By Mitch Stirling.
John Wynne Hopkins’ painting of a DH.82A Tiger Moth of the 28 EFTS Mount Hampden.
Under the command of Squadron Leader N E Hendrikz, 28 Elementary Flying Training School of the Royal Air Force was opened in April 1941 “near a small kopje called Mount Hampden.” Their “Trainers of the Empire” or “Tigerschmidts”, as they were sometimes called, had a red and white checkerboard pattern painted on the aft fuselage to distinguish them from their counterparts at Belvedere and Cranborne — a design borrowed from an aerobatic team of 56 Squadron Royal Air Force in pre-war England. As the war progressed, Tigers were shipped in large numbers from England and Australia, until a grand total of 412 machines were in use throughout the colony. They were basically redesigned Gipsy Moths with bigger engines, wings staggered backwards and increased dihedral on the lower mains. Most importantly, the upper wing cabane was moved forward to allow the front seat pilot wearing a chute to get out in a hurry. They were heavier than the Gipsy and, on the good authority of some old pilots who flew both types, they were “not as nice to fly.” Continue reading