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Tiger Moth - entrance which side? Re Airfix 1/48th kit


neilh
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Just starting a double build of the 1/48thAiirfix kit and am pondering if I want to open the entrance hatches. I treated myself to the Eduard "Look" IP's and seat belts so it might show these off a little better, but the Airfix kit allows the starboard side to be opened up only.  I'ts been a while but I feel reasonably sure that when I took a flight from Duxford we got onboard from port, and that's the "traditional " way in for aircraft?  Looking at many pics on line, there are plenty of shots of both sides being used, maybe with a few more on the port than starboard. I could buy the replacement CMK set that has all four doors, but would access from the right be usual for a Tiger Moth?

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I got in from the port side when I flew in one from Goodwood, and certainly that seems to be the most common way.  I've not seen the Airfix kit yet, but is it possible to simply open up the port doors anyway?

 

In the film Appointment in London a character is shown entering a TM from starboard, but of course that may have simply been for the benefit of the shot.

 

I'd say starboard was possible, so your call.

 

Sent you an email.

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Hi Mike,

I found a picture just know after a rummage showing me in the front seat of G-APAO at Duxford in full Biggles gear and clearly both port hatches are down and the starboard one are up.  I could cut the Stbd ones out carefully but suspect the doors themselves will be damaged a bit as even the finest razor saw or scriber will remove some of the edges of the door itself.  

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I recall being told to step on to the reinforced walkway ( for the front " pupil" cockpit) but looking at the enlarged picture, it may be the angle of the shot but it looks to be a challenge getting in the back without stepping on the " no step" area!  I must re watch the TV show on catch up with Guy Martin as I think they show both him and his instructor getting into the Tiger Moth.

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The early pre-War versions had a foot stirrup in the fuselage just aft of the wing on the stbd. side only, so that was presumably the preferred ingress route for the pilot. But that was then replaced by a handgrip in the bulkhead at the rear of the fwd cockpit on both sides, which suggests either side entry was acceptable.

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How odd! Airfix's 1/72 kit will let you cut open the doors on both side and has the separate doors for all 4 places.

 

I wonder why they didn't do that for the 1/48 kit?

 

 

 

 

Chris

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The Tiger had entrance hatches and steps/walkways on both sides. It was not unusual to see the doors on both sides open. 

 

When flown for dual instruction, the pupil was in the rear, (never the front), instructor in front.

If flying "under the hood", (i.e. on instruments), pupil was in the rear, check pilot in front.

When flown solo, the pilot was in the rear coackpit.

If carrying self-loading cargo, we put him/her in front, pilot in rear.

It was also common, particularly when flying solo, (or with passenger), and no wing walkers, to open the hatches on both sides so you could lean out from side to side to see ahead, down each side of the nose, when taxying. 

 

So, in short, you can open any combination of doors you fell like.

 

A few pics of some Aussie Tigers below.

Peter M

 

42a70dd9-94b8-438f-979e-20227158def2.jpg

Refuelling civvie Tiger pre war. Starboard side only hatches open.

 

50ab93fa-9e15-4d96-86b5-52e661cfd41e.jpg

Preparing an early RAAF Tiger for a pupil to go "under the hood", circa 1939/40. Note step for rear cockpit and the wing walkway. 

35cd0626-a37b-4b2c-9e8f-51f05b952b2b.jpg

Refuelling in the field, circa 1945. All hatches appear to be open.

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I have to admit that I'd always assumed that, against tradition, the entry was via the stbd side. I flew a Tiger Moth five years ago and the was entered from the stbd side too. I suspect it's down to whichever levers you don't want your student to catch his or hers gear on as they get in?

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Yes, that is a good point, and it's a tight cockpit, especially with parachute on.

We always had the port door open during start up. You need to be able to signal with the prop swinger and he will be on that side so he can monitor you and double check the switches position. 

Looking at pics, I get the impression that, pre war in the UK, the starboard side entry was preferred but, as the late Murray Walker would have said, I may be wrong. I suspect that each country and each service or civilian school had their own rules.

Peter M

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Thanks for all the great feedback - very interesting indeed.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

I spoke to Classic Wing's at Duxford who fly hundred's of Tiger Moth experience's. They said either side did not matter.

Edited by T-21
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