De Havilland D.H.89 Dragon Rapide

1934

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De Havilland D.H.89 Dragon Rapide

The Dragon Rapide was a direct development of the Dragon, employing the same structure but having tapered wings, 149kW Gipsy Six engines and a faired-in undercarriage. Known originally as the Dragon Six, it was first flown on 17 April 1934 and remained in production for more than ten years.

Over 700 were built for civil and military customers and served in most parts of the world - playing an important role on air routes in the UK and many parts of the British Commonwealth. The type was produced during World War II as the Dominie radio and navigation trainer. A number of Dragon Rapides were also operated on Fairchild-produced floats by Canadian airlines, produced in Canada by de Havilland's Toronto-based company.

3-View 
De Havilland D.H.89 Dragon RapideA three-view drawing (700 x 670)

Specification 
 MODELD.H.89A Mk 4
 ENGINE2 x de Havilland Gipsy Quenn 2, 149kW
 WEIGHTS
  Take-off weight2722 kg6001 lb
  Empty weight1465 kg3230 lb
 DIMENSIONS
  Wingspan14.63 m48 ft 0 in
  Length10.52 m35 ft 6 in
  Height3.12 m10 ft 3 in
  Wing area31.21 m2335.94 sq ft
 PERFORMANCE
  Max. speed241 km/h150 mph
  Cruise speed225 km/h140 mph
  Ceiling4875 m16000 ft
  Range837 km520 miles

Comments1-20 21-40 41-60
Nick Upton, e-mail, 01.01.2018 20:16

I worked for an aerial survey company in the late sixties [precise surveys ltd ]. Our aircraft was an Scillonian Airways Rapide flown by a pilot called Malcom Payne.Anybody out there know what happened to this aircraft.

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Kevin Tegg, e-mail, 09.06.2017 18:45

When I started spotting in '53, there were 2 Dragon Rapides apparently based at Northolt giving pleasure flights.

Unfortunately, I didn't have the money!

Any info on these 2 would be appreciated.

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John Stratford, e-mail, 26.04.2017 09:56

I recall my grandfather paying 10 shillings for me to enjoy a trip around the Isle of Wight in a Rapide in the summer of 1958. I was 11 years old and remember being surprised how much of the airframe was fabric covered. Whilst enjoying the flight and views on a perfect blue sky summer day I also amused myself by pushing my finger against the fabric covered fuselage sides. My mother on finding out about the flight was furious with her father for entrusting my safety to such a 'flimsy' machine. I still recall that flight with great affection.

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Mike Healey, e-mail, 04.09.2016 13:22

Many thanks to davidmil, I had a look a your Rapide at the LAA yesterday,
The aircraft looks looks like new. It reminded me of my first flite at Blackpool as a child 57 years ago

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Nigel Spooner, e-mail, 10.05.2016 17:53

My first flight was on G-AGJG at "London Airport" in the mid-50s. It was flown by my great-uncle, who was one of Monique Agazarian's pilots in Island Air Services. He also went on to fly G-AKIF when it belonged to the Surrey and Kent Flying Club at Biggin Hill. It is terrific that these two beautiful aircraft are still flying today!

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TonySomerset, e-mail, 09.02.2016 12:22

Thanks Chris Dunwoody, like you at a similar age my family also took one of these pleasure trips from Northolt. So glad my grey cells have not given up!

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Helicopter Museum Weston, e-mail, 16.01.2016 15:44

Did anyone fly or have connections with Weston Super Mare Airfield? We are opening a museum of Weston Aviation and would like to hear from you, for stories to display.

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David Cherry, e-mail, 19.08.2015 17:38

In the early 50's, I had my first flight in a Dragon Rapide at Prestwick Aerodrome (Airport). Can anyone identify the likely 'plane /s? I'd love to know!

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Ann Welch, e-mail, 10.08.2015 13:56

To stefan. k. I had my first flight in a Rapide at Squires Gate in the late 50's. The whole family went up (such a treat) but as I was a toddler at the time I have sketchy memories. As you were a plane spotter do you know any of the registrations that were giving rides at the time? I would appreciate knowing which aircraft I could have flown in. I'm trying to recreate the trip with my family now probably in one of the Rapides owned by Classic air force at Baggington. Thanks

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Chris Dunwoody, e-mail, 03.06.2015 21:03

In the late fourties, aged five or six, I had my first flight. It was a Dragon Rapide, flying pleasure trips from Northolt airfield, I think the air must have had 'holes' in it as I can recall, if the few remaing grey cells are operating correctly, a quite lumpy trip. If anyone can recall the livery or any other details I would be grateful as I am now building a radio controlled model of the Rapide and would like to use the same details.

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Phil Gallagher, e-mail, 11.11.2014 20:41

Not quite so exciting at low level on a hot day. I used to fly in the air survey camera 'op' position in the Rapide with Hunting Surveys in the late 60's and early 70's. It was not unusual when landing to refuel for the bowser driver to chase after you asking 'where the fuel cap was' - at the rear of the starboard engine cowling if I recall correctly.

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stefan. k., e-mail, 25.10.2014 22:47

I REMEMBER ONE YEAR IN THE 1950 /S. IN THE EVENING I USED TO GO TO SQUIRES GATE PLANE SPOTTING. ONE OCCASION THE LAST PLEASURE FLIGHT AROUND BLACKPOOL TOWER WAS ABOUT 8-30PM, THERE WAS A SPARE SEAT, THE PILOT ASKED IF I WOULD LIKE TO FLY. OH WHAT EXCITEMENT TO FLY IN A DRAGON RAPIDE.

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Dave Moores, e-mail, 13.06.2014 18:35

Message to Jon, info=bath-hypno.co.uk, 01.12.2010
Browsing Rapide sites, I came across your entry re G-AIDL. I remember the aircraft from its Fox's Glacier Mint Days and have found two photographs that relate to that era, one dated May47. If you are still searching please contact me

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Redherringz, e-mail, 08.02.2014 18:00

We had a day out at RAF Colerne (wiltshire) and I had enough money to go with my best friend Steve in a Dragon Rapide.
It was my first ever flight and the most beautiful aircraft
I could ever have imagined,the seats were leather with a big sick bag in the pocket of the seat in front. We flew out over Weston Super Mare along the bay and back to Colerne.
The female pilot was praised for landing in 35mph crosswinds
I know we were on one wheel for part of the landing!

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Graham Westwood, e-mail, 11.11.2013 18:45

I flew in a rapide for my twelfth birthday from the Isle of Wight to Southampton and returned later this was schedule flight starting in Croydon and finishing in Cornwall. On 17th August 1948. Doe's anyone know more about these flights

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Davidmil, e-mail, 13.05.2013 20:10

It's nice to read so many happy comments about the Rapide. I have G-AGJG at Duxford, and it spent several years of its life at Heathrow flying joyrides for Monique Agazarian's company. Try Googling the registration G-AGJG if you want a picture of it. It is lovely to fly, too!

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Ron Halkett, e-mail, 21.03.2013 13:33

RE: my previous post, Serial No. shoul;d have read: GA-GSH

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Ron Halkett, e-mail, 21.03.2013 13:09

A DH89A, (GA-GASH) was the RAF Sport Parachute Club's 'mount' in the 1970's. The pilot was a Jerry Schellong. The aircraft had previously been owned by BEA and flew from the Channel Islands.

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Andy Mathison, e-mail, 18.12.2012 21:45

I was about 5 or 6 years old and my parents took the whole family (4) up from a landing strip close to Hoddesdon, Herts, UK. My first ever flight, probably 1951 or 2, I have never ever forgotten it......even though I have flown a lot in my life, like the first girlfriend I ever had when I was 14......
Great website, easy to use, many thanks. I'll be back!

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Nihal De Silva, e-mail, 23.10.2012 18:43

Yes I flew one of two that was servisable at the Air Accadamy Colombo Sri Lanka.1967. The Aeroplane was extremely stable The Gypsy queens responded so nicely to the two side throttles and the manual flap lever was so nice. True the single pilot was difficult but we did change mid air once trimmed

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