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de Havilland Dragon Rapide

By Wikipedia,
the free encyclopedia,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De_Havilland_Dragon_Rapide

DH.89 Dragon Rapide/Dominie
Role Short-haul airliner
Manufacturer de Havilland
First flight 17 April 1934
Primary user Royal Air Force
Number built 731

The de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide was a British short-haul passenger airliner of the 1930s. Designed by the de Havilland company in late 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 fairings 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.

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. Two 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

 Australia
 Canada
 Finland
 Iceland
 India
 Iraq
 Ireland
Lebanon
 Malaysia
 Netherlands
 New Zealand
 Palestine
 Paraguay
 United Kingdom
 Yugoslavia

Military operators

 Australia
 Belgium
 Canada
 Finland
 Nazi Germany
 Iran
 Israel
 Lithuania
 New Zealand
 South Africa
 Spain
 United Kingdom
 United States

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, Dragon rapide.

Specifications (Dragon Rapide)


1944 de Havilland DH89a Dragon Rapide 6
1944 de Havilland DH89a Dragon Rapide 6

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 8 passengers
  • Length: 34 ft 6 in (10.5 m)
  • Wingspan: 48 ft 0 in (14.6 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 3 in (3.1 m)
  • Wing area: 340 ft² (32 m²)
  • Empty weight: 3,230 lb (1,460 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 5,500 lb (2,490 kg)
  • Powerplant:de Havilland Gipsy Six inline engine, 200 hp (149 kW) each

Performance

See also

Related development

Related lists

Bibliography

External links




Text from Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License; additional terms may apply.


Published - July 2009














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