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Super Tiger G-ANZZ (DE974) "The Archbishop"

G-ANZZ was built by Morris Motors at Cowley just outside of Oxford during WWII. It went into RAF service as DE974 and having survived as a training aircraft throughout the war it was sold at auction and ended up with Rollason Aircraft at Croydon. They had it registered G-ANZZ in March 1955.

Rollason’s lent it to the Tiger Club when the Club first opened at Croydon in 1957. It appeared at the first airshows the Club flew in at Sandown in September 1956 being flown by Margo McKellar. In March 1957 it was flown in the Fairoaks display by the Club CFI C.A. Nepean "Bish" Bishop in a Tiger Moth formation and also took part in several air races.

Later in 1957 the first Open British Aerobatics Competition was held by the Royal Aero Club at White Waltham and Peter Phillips won in ’NZZ. In the late 50’s Tiger Moths were one of the few aircraft available in Britain to fly aerobatics but they were really not up to the job. De Havillands had modified a Tiger Moth G-ANSH, which was also an early Tiger Club aircraft, with a fuel system which would allow limited inverted flight and Rollason’s improved upon this and then set about modifying the airframe as well. They moved the fuel tank down into the front cockpit and covered it with a detachable plywood decking. This gave a marked improvement to the aerodynamics of the upper wing and fillets were inserted between the lower wing and the fuselage. The engine was up rated to a Gipsy Major 1C engine developing 145h.p. These changes also resulted in the empty weight of the aircraft being reduced to 1126lbs instead of the normal 1210lbs.

The first aircraft Rollason’s modified was G-APDZ in 1958 and this was named "The Bishop" after the Club’s CFI, C.A. Nepean Bishop. The second aircraft converted in 1959 was G-ANZZ which was named G-ANZZ ’NZZ was then flown inverted from Lympne, Kent to Le Touquet, France by Elwyn McAully on 27th June 1959 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of Blériot’s Channel crossing. This also remembered Geoffrey Tyson’s crossing in 1932 on the twenty fifth anniversary in DH82 G-ABUL.

On the aerobatics scene though it wasn’t very long before the Stampes and Zlins from Europe were showing the way of the future and the end of the line had come for Tiger Moths in competitive aerobatics.

’NZZ though continued with air racing and then in 1963 someone had the idea of formation aerobatics. The three remaining Super Tigers were selected for the job. Neil Williams, John Ayres and Lewis Benjamin tried it first and were soon joined by Nick Pocock and James Baring.

Neil Williams commented at the time:

"It was a bit hairy to begin with. You see, it’s a matter of handling your power just right at the top of the loop and the bottom". (See Benjy’s book for more details.)

’NZZ continued with the Club for several more years before being sold. It is currently in store and will one day hopefully fly again.

The Tiger Club 1990 Ltd
Damyns Hall Aerodrome
Aveley Road,
Essex RM14 2TN

Tel: 01708 524633

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