Tiger! - The DH82 Tiger Moth

Published: March 15th, 2015     
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Book cover
Author: Stuart McKay
Reviewed by: 
Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Specialty Press
ISBN #: 978-0-85979-182-3
Other Publication Information: Illustrator - Richard Caruana, Hard Bound, 9” x 11.25”, 413 pages
Price: $49.95
Product / Stock #: AD182

Stuart McKay has updated his out-of-print seminal 1999 edition on the Tiger Moth, Midland Publishing's 272 page tome, "Tiger Moth, De Havilland's Legendary Trainer".  If you ask, just who Stuart McKay is, I would have to answer that he is Mr. Tiger Moth.  Stuart McKay has been fond of Tiger Moths since his teenage years and is the founding Secretary of the de Havilland Moth Club (Since 1975) and is the editor of the de Havilland Moth Club.

Tiger! details the de Havilland Tiger Moth's long and distinguished career from 1931 to 2014 from RAF trainer to bomber.  Filled with over 500 photos both in black and white and color, Stuart McKay presents an intriguing story, complete with political intrigue and numerous highlights from the Tiger Moth's operational service.  Richard Caruana provides many 1/72 color profiles to add depth to the period black and white photos.   Interestingly, the product details on many of the online sites selling this book list only 304 pages (indeed the press release that came with the book stated that this book was 304 pages.  That would get you to the end of Chapter 19.  The book I received to review has an additional 7 chapters and 110 pages.

Over 8,000 Tiger Moths were manufactured and they found ways to serve in nearly every capacity, including crop-spraying, glider tugs, movie stunt planes, and water skiing.  New to me was the Tiger Moth's use being catapulted off of Royal Navy cruisers as well as British coastal cliffs.

The 26 Chapters include:

  • A New Specification
  • Developing Market Share
  • Chasing the Export Trade
  • A Time for Decisions
  •  An Acceleration of Effort
  • A Matter of Desperation
  • Getting Into a Spin
  • A Job to Be Done
  • Beyond the Call
  • Perpetual Phoenix
  • European Variations on a Proven Theme
  • Adventure in Canada
  • Industry in the Antipodes
  • Honeymoon in New Zealand
  • Going for a Song
  • Resisting the Change
  • The Great Commonwealth Rundown
  • Back to the Drawing Board
  • The Grand Tourists
  • The Agriculturalists
  • All in a Day's Work
  • Front Page News
  • Out and About
  • The DH.82 Queen Bee
  • The DH.82(Mod) Thruxton Jackaroo
  • The Circus Comes to Town
  • Variant Specifications
  • Bibliography
  • Index

I was extremely impressed with the coverage and quality of this monograph.  Stuart McKay was able to weave in a tremendous amount of data and still manage to provide a compelling and readable storyline. 

My thanks to Specialty Press and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!

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