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calendar   Monday - August 26, 2013

Flying Artwork

There was a school of design in the 1930s called Streamline Moderne. This style lent an aura of movement and speed to everything, from buildings, to ships, to toasters and radios, even to airplanes. Long flowing lines and “natural aerodynamics” are it’s hallmarks.

We caught another episode of Torchwood last night, one of their oddest yet, but the story was predicated on these 3 people who mysteriously land at an airfield more than 50 years after they took off ... in this old beauty.


The de Havilland Dragon Rapide



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My goodness. Wow. 30s much?

The de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide was a 1930s British short-haul biplane passenger airliner.

In late 1933, the Dragon Rapide was designed at the de Havilland company 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 short-haul commercial passenger aircraft of the 1930s.

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 and communications duties. Over 500 further examples were built specifically for military purposes, powered by improved Gipsy Queen engines [9 liters, 200hp], to bring total production to 731. The Dominies were mainly used by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy for radio and navigation training. Postwar they were used as communications aircraft by Royal Naval air station flights.

Other civilian Dragon Rapides continued to fly for UK airlines as part of the Associated Airways Joint Committee (AAJC). The AAJC co-ordinated the UKs wartime scheduled services which were entirely operated on over-water routes.

After the war, many ex-RAF survivors entered commercial service; in 1958, 81 examples were still flying on the British register. Dominie production was by both de Havilland and Brush Coachworks Ltd, the latter making the greater proportion.
Postwar operations

The DH.89 proved an economical and very durable aircraft, despite its relatively primitive plywood construction, and many were still flying in the early 2000s. Several Dragon Rapides are still operational in the UK, and several suppliers still offer pleasure flights in them

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The old girl could chug across the sky at about 150mph with a 570 mile range. And totally Moderne. Love it.

flight video


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/26/2013 at 01:47 PM   
Filed Under: • Fun-Stuffplanes, trains, tanks, ships, machines, automobiles •  
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