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Tiger Moth Gathering - Henstridge 20 April

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Cessna954
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Tiger Moth Gathering - Henstridge 20 April

Post by Cessna954 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:12 pm

At short notice I attended a small event involving the gathering together of the six Tiger Moths that have been restored by Kevin Crumplin at Henstridge Airfield (HMS Dipper) in Dorset. These Tiger Moths are quite unique in that having been meticulously restored to their original fit and specification, i.e. as they would have been fresh from the production line 75+ years ago, they now operate commercially in their original role of flying training, at Henstridge and Podhorany in the Czech Republic.

In addition to the six Henstridge restored Tiger Moths was Henstridge resident G-ANKZ/N-6466, which got proceedings started with a spirited take off.
Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-ANKZ / N6466 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-ANKZ / N6466 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

The six Tiger Moth family members followed, in take off order.

Former Royal Navy example, G-BWMK / T8191 built by Morris Motors in 1942 and finished service with the Royal Navy Historic Flight before being sold at Sothebys in 1994 to raise funds (I attended that Auction and nearly bought a Gannet T5 but that's another story). Returned to flight at Henstridge in 2018.
Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-BWMK / T8191 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-BWMK / T8191 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

G-ANEW / NM-138 - built by Morris Motors in 1943 and post war served as a crop duster before being withdrawn in 1966 and reurned to flight at Henstridge in 2011.
Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-ANEW / NM138 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-ANEW / NM138 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

G-ALWS / N9328 - built by de Havilland in 1939 and post war served as an instructional airframe at Perth. Returned to flight at henstridge in 2014 after nearly 60 years of being flightless.
Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-ALWS / N9328 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-ALWS / N9328 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

G-ADWJ / BB803 - a pre-war civilian registered aircraft but nonetheless operated by the RAF EFTS from Prestwick (it's not just a modern thing with the Grobs). Post war operated by various flying clubs. Returned to flight at Henstridge in 2012.
Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-ADWJ / BB803 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-ADWJ / BB803 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

G-ANFP / R9503 is Czech based - built by de Havilland in 1939 and post war operated by a few flying clubs as well as a crop duster. Returned to flight in 2016
Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-ANFP / R9503 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-ANFP / R9503 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

G-AMIV / R5246 is Czech based. Built by de Havilland in 1940 and post war served with Shorts Brothers and other flying clubs in Northern Ireland. Returned to flight at Henstridge in 2010
Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-AMIV / R5246 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-AMIV / R5246 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

Shortly after take off the aircraft experienced a loss of power and the pilot carefully put her down in an adjoining field of crops within the old airfield boundary. All OK.
Imagede Havilland DH-82A Tiger Moth G-AMIV / R5246 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

Much of the above info has been taken from the very informative Tiger Moth Training websites http://www.tigermothtraining.co.uk/the-company/ and https://www.tigermoth.cz/en/.

Ahhhh, de Havilland!!

Neil

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Re: Tiger Moth Gathering - Henstridge 20 April

Post by andygolfer » Sat Apr 20, 2019 4:24 pm

excellent photos Neil and an excellent story. thanks for all the details as well :thumbs: :thumbs:

now about that Gannet - are you going to spill the beans? I'm intrigued!
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Re: Tiger Moth Gathering - Henstridge 20 April

Post by LondonEye » Sat Apr 20, 2019 6:50 pm

Yes, nice pictures, and the info with them adds to the enjoyment.
Thanks for posting.
Pete.

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Re: Tiger Moth Gathering - Henstridge 20 April

Post by Cessna954 » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:33 pm

Thanks for the comments on the pictures.

Regarding the Gannet, it was a T2 not a T5 as I mistakenly stated. I spent a good number of years actively involvced in establishing the Museum of Berkshire Aviation on the old airfield at Woodley, nr Reading. In the early '90s we were keen to get hold of a Gannet to add to the collection and preferably one built at Hayes and test flown from White Waltham, the Berkshire connection. In 1994 the FAA Museum and RN Historic Flight decided to sell off some surplus airframes that were stored at Lee on Solent and included in the sale were 3 Gannets (XL500, XG888 & XT752). We registered an interest and trundled off to Lee to inspect the aircraft, and all other hangars on base as we were given free roam without a chaperone. All the Gannets were actually found to be in excellent condition but XT752 took our fancy as it had had an interesting history including being a development aircraft registered G-APYO to Fairey Aviation, in to which livery we had tentatlively decided to paint it.

Before the auction the Ministry decided to gift one Gannet (XG888) to the Australian government so we were down to two airframes. The auction was held at Sothebys in Billingshurst W.Sussex and a car load of us trundled down but myself and a few other decided to keep a low profile so as not to draw attention to our being there to bid, our Treasurer did the bidding as he was unknown in the aviation preservation world and other bidders would be left guessing how deep his pockets were. The Gannet XT752 lot soon came up and bidding kicked off and it was soon apparent that there was alot of interest including overseas bidders. Our £15,000 budget was soon exceeeded and we were out of the bidding and it was sold to the guys at Amjet and the Polar Aviation Museum in the USA. I'm convinced they had no idea what they had bought and the complexity of operating such an airframe, HS Double Mamba Engines, two fold wings, etc.....

The Gannet was transported to the USA and was, to their credit, returned to flight and I was fortunate to catch up with it again when it flew in to the EAA Convention at Oshkosh in '97. In more recent times it has been subject to a very lengthy legal case and then marketing to get it back to the UK for an airshow season, expensive and without a great deal of appeal to sponsors I would hazard a guess. I believe that it has returned to flight but am not sure of if that remains the case today.

N752XT at Oshkosh Airventure '97 where it flew alongside the other contra-rotating aircraft of its time, Avro Shackleton AEW2 N790WL - those crazy Brits and their mad planes.
ImageFairey Gannet T2 N752XT by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr

As for our getting a Gannet, just over a year later the Wales Aircraft Museum at Rhoose folded and one of the two Gannets (XG883) in their collection still belonged to the FAA Museum and was on loan. Dave Morris at the FAAM contacted us and in March of '96 we transported the Gannet back to Berkshire and a full static restoration followed.

XG883 on the M4 motorway approaching handover to the Wiltshire Constabulary (the police car on the hard sholder). It's deliberatly at an angle so as to be able to pass under motorway bridges.
ImageFairey Gannet T2 XG883 by Neil D. Brant, on Flickr.

That's the story...

Neil

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Re: Tiger Moth Gathering - Henstridge 20 April

Post by andygolfer » Sat Apr 20, 2019 8:57 pm

that's a fabulous story Neil and i'm so pleased that you did eventually get a Gannet - well done and thanks for pitting the story into print
:clap:
andy
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