Type: Single engine, dual place, elementary trainer
Notable Facts: Tiger Moth 4947 was built in Ontario by De Havilland Canada coming off the line as Constructor's Number C746 and taken on strength with the RCAF on April 16, 1941.Subsequent to war's end she was placed in storage, struck from service in July of 1946, sold off. Registered to S. Squires of Milestone, Saskatchewan in 1990. In 1992, registered as CF-IME to a J. Squires of Weyburn. Registration CF-IME was cancelled in 1999 - perhaps at the time of sale to Bill Neelan.
Serial Number: RCAF serial 4947
Current Registration: CF-ANN
Recent Markings: Marked as 4947 as she was when in the employ of No.2 Flying Training Command of the BCATP
The F/L Bill McRae de Havilland Tiger Moth
Blake Reid, Dave Hadfield, Doug Fleck, Rob Erdos, Mike Potter
First Flight: 1931
Total Production (All Marks): 8,700+
Wingspan: 29 feet
Engine: de Havilland Gipsy Major 1C
Maximum Speed: 100 mph
The Tiger Moth was the primary flying trainer used to instruct new pilot recruits of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan at training bases across Canada. Descended from a line of lightweight British general aviation and training aircraft, the Tiger Moth was initially built by de Havilland in England. Soon, de Havilland subsidiaries were churning out Tiger Moths in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Norway and Sweden. More than 1,500 were built at de Havilland Canada’s Downsview facility. Canadian Tiger Moths had modifications to the basic design to enable them to function in more difficult conditions. Most evident was the enclosed and heated cockpit that enabled training to continue though late autumn and winter - virtually impossible in an open cockpit airplane. Also, wheel brakes and a tail wheel were added to take advantage of surfaced runways.
The Tiger Moth’s gentle flying characteristics, agile spirit and simple construction made for an excellent basic trainer. Fledgling pilots started on the Tiger Moth and then moved on to the Harvard advanced trainer. After the war, surplus Tiger Moths were made available to flying clubs as training aircraft, some for as little as $25. Hundreds continue to fly today around the world. Its simple construction and maintainability keep it airworthy 3/4 of a century after its first flight.
The Vintage Wings of Canada Tiger moth is dedicated to the memory of a Flight Lieutenant Bill McRae, a Spitfire pilot of the Second World War, raconteur, memoirist and a great friend of our organization. Bill, born in Scotland and raised in Port Arthur, Ontario (now Thunder Bay) trained on de Havilland Tiger Moths at No. 14 EFTS, Portage Laprairie. Bill was the first inductee into the Vintage Wings Hall of Honour.