De Havilland DH 71 Tiger Moth
In order to carry out research on high-speed flight and to test replacement engines for the Cirrus, de Havilland built in 1927 two small single-seat monoplanes designated de Havilland D.H.71 Tiger Moth. Such was the degree of streamlining required that it was designed around test pilot Hubert Broad. The two aircraft were entered for the King's Cup Air Race, for it then seemed accepted that any new light aircraft of that time were required to thus prove themselves. However, one was scratched before the race; the other, powered by an A.D.C. Cirrus II engine, was withdrawn during the race due to bumpy conditions.
In August 1927 the first D.H.71, then with alternative wings of only 5.69m span and a new 101kW Gipsy engine, was flown by Broad to a new 100km closed circuit record for aircraft of its class of 300.09km/h. Five days later Broad attempted the world's altitude record for the category, but having no oxygen the limitation was on man and not machine. He reached 5849m before having to give up, although the aircraft was still climbing at over 305m per minute.
In 1930 the first D.H.71 was taken to Australia, but crashed during practice for an air race after suffering engine failure on take-off, killing the pilot. The second airframe, minus engine, was destroyed at Hatfield in an air raid during October 1940.
Engine: 1 x A.D.C. Cirrus II inline piston engine, 63kW
Take-off weight: 411 kg / 906 lb
Empty weight: 280 kg / 617 lb
Wingspan: 6.86 m / 22 ft 6 in
Length: 5.66 m / 18 ft 7 in
Height: 2.13 m / 6 ft 12 in
Wing area: 7.11 sq.m / 76.53 sq ft
Max. speed: 267 km/h / 166 mph