Tigers turn back the clock

Pilot - - OLD TIMERS -

A very spe­cial RAF100 for­ma­tion over­flew RAF Hen­low in mid-may. De Havilland Moth Club mem­bers took the op­por­tu­nity dur­ing the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s Moth Fly­ing Fo­rum to put up a ‘100’ shape com­pris­ing sixteen Tiger Moths. The Tiger 9 team’s air­craft were joined by seven more ex­am­ples to hon­our the ser­vice’s cen­te­nary at an air­field even older than the Royal Air Force. Mil­i­tary fly­ing at Hen­low be­gan in mid-1917, when 226 acres of farm­land were ac­quired by the RFC to sup­port WWI Western Front op­er­a­tions.

The UK’S air­wor­thy Tiger Moth pop­u­la­tion grew by one on 3 May when DH82A T8191 (G-BWMK), owned by Kevin Crum­plin, took to the air at Hen­stridge, Som­er­set. This, Kevin’s sixth Tiger Moth re­build, was an eigh­teen­month project with a per­sonal twist: T8191 be­ing the air­craft in which he learned to fly. Built by Mor­ris Mo­tors at Cow­ley in late 1940, it was ini­tially used by the RAF as an in­struc­tor- and ba­sic pi­lot trainer be­fore pass­ing to the Royal Navy at the end of the war.

Kevin en­coun­tered T8191 dur­ing his time with the Bri­tan­nia Royal Naval Col­lege’s Dart­mouth Flight at Ply­mouthRobor­ough Air­port, its home in the early/ mid-1960s. The much-trav­elled Tiger Moth ended its ser­vice life at RNAS Yeovil­ton as part of the RN His­toric Flight un­til with­drawn from use and placed in stor­age. T8191 was sold into civil­ian hands and reg­is­tered as G-BWMK. Kevin ac­quired it in April 2012.

ABOVE: the DH Moth Club’s RAF100 for­ma­tion BE­LOW: Well-trav­elled Tiger Moth T8191 is now fly­ing again

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