rpm
  • Cruising 1950 rpm

ii. Oil Pressure 40-45 lbs/sq. in


Flying Limitations


Maximum Diving Speed 156 knots (180 mph)


Fuel Consumption


 MPH    KNOTS     RPM     Gls/Hr Endurance

75-80    65-70      1950        6-6.5 2.5 Hrs

80-85    70-74      2050      7-7.25 2.25 Hrs

85-90    74-78      2100        7.75-8 2 Hrs.

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