Friday, 28 February 2020

A new tiger to play with

Yesterday, I downloaded a Tiger Moth II DH82 model designed by Johan van Wyk and Fred Stegmann of Aeroworx.  This is a design classic that was the main training aircraft for the RAF and most of British and Commonwealth civil aviation from the 1930's to the Second World War.  Over 400 of there aircraft are still flying today.

The cockpit layout is simple and basic, with only the essential instruments for Visual flying by map and compass.  With a stalling speed of 40 knots and a cruise speed of 80 knots, this is not a fast aircraft, but it will take off with a very short runway and is a very stable aircraft to fly.
So far, the only critisizm of this the fact that it does not have a dummy pilot in the external view.  It does sound and respond like a real tiger moth and flies like a biplane should.
The aircraft needs a low and slow approach to land.  The final touchdown needs to be on low power and just above 40 knots - too fast and the aircraft will bounce off of the runway.  The clean landing is the main skill issue with this type for anyone who is unfamiliar with biplanes.
Like all tail draggers, the pilot needs to lean out of the cockpit to see forwards, so taxiing is somewhat taxing.  In confined spaces, some pilots will taxi in a zig-zag path to see forward on both sides to avoid obsacles.
 A quick flight from Tigwall to Sumburgh in the Shetland Islands was a pleasure.  This aircraft should be in all General Aviation hangers for flight simulators.  I have a payware Tigermoth on Flight Simulator X, which is a good model, but this Freeware offering on X-Plane 11 flies in a more realistic way and is a far better representation of the real aircraft.

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