De Havilland Dragon Rapide

De Havilland Dragon Rapide

Infobox Aircraft
name=DH.89 Dragon Rapide/Dominie


caption=
type=Short-haul airliner
manufacturer=de Havilland
designer=
first flight=17 April 1934

introduced=
retired=
status=
primary user=Royal Air Force
more users=
produced=
number built=731
unit cost=
developed from=
variants with their own articles=
The de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide was a British short-haul passenger airliner of the 1930s. Designed late in 1933 as a faster and more comfortable successor to the DH.84 Dragon, it was in effect a twin-engined, scaled-down version of the four-engined DH.86 Express. It shared many common features with the larger aircraft including its tapered wings, streamlined farings and the Gipsy Six engine, but it demonstrated none of the operational vices of the larger aircraft and went on to become perhaps the most successful British-built commercial passenger aircraft of the 1930s.

Development and history

The prototype first flew on 17 April 1934 and 205 were built for owners all around the world before the outbreak of World War II. Originally designated the "Dragon Six" it was first marketed as "Dragon Rapide" although was later just called a "Rapide". With the fitting of improved trailing edge flaps from 1936 they were redesignated DH.89As.

One famous incident involving the use of a DH.89 was in July 1936 when a British MI6 intelligence agent, Hugh Pollard, flew Francisco Franco in one from the Canary Islands to Spanish Morocco, at the start of the military rebellion which began the Spanish Civil War. [Alpert, Michael "BBC History Magazine" April 2002]

At the start of World War II many (Dragon) Rapides were impressed by the British armed forces and served under the name de Havilland Dominie. They were used for passenger duties and radio navigation training. Over 500 more were built specifically for military purposes, powered by improved Gipsy Queen engines, to bring total production to 731. Many survivors entered commercial service after the war, and 81 were still flying on the British register in 1958. Dominie production was by both de Havilland and Brush Coachworks Ltd, the latter making the greater proportion.

The DH.89 proved a very durable aircraft despite its relatively primitive plywood construction and many were still flying in the early 2000s. Several Rapides are still operational in the UK and several suppliers still offer pleasure flights in them. 2 Rapides are still airworthy in New Zealand

Variants

;D.H.89 Dragon Six: Prototype.;D.H.89: Twin engined light transport biplane. First production version.;D.H.89A: Improved version, fitted with a landing light in the nose, modified wingtips and cabin heating.;D.H.89A Mk 4: One D.H. 89A aircraft, powered by two de Havilland Gipsy Queen 2 piston engines, fitted with constant speed propellers.;D.H.89A Mk 5: One D.H.89A aircraft, powered by two de Havilland Gipsy Queen 3 piston engines, fitted with variable-pitch propellers.;D.H.89A Mk 6: One D.H.89A aircraft fitted with Fairey X5 fixed-pitch propellers.;D.H.89M : Military transport version. Exported to Lithuania and Spain.;D.H. 89B Dominie Mk I: Radio and navigation training version.;D.H. 89 B Dominie Mk II: Communications and transport version.

Operators

Civil

;AUS
*Australian National Airways
*Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia;flag|Canada|1921
*Canadian Pacific
*Quebec Airways;FIN
*Aero Oy operated two aircraft.;ISL
*Air Iceland;IRQ
*Iraqi Airways;IRL
*Aer Lingus
*Aer Turas operated one aircraft.;IND
*Air India
*Indian National Airways
*Tata Airlines;MYS
*Borneo Airways;NLD
*K.L.M.;NZL
*National Airways Corporation
*Union Airways of N.Z. Ltd;UK
*Air Atlantique Classic Flight
*British European Airways
* [http://www.goliathres.com/res_website.asp?supplierCode=cla100&page=home Classic Wings]
*British Westpoint
*Scottish Airways
* Scillonia Airways
*Trans European Aviation
*Crilly Airways Ltd
*Hillmans Airways
* Mayflower Air Services
*Olley Air Services
*Railway Air Services
* Westward Airways (Lands End);flag|Yugoslavia|kingdom:
*Aeroput

Military operators

;AUS
*Royal Australian Air Force;BEL
*Belgian Air Force (Seven operated from 1946);flag|Canada|1921
*Royal Canadian Air Force
**No. 418 Squadron RCAF;FIN
*Finnish Air Force;flag|Nazi Germany
*Luftwaffe operated captured aircraft.;flag|Iran|1925
*Imperial Iranian Air Force;ISR
*Israeli Air Force;flag|Lithuania|1918
*Lithuanian Air Force operated two D.H.89M aircraft.;NZL
*Royal New Zealand Air Force
**No. 4 Squadron RNZAF
**No. 42 Squadron RNZAF;flag|South Africa|1928
*South African Air Force;flag|Spain|1931
*Spanish Air Force operated three D.H.89M.;UK
*Royal Air Force
**No. 24 Squadron RAF
**No. 173 Squadron RAF
**No. 225 Squadron RAF
**No. 271 Squadron RAF
**No. 510 Squadron RAF
**No. 526 Squadron RAF
**No. 527 Squadron RAF
**No. 614 Squadron RAF
*Fleet Air Arm;flag|United States|1912
*United States Army Air Force

Popular culture

A de Havilland Dragon Rapide, the "Sky Gypsy", appears in "Out of Time", an episode of the BBC Science Fiction television series "Torchwood", in which one is accidentally flown through a "transcendental portal" and travels from 1953 over 50 years into its passengers future. Dragon Rapides appear in several films including The Maggie, The Captain's Paradise, Fathom, the 1995 film adaptation of Shakespeare's Richard III, and a 1986 Spanish film, [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090969/ Dragon rapide] . [http://www.janusmuseum.org/panabasis/oct07.htm#26oct]

pecifications (Dragon Rapide)

aircraft specifications
plane or copter?=plane
jet or prop?=prop

ref
crew=1
capacity=8 passengers
length main=34 ft 6 in
length alt=10.5 m
span main=48 ft 0 in
span alt=14.6 m
height main=10 ft 3 in
height alt=3.1 m
area main=340 ft²
area alt=32 m²
empty weight main=3,230 lb
empty weight alt=1,460 kg
loaded weight main=5,500 lb
loaded weight alt=2,490 kg
max takeoff weight main=
max takeoff weight alt=
engine (prop)=de Havilland Gipsy Six
type of prop= inline engine
number of props=2
power main=200 hp
power alt=149 kW
max speed main=157 mph
max speed alt=136 knots, 253 km/h
max speed more=at 1,000 ft (305 m)
range main=573 mi
range alt=498 nm, 920 km
ceiling main=16,700 ft
ceiling alt=5,090 m
climb rate main=867 ft/min
climb rate alt=4.3 m/s
loading main=16 lb/ft²
loading alt=79 kg/m²
power/mass main=0.036 hp/lb
power/mass alt=60 W/kg

ee also

aircontent
related=
* de Havilland Dragon
* de Havilland Express
* Breda Ba.44
similar aircraft=
lists=
* List of aircraft of the RAF

References

Notes

Bibliography

* Hamlin, John F. "The De Havilland Dragon Rapide Family". Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 2003. ISBN 0-85130-344-7.
* Jackson, A.J. "British Civil Aircraft 1919-1972: Volume II". London: Putnam(Conway Maritime Press), 1988. ISBN 0-85177-813-5

External links


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