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Thread: 1950's/60's Archive Part 33:Dragon Rapide

  1. #1
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    1950's/60's Archive Part 33:Dragon Rapide

    Here are some pictures of the fabulous de Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide.
    Dates and location unknown except where captioned, any additions welcome.
    Photos by the late Gerald Lawrance, digitised and made available by Tony Clarke.

    Lots more de Havillands at:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/dwhitwo...257590/detail/

    G-ACPP at White Waltham in 1958. This aircraft started service with Railway Air Services in 1935, and saw wartime use with Scottish Airways. It went to Canada in 1961 and is preserved in Alberta as CF-PTK with the Reynolds Museum:

    G-ACPP

    G-AGJG seen at Seething, date unknown. Another Scottish Airways aircraft, it is well known for the pleasure flying performed from Heathrow. Later in use for parachuting, it was Wfu by 1974. Arriving Duxford 24-8-75, it is now very active in its wartime colours:

    G-AGJG

    G-AGUV of BEA at Gatwick 19-7-51. When Gatwick was full of Spitfires. W/O 27-4-54 in Bahrein with Airwork:

    G-AGUV

    G-AHAG probably at Wisley (EDIT: Wisley 15-7-56). Titles look like 'Blackburn', indicating use by Hawker around 1963. Believed on rebuild at Membury:

    G-AHAG

    G-AHJS of 3 Counties Aeroplane Club (In service 1965-1966). Wfu at Blackbushe 1966:

    G-AHJS

    G-AHKB of the Hampshire Aeroplane Club at Kidlington in 1960. To F-BEKB in 1961 and Wfu by 1965:

    G-AHKB

    G-AHKU of Dominie Airways 1966-1967 (a pleasure flight operation). Wfu by 1970:

    G-AHKU

    G-AHPT of Island Air Charters at Gatwick 19-7-51. (Saw wartime service with ATA and RAE). W/O St Albans 7-7-59:

    G-AHPT

    G-AHXW at Wisley 1956-1957 (EDIT: Wisley 15-7-56), probably when with Fairey Aviation. Became N683DH in 1971, and airworthy in California in original colours as 'G-AHXW':

    G-AHXW

    G-AJKW of Westair at Kidlington in 1960 (A bit more tolerant of spotters in those days). W/O Halfpenny Green 7-5-67.

    G-AJKW

    G-AJSL was Wfu after an accident at Usworth 23-2-69 and stored until export to Australia in 1982. Became VH-UXZ in 1995 and on rebuild at Moorabbin:

    G-AJSL

    G-AKNN probably while serving with Marshalls at Cambridge. Wfu by 1969:

    G-AKNN

    G-AKNY became F-OBRX in 1960, later 6V-AAC for parachuting duties in Senegal. Believed returned to France, but Wfu by 1971:

    G-AKNY

    G-AKOE was Wfu by 1965 but remains were reported in storage at Chirk in 2009:

    G-AKOE

    G-AKPA at Kidlington in 1959. Became EI-AML in 1962, then F-BLHZ. To USA in 1973 as N89DH, this was recently rebuilt in New Zealand. Now flying in USA as 'G-ADDD':

    G-AKPA

    G-AKRN at Shoreham 24-5-60. Wfu later that year, remains were also reported at Chirk:

    G-AKRN

    G-ALGC (Wfu by 1966) (EDIT:Biggin Hill May 1964)

    G-ALGC

    G-ALPK was Wfu at Blackbushe by 1966 (EDIT: At Blackbushe):

    G-ALPK

    G-AMJK at Kidlington 1960. To F-OBVL in 1961, Wfu by 1965:

    G-AMJK

    G-APSD was only civilianised in 1959, and Wfu by 1964. Reported as burnt at Shoreham 4-5-66:

    G-APSD

    With thanks to the Gatwick Aviation Society publication 'de Havilland Biplane Transports' by Paul Hayes & Bernard King. Highly recommended.
    Last edited by DCW; 21st June 2011 at 15:29. Reason: LINK

  2. #2
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    Nice. Have flown in G-AHAG and G-AHKU.

    Dave

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    Is it Christmas???!!

    And I in GJG!

    Wonderful images - thanks for posting, and for all the research!

    Lots of luverly Rapides!
    Last edited by DragonRapide; 20th June 2011 at 19:59. Reason: Reply to Dave!
    Listening out for something interesting approaching...

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    Fabulous pics - thanks for posting.

    Please keep them coming......

  5. #5
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    I had my first flight in HPT at Hooton Park 1956. Is that strange construction behind it Gatwick's original tower?!

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    My first flight was in PK in 1958 at Prestwick.

    John

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    WFU?

    Please educate this poor slob
    What does WFU in the above pic's stand for.
    I think it means "gone' but...
    Thanks
    Warren

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warren F View Post
    Please educate this poor slob
    What does WFU in the above pic's stand for.
    I think it means "gone' but...
    Thanks
    Warren
    Withdrawn from use.

    Dave

  9. #9
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    Some more fine shots. It's encouraging to see how many of these beauties still survive today.
    Bright Young Thing.

  10. #10
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    A thing of beauty is a joy forever.
    Brush Electrical/Loughborough built Avro 504/Short 184 et al, in all 651 a/c in WW1. Brush Coachworks, L'boro and Sywell was in WW2 Civilian Repair Organisation. 335 (or 336) Dominies were assembled there, 1943-46, inc most above. (Ron Smith/Br.Built A/c, Vol.IV). CRO repair, plus assembly in 1946 as civil Rapides of the last few Brush examples, was by a DH Repair Unit at Witney.

    I think the reason X7396 was not released until 26/2/59 to be converted to G-APSD at Squires Gate by ANT was that it remained in use till then by FAA in Scotland.
    (1960: 50p: joy round Blackpool Tower in ANT's DH.84 Dragon G-ACIT).

  11. #11
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    Another fabulous selction; many thanks for sharing them with us. Some locations and dates for you:

    G-AHXW is at Wisley 15 July 1956
    G-AHAG is at Wisley 15 September 1957
    G-ALGC is at Biggin Hill Air Fair 9/10 May 1964
    G-ALPK is at Backbushe

  12. #12
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    As above, fantastic images. 'KU couldn't have been long out of BEA use on the Scillies run when that picture was taken.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G-ASEA View Post
    Withdrawn from use.

    Dave
    Well ********d up ? :diablo:


    Great to hear of 'JSL's survival. As a teenage 'hangar brat' back in 1970/71, I spent some time clambering around it after it groundlooped and nosed over on landing aftere lifting skydivers at Sunderland. I was once told by the owner of the hangar "If you want it and you come with a truck, you can have it."

    Needless to say, I couldn't come up with my side of the offer and always feared the worst for the aeroplane after that.

  14. #14
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    I have been drooling over these wonderful pictures. My first two flights ever were in 1949/1950 on Dragon pleasure flights from London airport and I often wonder if any of those aircradft still exist. And a couple of years ago I fulfilled a dream by renewing my peasure in a Classic Flight at Duxford. And hopefully will have another sometime this summer.
    What really matters is what you do with what you have.

    SKY HIGH

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    SH: the Island Air Services Rapides I have as joyriders at LAP/North were G-AGUF, which crashed 29/6/57, and G-ALBB, which crashed 1/8/52.

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    Thank you alertken, although sad to hear that. I half hoped one of the Classic Wings Dragons might have been an Island Services one.
    What really matters is what you do with what you have.

    SKY HIGH

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    DH Dragon Rapide G-AJSL

    Quote Originally Posted by low'n'slow View Post
    Well ********d up ? :diablo:


    Great to hear of 'JSL's survival. As a teenage 'hangar brat' back in 1970/71, I spent some time clambering around it after it groundlooped and nosed over on landing aftere lifting skydivers at Sunderland. I was once told by the owner of the hangar "If you want it and you come with a truck, you can have it."

    Needless to say, I couldn't come up with my side of the offer and always feared the worst for the aeroplane after that.
    Here is what I've turned up on G-AJSL

    c/n 6801: TOC as NR713 at 18 MU 1.11.44. To Technical Training Command Comm Flight, White Waltham 8.9.45; to Wyton 29.10.45. To Halton Station Flight 24.8.46. To 5 MU 16.1.47.

    Sold 29.5.47 to Field Aircraft Services Ltd. Regd G-AJSL (CofR 11550) 8.5.47 to Field Aircraft Services Ltd, Croydon. Regn cancelled as "sold abroad" 16.6.47; (sale untraced). Regd 17.1.48 to same owners (sale fell through?). Regd 29.9.49 to Trent Valley Aviation Ltd, Tollerton; named "Friar Tuck".

    CofA 9374 issued 26.10.49. Regd 8.9.50 to Eagle Aviation Ltd, Luton. CofA lapsed 25.10.50. Regd 24.12.51 to Air Charter Ltd, Croydon. CofA renewed 21.3.52, and regd 9.4.52 to Eagle Aviation Ltd, Blackbushe. Regd 10.4.52 to Surrey Flying Services Ltd, Croydon [but based at Southend].

    Regd 26.3.56 to Southern Flying Schools Ltd t/a Portsmouth Aero Club, Portsmouth. Regd 10.1.61 to Portsmouth Aero Club Ltd. Regd 9.5.62 to Thomas Hutton Marshall, Christchurch (already delivered in 3.62).

    Regd 28.8.62 to PE Palmer Holdings Ltd, Hurn. Regd 2.5.63 to Shackleton Aviation Ltd. CofA lapsed 19.6.63. Regd 5.10.64 to Airgeneers Ltd, Staverton. CofA renewed 28.7.65. Regd 18.10.66 to Major Michael R Heerey t/a Parachute Regiment Free Fall Club, Netheravon; named "Pegasus". Nominal reregn 1.3.67 to Lt Richard CJ Brinton.

    Sold 31.1.68 and regd 30.5.68 to Trent Valley Aviation Ltd, Castle Donington. Operated [by mid 1968] by Northern Parachute Centre, Usworth. Damaged when nosed over Usworth 23.2.69 and stored on site.

    Sold (to unidentified party - insurers?) 25.3.70. Regn cld 17.12.70 as presumed wfu. Remained at Usworth until at least 8.76; to Baginton
    2.77; reported to Biggin Hill in 1978.

    Sold [late 1970s] to Sander Veenstra, Australia; then several more owners. Exported to Australia [78/79]; to Maurice Rolfe and stored Essendon, near Melbourne [4.82]. To Moorabbin (1.83). Regd VH-UXZ [2] 31.1.95 to Maurice Howard Rolfe, Cheltenham, Vic (based Moorabbin). Rebuild nearly complete [4.01].

    source: http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/dh89.pdf and I'm sure that I've seen a picture of G-AJSL on line, in the Hanger at Usworth in 1974-75

    ETA: Aha! Found it! Low'n'slow does THIS picture ring any bells? Link at http://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=26678 (first pic, captioned "slightly unwell Dragon Rapide")

    Scroll down to pic #7 for a clearer view of the damage to G-AJSL following its "nose over" incident
    Last edited by Dr. John Smith; 21st June 2011 at 12:41.

  18. #18
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    G-AKNN was used for parachuting at Podington circa 1963-65 and continued in this role at Dunkeswell.
    Fly with the eagles,or scratch with the chickens.

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    For any ex Russavia team its 24 years today since G-AGTM swung on take off.

    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. John Smith View Post
    Here is what I've turned up on G-AJSL

    Low'n'slow does THIS picture ring any bells? Link at http://forums.airshows.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=40&t=26678 (first pic, captioned "slightly unwell Dragon Rapide")

    Scroll down to pic #7 for a clearer view of the damage to G-AJSL following its "nose over" incident
    Yes, those pics don't half bring back some memories. Not least spending a sleepless niight in the Valetta 'bunk room' ahead of my first parachute drop!!

    Nice to see 'Wellie' the 172 as well, although I did most of my flying at the time in its near sister G-AWGE at Teesside. I never did get a chance of a go in Sunderland Flying Club's Victa Airtourers though.

    Thanks Doc!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-ASEA View Post
    For any ex Russavia team its 24 years today since G-AGTM swung on take off.
    Hi Dave!

    Yes, realised the date when I wrote it on the board this morning!

    The first restored Blenheim, G-MKIV, was also written off at Denham the same day - 21st June 1987 - thankfully without major injury to those on board. The Blenheim Mk I may well have flown by the time we reach this anniversary next year!
    Listening out for something interesting approaching...

  22. #22
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    [QUOTE=Sky High; I half hoped one of the Classic Wings Dragons might have been an Island Services one [/QUOTE]

    Sky High

    Mark and David Miller's beautiful Rapide G-AGJG, based at Duxford, is ex-Island Air Services. Not available for public flying, but often to be seen in the air over Duxford.
    Listening out for something interesting approaching...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by alertken View Post
    SH: the Island Air Services Rapides I have as joyriders at LAP/North were G-AGUF, which crashed 29/6/57, and G-ALBB, which crashed 1/8/52.
    G-A<br />
<br />
<br />
<br />
<a href=G-AGUF  Island ASLBB">

    Rapide G-AGUF believed at Cambridge 4/7/51 and G-ALBB believed at Heathrow 19/2/50

  24. #24
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    I never have had the chance to fly in G-AGJG, But did help move the fuselage around during its rebuild. Here it is flying at Halton the other week.

    Dave
    Last edited by G-ASEA; 5th November 2012 at 09:00.

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    G-ADCN  alias G-AIYR

    For those who have not seen the picture already on the Duxford again Thread here is Rapide G-AIYR at Duxford today during filming as Imperial Airways G-ADCN ( which was in fact a DH86)

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by DragonRapide View Post
    Sky High

    Mark and David Miller's beautiful Rapide G-AGJG, based at Duxford, is ex-Island Air Services. Not available for public flying, but often to be seen in the air over Duxford.
    So might that have flown the joy rides from London Airport along with the two already mentioned?
    What really matters is what you do with what you have.

    SKY HIGH

  27. #27
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    Thanks for those pictures Duxman.
    What really matters is what you do with what you have.

    SKY HIGH

  28. #28
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    G-AGJG at Heathrow 24-8-53:

    G-AGJG

    G-AGJG at Halton 11-6-11:

    055:G-AGJG

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-ASEA View Post
    For any ex Russavia team its 24 years today since G-AGTM swung on take off.

    Dave
    Remember that day very well, sadly for both the Rapide and Blenheim.
    And my first ever flight was from Duxford in TM in 1985. Have always admired the Rapide since that day.

    Great shots DCW.
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  30. #30
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    DCW - this thread just gets better and better!!
    What really matters is what you do with what you have.

    SKY HIGH

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