This aircraft was built at De Havilland's factory at Hatfield
during 1939, under constructors number 3889. It was part of
a batch of 400 Tiger Moths ordered under Air Ministry Contract
No 778402/38 to be delivered to the RAF between November 1938
and July 1939. The time taken to build aircraft in those days
was considerably faster than nowadays. It was delivered to
the RAF with serial number N6588 in February 1939.
N6588 has had a busy training life from the very beginning.
It was initially taken on charge at No. 5 MU (Maintenance
Unit) on 14 th Feb 1939 and was then delivered to Ansty aerodrome
in Warwickshire on 12 th September 1939, where it served with
the training unit 9 ERFTS run by Air Service Training which
very soon became 9 EFTS (Elementary Flight Training School)
at the outbreak of WW2. N6588 was transferred to 9 EFTS on
15 th October 1939. The records show that it stayed with this
unit throughout its RAF service. 9 EFTS was disbanded on 31
st March 1944 and
N6588 was moved to No. 20 MU on 1 st April 1944 and put into
storage. It was eventually struck off charge and sold at a
RAF auction to A.J. Whittemore of Croydon, Surrey on 6 th
November 1953. Whittemore's were an aircraft sales company
and later went on to sell aircraft radios, when they became
A.J. Whittemore (Aeradio) Ltd.
G-ASKP was stored for some years at Croydon before being sold
onto Rollason Aircraft & Engines sometime during the 50's.
There were many Tiger Moths in storage as around 10,000 had
been built and the majority had been sold or reduced to scrap
during the 1950's. The civilian market did not require the
numbers that were available. It was finally registered to
Rollason Aircraft & Engines Ltd. at Croydon on 22 nd July
Norman Jones who was the owner of Rollasons and the
Tiger Club, placed SKP on the Tiger Club fleet in June 1964,
at which point it had flown a total of 1755 hours. During
the early 60's the Tiger Club operated many DH82a Tiger Moths,
some stayed with the fleet for many years, others were sold
on to private owners after a short time, G-ASKP was destined
to stay with the Club. It was immediately put to use at Club
displays around the country in the Tiger Formation Aerobatics
and Formation teams.
It was originally painted in a yellow and
red harlequin scheme, one side of the fuselage and each wing
red, the other side yellow. It was considered at the time
to be a rather odd looking scheme. It has had various colour
schemes since then, including a blue fuselage and silver wings
and then a different red and yellow scheme before being repainted
at the end of 1996 in the current maroon and silver, of the
1930's De Havilland Flying School colours.
SKP has suffered a few incidents. It was damaged taxiing into
a dyke at Hull-Paull airport in 1970. In March 1971 it crashed
into trees, going backwards at the time so the story goes,
at Challock, Kent. It seems to have had a liking for vehicles,
having hit one on take off in January 1985 at Redhill and
another on landing in October 1988, just after being rebuilt
from the previous accident.
The Tiger Club moved from Redhill to Headcorn in 1990.
Throughout its life with the Club it has been used as a training
aircraft and general Club aircraft and has now accumulated
more than 5000 hours. SKP is also used in the current Biplane
Formation Team which can be seen at many airshows around the
country, each summer.