A sheep in wolf’s clothing – DeH 89A Dragon Rapide
Tags: Air Show, aircraft, airlines, Aviation, Avro, Brush Coachworks, camouflage, De Havilland, DeH 89A Dragon Rapide, DeH Gypsy Six engine, Dominie, First World War, Great Vintage Flying Weekend, GVFWE, Isle of Lewis, Keevil, Leicestershire, Loughborough, military, military aircraft, Outer Hebrides, RAF, remote destinations, Royal Air Force, Scotland, Scottish Airways Ltd, Second World War, skeleton service, Stornoway, Wiltshire
The DeH Dragon Rapide was one of the most successful small airliners of the 1930s, being a natural development of the earlier DeH Dragon, but fitted with the bigger 200hp Gipsy Six engines . It was capable of carrying 8 passengers at around 140 mph for over 500 miles, and many small airlines built up their business using the efficient airliner. When the Second World War broke out, De Havilland looked around for a suitable subcontractor to take over production, and eventually settled on Brush Coachworks in Loughborough, Leicestershire (the same company had built Avro aircraft during the First World War). Over 300 aircraft were built, and saw service as the Dominie, mainly with the Royal Air Force. This example, despite the camouflage, is not a miltary aircraft! It was one of the Scottish Airways fleet, which operated a wartime skeleton service to remote destinations, such as Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides. Here it is, having flown in to GVWFE at Keevil. I like Dragon Rapides – they are elegant, and have immense character.
This month’s offerings!