Built at Stag Lane, Edgware in 1993 Delta Charlie
was on of the first batch of ten DH82a Tiger Moths built
by De Havilland. Only one othe of that initial number survives
which make G-ACDC is the oldest flying Tiger Moth in the
World. She spent her entire pre war life engaged in training
pilots at the De Havilland School of Flying at Hatfield.
G-ACDC was officially impressed into the R.A.F. as BB726
on 30th October 1940 and went first to No. 1 EFTS at Hatfield
until November 1941 then moving onto No. 28 EFTS at Wolverhampton.
It served out the rest of the war there, being retired to
9 MU at nearby Cosford on 21st July 1945.
From Cosford it was re-issued to RAF Dyce on 9th
June 1952 for the summer season and was again returned to
store at 20 MU Aston Down in November 1952.
CDC was purchased by A.J. Whittemore (Aeradio) Ltd who had
it flown to Croydon where it went into storage. The civilian
registration G-ACDC was officially restored on 4th December
1953. In July 1955 it was sold to locally based Continental
Aircraft Services and a short while later moved on to Rollason
Aircraft & Engines Ltd at Croydon.
Rollasons converted G-ACDC to civilian standards and at
this time it had accumulated 4980 hours. During this overhaul
the Tiger was completely stripped down and most of the structure
was found to be sound though a new starboard upper wing
was required and the antispin strakes, fitted by the military,
were removed. G-ACDC was then repainted to the old De Havilland
colour scheme of maroon and silver and signed off on 24th
June 1957 by Adrian "Dev" Deverill who was to
look after her for the next 35 years at the Tiger Club based
at Redhill Surrey.
It was on the 6th September of that year that G-ACDC suffered
a minor mishap on take-off at Croydon and the starboard
upper wing was replaced again. It seems that repairing Tiger
Moths in those days was a quick job as she was flying again
on 13th September. In October an unfortunate accident occurred
when a Chipmunk taxiied into G-ACDC but the only repair
required was a new rudder.
During 1958 a new racing propeller was fitted and G-ACDC
was used until the early 60's for racing It won at least
one race in the hands of David Phillips and was then converted
back to the original specification. G-ACDC then lived a
busy life with general club flying and participating in
the airshows that the Tiger Club was beginning to organise.
The Tiger Club developed several other Tigers into racing
Tigers, with modifications including moving the fuel tank
into the front seat, to reduce drag. These Tigers were known
as Super Tigers and included G-AOAA "The Deacon"
and G-ANZZ "The Archbishop".
It was during the Rochester Air display in September
1963 that CDC suffered her most serious accident. It was
a very windy day and Neville Browning was trying to entertain
the crowds with a crazy flying display, when he was caught
by a strong gust. The aircraft completed several somersaults
before coming to rest, luckily without injury to the pilot.
After being recovered back to Rollasons, it was found to
need all four wings to be replaced and the front fuselage
and cockpit to be rebuilt. It was agreed at Dev's insistence
that G-ACDC would no longer be used for crazy flying, due
to the historical value of this aircraft.
During 1964 Barry Griffiths devised a new display item and
G-ACDC was used for the first show. This required Barry
to be dressed up as a mad professor, carrying a black box
that was supposed to be a radio control for G-ACDC, which
was being flown by Neil Williams. The box exploded in a
cloud of red smoke and G-ACDC at this point appeared out
of control and started attacking its controller. The cost
of the black box meant it did not occur again, though the
crowd thoroughly enjoyed it. The first logbook finishes
at the end of 1964 when the total flying time was 6146 hours.
Since those early days G-ACDC has continued as the flagship
of the Tiger Club and as its most popular aircraft. All
new Club members want to have a record of it in their logbooks.
G-ACDC is also used for trial lessons and conversions onto
Tigers. G-ACDC has not been cleared by the C.A.A. for aerobatics
because there are no antispin strakes, which seems a pity,
as they were never required by De Havilland.
G-ACDC is still to be seen flying at Headcorn
in her original maroon and silver colour scheme and has
now accumulated over 13,000 hours.