The Tiger, as the aeroplane is affectionately called, evolved from the DH60T (for Trainer) by adding an inverted engine and moving the top wing forward for easier egress from the front cockpit, an important requirement in a military trainer. To keep the Centre of Gravity range, the top wings were swept back. The bottom wings were given some dihedral to move the wingtips further away from the ground.
The first of many took to the air at Stag Lane on 26th of October 1931. The type became the standard trainer of the R.A.F. and was used in that role by a number of Commonwealth Air Forces and from Brazil to Iraq. An enormous number of aircrew were trained on the type during WW2 away from the theatres of war at E.F.T.S.s in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Africa.
The Tiger Moth was produced at De Havilland’s in Stag Lane (Hatfield from 1934), later by Morris Motors in Oxford, but also in Toronto, Sydney, Rongotai (Wellington), Alverca do Ribatejo (Portugal), Kjeller (Norway), and Stockholm (Sweden). Total production ran to 8’811 aeroplanes, 345 of which were produced by De Havilland New Zealand at Rongotai.
In the Air Force training role, the Tiger Moth was replaced by the DHC-1 Chipmunk in 1955, but many continue to fly as private aeroplanes.
Sources: The Tiger Moth Story, Bramson/Birch, De Havilland Aircraft Since 1909, A.J.Jackson