Anniversary of a Tiger

24 Jan


Flipping through an aviation magazine, I spotted an item ‘The Tiger turns 80.’   This classic design of Geoffrey De Havilland first flew on October 26, 1931.  A sort of every man’s aeroplane, the tiger served many roles including long pioneer inter-country flights.  Many are preserved and still fly, even in New Zealand, appearing more the symbol of a craftsmanship than technology.  The wood and fabric bi-plane is pleasing on the eye, and of similar vintage to the heritage trams seen on the Dockline Tram circuit.  Heritage trams, like the Tiger Moth, are attractive owing to an obvious craftsmanship.  The 1920s and 30s, preceded by the Edwardian age, represent eras when vehicles of transport were typically made from wood and other basic materials.  Design and appearance were paramount..  And such basic materials have made it possible for pristine restoration to working condition in a 21st century.  I recall when preparing the 1910 Boom tram on the Christchurch Tramway for its duties, polishing woodwork and tying down ropes, I felt I was working on a rich person’s sailing craft rather than a vehicle of heritage commuting.  Take a ride on the Dockline Tram and be enriched by your own impressions.

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