RE: De Havilland Tiger Moth: PH Heroes

RE: De Havilland Tiger Moth: PH Heroes

Author
Discussion

PATTERNPART

683 posts

160 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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I had a passenger ride in one at Headcorn a few years ago. It was very noisy. Navigating was done by looking at roads and other landmarks and it was pointed out to me that the green patches lined up across various fields were the footprints of electricity pylons so watch out for those and choose an alternative emergency landing strip if that became a priority. The other thing that struck me as surprising was the engine which is upside down. Crank at the top carrying the propeller and the head at the bottom. Presumably filling up with oil when dormant. I wonder how the sump works?! Oh, and like in the article they are very very light and it didn't require two of us really to trundle it over to the fuel bowser thing.

aeropilot

22,702 posts

186 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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Tiger flight is on my 'bucket list' and something I must sort out in the next few years....want to experience open cockpit bi-plane flying at least once, having already experienced flying in WW2 B-25J and B-17G bombers biggrin

Back in the early 70's my old man was a member of the Met Police Flying Club based at Denham and on some days there would be visiting Tigers to the clubhouse there and I can remember on a few occasions being asked out with someone else to 'lean' on the leading edges of the tailplanes during engine run up to keep the tail on the ground smile


Eric Mc

112,968 posts

224 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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PATTERNPART said:
I had a passenger ride in one at Headcorn a few years ago. It was very noisy. Navigating was done by looking at roads and other landmarks and it was pointed out to me that the green patches lined up across various fields were the footprints of electricity pylons so watch out for those and choose an alternative emergency landing strip if that became a priority. The other thing that struck me as surprising was the engine which is upside down. Crank at the top carrying the propeller and the head at the bottom. Presumably filling up with oil when dormant. I wonder how the sump works?! Oh, and like in the article they are very very light and it didn't require two of us really to trundle it over to the fuel bowser thing.
DH60 installation -



DH82 installation -


Lowtimer

4,203 posts

127 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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PATTERNPART said:
The other thing that struck me as surprising was the engine which is upside down. Crank at the top carrying the propeller and the head at the bottom. Presumably filling up with oil when dormant. I wonder how the sump works?! .
It's a pretty standard dry sump set-up using a scavenge pump and an oil tank on the bulkhead.

Eric Mc

112,968 posts

224 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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Once they had sorted out the "upside down" layout, most of the "Moth" family of light aircraft featured it.

Andy JB

1,262 posts

178 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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Great article and reminded me of a similar experience in a Tiger Moth a few years ago which i enjoyed enormously in the Midlands and across Donington Race circuit.

Pilot gave me controls quite early on i recall it was quite breezy and fidgety to control although it must get easier with practice. Very tactile and real compared to other aircraft.

Having completed several other 'exciting' excursions - submarine dives, air balloons, track days, loco footplates, this remains my favourite thrill - good to relive it and highly recommended.

crofty1984

14,505 posts

163 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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Lowtimer said:
crofty1984 said:
Oh my. They're rather affordable aren't they?
Depends what you regard as affordable.

Purchase price: Anything between £50K and £75K for a nice fresh one with a recent fabric re-covering job and a low hours engine.
Engine life between overhauls is circa 1500 hours and it's about £30K - £35K for a good quality rebuild. So allow something like £20 an hour for the engine overhaul fund alone, plus about £55 an hour in fuel, and £3 an hour for oil.

Annual service about £2K, insurance maybe £1000 to £2000 a year, And they do need to be securely hangared, you can't leave one parked outside. So that's say £250 a month in southern England., call it £3000 a year.

So it adds up! Call it direct operating costs of £78 an hour and fixed costs of £6K a year. This is a good reason to own them in syndicates, usually of at least half a dozen well qualified people, ot spread out the fixed costs over a reasonable amount of flying. They are VERY expensive indulgences if you own one all by yourself.
Ha! I wish that was "affordable"! I meant about £150 give or take for a 20 minute go in one smile Really interesting post though, so thanks for taking the time to write it.

Lowtimer

4,203 posts

127 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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Glad to be of service. I had access to a particularly nice and sweet-handling one about a decade ago. A lot are not well rigged and handle like a sack of potatoes, but they are not at all bad when they are set up right, and always amusing to fly on a nice day.

I suppose if you look at the total cost it's quite similar to having a lower-orders Ferrari, so for some people on here it would be affordable as a solo proposition.

I found its usefulness for actual getting around limited mainly by the number of places you could visit where you would find someone competent and willing to swing the prop to start it, and where you could be sure of only taking off, landing, taxiing and parking all on grass. With no starter, no brakes and a tailskid which doesn't grip at all on a hard surface it's not an aeroplane well suited to many modern airfields. I had use of a Super Cub at the same time, an aeroplane with many of the same low-and-slo handling joys, but with a lot more usability in the modern world. I ended up taking that to other places more often than the Tiger.

Ziplobb

740 posts

243 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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We are regualarly used to seeing one of this splendid machines as my neighbour has a grass trip thats run along the back of our gardens with a hanger at the end containing a red one - I am constanly amazed at how little runway is required for the thing to get airbourne

Edited by Ziplobb on Wednesday 15th August 16:34

daytonagone

9 posts

128 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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My Grandfather trained pilots at Sealand during the war and I wonder if he flew this plane? He had a license to fly every known aircraft, from hot air balloons to gyrocopters. I would love to have a flight in this Moth, if perhaps it was once 'his' Moth....great article

SpamCan

5,026 posts

177 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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Great article smile

Yup they are dry sumped. Oil does accumulate in the cylinders though, which means before attempting start the pilot or ground crew, should pull the prop through several times by hand (mags off and fuel off) to clear the oil out via the exhaust valves which the oil in the exhaust then burns off. The same thing is done with radial engines to clear oil that accumulates in the bottom cylinders, and why start-ups on such engines are wonderfully smoky.

As far as Bill Ferry's comment about super cars go I couldn’t agree more; if my numbers came up on the lotto would I buy a Bugatti Chiron (other super cars are available) or a vintage aeroplane and keep the change? I’ll give you a clue, I’d still be driving my 2007 Mini. I took up flying in 2015 and haven’t looked back and selling my performance car for a more humble machine and freeing up more money for flying has been the right choice for me and I’d advise anybody thinking that the same might be true for them – just go and do it.

The Tiger Moth is on my list of to-do’s, ideally I’d like to do my tailwheel conversion on one if I can, just for something different to my usual flying, it’s a totally different type of flying to the firefly I am a part owner of.

I’d say that Lowtimers numbers would be about right. However, if you break that down between 6 syndicate members (say on a freshly overhauled aircraft at £60k) you are going to be looking at:
£10k each to buy in
£80pcm each to cover the fixed costs
£80 an hour (might as well as round it up).

It's actually not that bad to be honest, if you have the initial capital to invest then it breaks even over renting a cessna if you are doing 2 hrs a month.

The LAA support Tiger Moths on a Permit To Fly (PTF) which can drastically reduce the cost of servicing and maintenance over a Certificate of Airworthiness (CoA) if you are willing to get your hands oily and do it yourself. Though you can do your own basic maintenance on a Private CofA; we do our own 50hr checks on the Firefly, which saves us flying her away for maintenance and bringing her back, probably saving us around £500 a year. Sadly we can't do our own annual so she has to go away for a few weeks a year.

Jex

679 posts

87 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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My dad went over to Canada to train as a pilot. On the way over he met another chap who was to train as a navigator. My dad learned to fly a Tiger Moth, but he was excellent at maths and they needed navigators, so he ended up qualifying as a navigator. On the troop ship on the way back, he met the chap who was intended to be a navigator. He was now a qualified pilot; he was shot down and killed on his first mission. Since I am writing this and I am not THAT old, you can perhaps work out that my dad survived the war. So nearly did I not exist.

srob

10,907 posts

197 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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crofty1984 said:
Ha! I wish that was "affordable"! I meant about £150 give or take for a 20 minute go in one smile Really interesting post though, so thanks for taking the time to write it.
Do it mate! I’ve been up in one from Duxford and it was brilliant!

Like being in a 1920s sidecar but with an added dimension and a load more speed smile

ETA; great article!

ou sont les biscuits

4,263 posts

154 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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srob said:
Do it mate! I’ve been up in one from Duxford and it was brilliant!

Like being in a 1920s sidecar but with an added dimension and a load more speed smile
Speed you say? scratchchin



wst

3,352 posts

120 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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SpamCan said:
Yup they are dry sumped. Oil does accumulate in the cylinders though, which means before attempting start the pilot or ground crew, should pull the prop through several times by hand (mags off and fuel off) to clear the oil out via the exhaust valves which the oil in the exhaust then burns off. The same thing is done with radial engines to clear oil that accumulates in the bottom cylinders, and why start-ups on such engines are wonderfully smoky.
Best practise is to take the plugs out when left for an appreciable amount of time (my experience is from Old Warden) and insert drain plugs (threaded tube that lets the oil run out without making a mess of the cooling fins, like it would if you just left the holes open - also means the tube can be painted red so it's an obvious "remove before flight" item!) for the bit that sneaks past the rings. Bit messy but averts really dangerous stuff. Worked with someone who helped the CAA on an investigation about a chap who died from turning the prop backwards to clear the oil, and on startup the oil got sucked back into the cylinders and bent the rods.

They'd still smoke like hell despite that.

srob

10,907 posts

197 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
ou sont les biscuits said:
Speed you say? scratchchin

It’s all relative - not many 1920s sidecar outfits that will cruise at 74 knots hehe

WJNB

2,637 posts

120 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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Fabulous article & pictures.
Like all tail-draggers the Tiger Moth can be a handful when it comes to low speed ground manoeuvring, making the likes of modern-day tricycle undercarriage types a doddle which is why there are so popular when learning to fly.
To START learning on the likes of a Tiger Moth must have been as challenging on the ground & as in the air they are unforgiving in both environments as was another a/c from the DH stable, the Chipmunk a later RAF trainer.

Dr Jekyll

20,585 posts

220 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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Without wishing to start a riot, how does the Stampe compare?

andy97

4,023 posts

181 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
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The Father of a very good friend of mine (an ex RAF Engineer and long term PPL holder) has a Bucker Jungmanns (the German equivalent of the Tiger Moth, I guess) and considers it a far better designed, engineered and performing plane.

I can't comment, but I expect others have a view!

SpamCan

5,026 posts

177 months

Wednesday 15th August 2018
quotequote all
wst said:
est practise is to take the plugs out when left for an appreciable amount of time (my experience is from Old Warden) and insert drain plugs (threaded tube that lets the oil run out without making a mess of the cooling fins, like it would if you just left the holes open - also means the tube can be painted red so it's an obvious "remove before flight" item!) for the bit that sneaks past the rings. Bit messy but averts really dangerous stuff. Worked with someone who helped the CAA on an investigation about a chap who died from turning the prop backwards to clear the oil, and on startup the oil got sucked back into the cylinders and bent the rods.

They'd still smoke like hell despite that.
Sounds very sensible to me.