De Havilland DH82a Tiger Moth VH-CAE

One of six Tiger Moths acquired by the Department of Civil Aviation after the war as communications aircraft, DH82a Mk2 VH-CAE has an uncertain history. Built by De Havilland Australia at Bankstown, NSW, the aircraft initially saw RAAF service although its RAAF identity is not conclusively known at this time (it was possibly A17-749).

After the war it was acquired by DCA from RAAF stock for £400 and converted for civil use with a raked-forward undercarriage which permitted the use of a tailwheel. It was registered to DCA as VH-AZJ on 10 February 1948. Either during the initial conversion process, or shortly afterward, it was fitted with a canopy of a style developed by De Havilland Canada. VH-AZJ was re-registered in the DCA’s block as VH-CAE on 8 February 1950.

The aircraft was later sold to the Tasmanian Aero Club on 17 August 1953, along with Tiger Moth VH-CAF, and re-registered as VH-BSD on 15 September.

The photo above is thought to have been taken at Launceston, Tas., after acquisition by the Tassie Aero Club. Note that the DCA badge on the fin has been crudely obliterated.

(Photo: John M Smith collection)

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