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de Havilland D.H. 82 Tiger Moth in Detail

Part 1 - Fuselage

n text by Kai-Mikael Jää-Aro
n photos by Martin Waligorski



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Originally, RAF trainers were aluminium-doped all over, just like fighters, but from July 1936 they were painted all yellow. During the Munich crisis in 1938 all RAF aircraft were camouflaged but the trainers retained yellow on their undersides. Originally the yellow underside extended some distance up along the sides – officially three-fourths, but to my eyes it usually looks more like half-way up – but in November 1940 the order was given to extend the camouflage all the way down the fuselage sides. In combination with the A1 type roundels (with equal width circles of yellow, blue, white, red), which in mid-1942 were to be changed to C1 roundels (with a narrow white circle), we see that this plane is painted as it would have looked in 1941 and the beginning of 1942. The aircraft serial is painted in black underneath the wings and on the back of the fuselage as per regulations. The identity number "91" is in white; yellow and Sky were other common colours. The propeller is black with yellow tips, the spinner tip is in blue.

The camouflage colours are the usual Dark Earth and Dark Green of the Temperate Land Scheme, but on biplanes the upper surfaces of the lower wings were to be countershaded in Light Earth and Light Green. However, there is no obvious difference in shades on the wings of this plane.

 

 




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Closer up. Note the tie-down ring below the wing.

 




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Close-up of the cockpits. As we can see, all struts are ahead of the front cockpit, giving easier access to it. The little entrance hatches on the cockpits (there are similar hatches on the opposite side) show off the Interior Green to good effect, unfortunately the actual interior of the cockpits is too dark for us to see details and the JPG compression has not left anything for image enhancement.

The rear cockpit has attachment points for a blind-flying hood which are clearly visible in this picture. We can also see the padding in greenish leather above the instrument panels.

The rudder cables run on the outside of the fuselage.

 




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Looking down a bit we see the wing walk area of plywood over the fabric wing, there is an identical area on the other wing. From this angle we also see the size of the outlet for engine cooling air.

 




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Some more cockpit area details. The short length of pipe in front of the cockpit is a venturi tube for airspeed measurement. The rear-view mirror is an interesting feature – presumably not intended to check for enemy fighters but rather for eye-contact between pilot/teacher and passenger/pupil. The back rests are fabric or possibly leather, apparently attached to the cockpit interior with press studs or rivets. The fuel line from the overhead tank is very simply just passed through a cut-out in the engine cowling.

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