Flying a Tiger Moth
De Havilland DH.82A Tiger Moth was built in 1943 at the Morris Motors factory in Cowley, Oxford. She was one of 4.005 Tiger Moths built for the RAF and more then 2.000 of these were license built by Moris Motors during the War. She was delivered to the Royal Air Force with serial EM729.
As Morris didn't use construction numbers, her c/n was later calculated as 85960. After being withdrawn from service she was stored in the Royal Air Force surplus stocks, and was one of the first batch of 17 Tiger Moths acquired by the Dutch Government. In March 1946, she was delivered to the Rijksluchtvaartschool (Government Flying School or RLS) that was formed just 3 months earlier. In April the same year, she was flying her first students through Dutch airspace.
As a number of accidents happened in the summer of 1946, all Dutch Tiger Moths were modified by Fokker with a new vertical tailfin to improve the spinning characteristics of the plane. In Novermber 1946 she was registered as PH-UAO in the civil register, where due to an error c/n 85959 was filled in her papers, so from that time all British and Dutch documents show 85959 being her construction number.
In total the RLS operated 30 Tiger Moths and the Royal Netherlands Air Force, who also operated the type, had 56 Tiger Moths in service. The PH-UAO would stay with the RLS until 1960, when the type was withdrawn from RLS service. In July 1960, she was sold to the Nationale Luchtvaartschool (National Aviation School or NLS). The NLS was purely training leasure pilots from Hilversum Aerodrome. She would operate from Hilversum until October 1970 and she was sold to the United States in February 1971.
Registered as N8233 in the USA she had her modified tail removed and got her original tail re-installed. In 1992 she was offered for sale and she was acquired by the newly formed Dutch Tiger Flight Foundation in the Netherlands. In the early years she was operated from Lelystad unitl 2004 when she moved back to her old home at Hilversum Aerodrome. She is flying in her old RLS livery, but still registed as N8233.