de Havilland Tiger Moth

The de Havilland Tiger Moth is a part of the Royal Australian Air Force Museum's heritage aircraft fleet.

The RAAF Museum's newest aircraft is de Havilland Tiger Moth A17-692. Built by de Havilland Australia as Serial No. 824 for South Africa or Rhodesia, the aircraft was allotted RAF serial number DX781. Upon Japan’s entry to the war, the aircraft was released to the RAAF, becoming A17-692 on 24 November 1943. During World War II, the aircraft served at No 5 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) at Narromine, NSW and No 10 EFTS, Temora, NSW.

Following World War II, A17-692 served at Central Flying School, East Sale and No 1 Basic Flying Training School at Uranquinty, going into storage at Tocumwal on 10 July 1953. It was then issued to the Royal Australian Navy on 30 March 1954, serving at HMAS Albatross until being struck off charge on 8 August 1958. The aircraft was sold to the Tamworth Aero Club, where it was registered VH-TWA on 31 September 1958. The Aero Club sold the aircraft to Mr B. Dower and Mr R Gillespie, who changed the registration to VH-AWA on 17 March 1961. On 16 June 1965, Mr R Naughton acquired the aircraft, initially in a partnership with Mr J Mason. Mr Naughton operated A17-692 until his death in 2004.

Airframe log books are available from 1961 and indicate that although the aircraft has had some major repairs, the lay ups were not overly protracted and the aircraft has remained in reasonably continuous service throughout its life. Additionally, research carried out by Museum staff indicates that A17-692 may have been the last Tiger Moth operated by the Australian Military.