Tiger Moth Joy Flight Adelaide
Savour the very special experience of a unique joy flight in one of the world's most legendary, historic and iconic aircraft - the Tiger Moth.
In the exciting, inspiring and often colourful history of aviation, a very small number of aeroplanes have earned true legendary status.
They are the aircraft - of a particular design or from a particular era - that have the capacity to genuinely inspire. As true icons, their glamour, mystique and fame actually continue to grow as time goes by. And as a legend among legends, the incomparable DH82 Tiger Moth uniquely stands out.
In part, of course, that has to do with its vintage. The initial model of this classic British biplane made its first flight way, way back in October 1931 - on the 26th to be precise. It is one of a number of models of light aircraft named in recognition of designer Geoffrey de Havilland's interest in moths and butterflies. And today, its classical design, handling and performance let us take an exhilarating and gloriously nostalgic step back into a very different and very wonderful era of flying.
But age is only part of the Tiger Moth's story.
Of even greater significance is its distinctive personal history. Because while it quickly became a very popular civilian 'flying machine', the Tiger Moth also went on to play a highly significant military role during WWII. There it performed a wide range of duties including those of submarine patrol, air ambulance, and even prisoner evacuation. Most important of all though was the Tiger Moth's pivotal role in preparing new pilots for the task ahead. Thus, most Royal Air Force airmen were initially trained in Tiger Moths as were those Americans who flew with the volunteer Eagle Squadrons before the United States entered the conflict.
In Australia, the RAAF received its first of 861 DH82 Tiger Moths in 1939, with many thousands of our own air force personnel similarly receiving their essential and critical basic training at the Tiger Moth's controls.
Most of these young men would have agreed that the Tiger Moth was never the easiest of craft to fly presenting, as it did, an assortment of handling characteristics that were as distinct as they were challenging. However, long standing and passionate devotees of the Tiger Moth's are quick to suggest that this was a very real plus. They argue that such idiosyncrasies quickly highlighted poor trainee piloting techniques, without endangering the student, and enabled instructors to readily identify and correct the fledglings' shortcomings very early in the piece.
Today, and quite delightfully, the Tiger Moth very definitely lives on. Around the world dedicated clubs and individuals meticulously keep the dream alive. And they, like the Adelaide Biplanes team, are passionate about sharing the joys of flying in a DH82 Tiger Moth with as many people as possible.
With a top performance of a little more than 70 knots, the Tiger Moth's speed is certainly not what a singularly magical Tiger Moth joy flight is all about. Rather, it's about snuggling in your open cockpit with the wind in your hair. The whistling of the wires and the buffeting of the slipstream in your face. The engaging noise of the Gipsy Major 4 cylinder inline engine and the blattering of the straight out exhaust. The chance to fly the dream, fly the history and fly the legend. And all that while being surrounded by the magnificent view of vineyards, hills, cliffs, the ocean, unspoiled white beaches and the magnificent sky itself.
Fly the dream, fly the history, fly the legend and the DH82 Tiger Moth.
At first I was quite anxious about going up and flying so fast, but as soon as we took off it was so intense and full-on - I loved it!