Tuesday 23 November 2021

A "New" Tiger Moth at Tauranga! ZK-ATM/2

After what has been an excruciating wait for its new owners, Tiger Moth ZK-ATM2 (c/n 85470) was outside at Tauranga yesterday 22/11/21 for engine runs and a compass swing.  The Hairy Mole Rat was there to photograph it - thanks HMR

I understand that its first flight in New Zealand is likely to be this week.  But wait!  It is not the first flight of this airframe in New Zealand!

To clarify the above, a summary of its history will help.  This Tiger Moth was built in England in 1942 as was bought on charge with the RAF as DE474 on 17/3/42 at RAF Kinloss.  It carried on with the RAF until November 1953 when it was registered as G ANKL to A J Whittemore (Aeradio) Ltd of Croydon on 24/12/53.  It then went to Belgium as OO-JIM, being registered to J Bogaerts of Grimbergen in October 1957.  On 1/6/58 it crashed while landing at Zwartberg and records show that it was destroyed by fire.  However even being destroyed by fire cannot keep a good Tiger Moth down! and after storage it was restored to the UK register as G-ANKL on 28/1/93.  In 1995 it was shipped to New Zealand for restoration by Colin Smith at Mandeville and ownership was taken up by Ted Millar and Michelle Lambert of Portland Oregon in March 1998.  The completed Tiger was registered as ZK-JLF and was registered on 20/4/00 with a first flight the next day.  Can anyone supply a photo of it as ZK-JLF?  It was then shipped to Portland Oregon where it became NC82TM for Sea-Air Ltd (Ted Millar and Michelle Lambert) on 9/5/00.  They flew it for 20 years before selling it to New Zealand where it will be based between Whitianga and Kaipara Flats.

The Tiger Moth as NC82TM at Solo Wings on 2/9/21.

Coincidentally the first ZK-ATM was also a Tiger Moth c/n DHNZ 135.

Thanks to Dave Paull for the history lesson.


  1. When visiting Colin Alexander at Solo Wings Tauranga Airport recently, he showed me ZK-ATM2 under wraps. I soon established it was not Tiger Moth ZK-ATM1 which had the nickname "The Mighty Atom". This was a "new" ZK-ATM and none other than one that had been in New Zealand previously. It had arrived in N Z in 1995, in a damaged state, bearing the registration G-ANKL. I fondly referred to it as "The broken ankle". Colin Smith did a magnificent job in restoring it and applied a temporary rego ZK-JLF before it was exported to the United States as NC82TM. Now back here it sports a non standard undercarriage. Note how it slopes forward and therefore sets the engine lower to the ground.

  2. That's the Canadian Tiger undercarriage. They had brakes, so the main-wheels were moved forward to make is less susceptible to nosing over. They also had a tailwheel.

  3. The undercarriage looks to be the type fitted to Canadian built DH82s and possibly the same source as the non-standard tailwheel

  4. Flew up to Whitianga on Friday 26 November arriving just after 11.00am

  5. According to my logbook, I flew ZK-JLF on it's first test flight, after restoration, on Thursday 27th April, 2000, at Mandeville, Southland, NZ. I did several production test flights after that, the last being on 14th May, 2000. The new owners where Ted and Michelle, not Michael.(Sorry for the corrections, Paul) Not only did JLF have brakes, and a tailwheel, but it also had an electric self starter.

  6. Thanks there Unknown.
    We welcome you comments and especially corrections.

    Don't suppose you have a photo of it at Mandeville, and did it actually wear ZK-JLF marks at all?