1944 de Havilland Dragon Rapide Is One Primitive Plane in Today’s Skies

1944 de Havilland Dragon Rapide 5 photos
Photo: Rob Fox/Platinum Fighters
1944 de Havilland Dragon Rapide1944 de Havilland Dragon Rapide1944 de Havilland Dragon Rapide1944 de Havilland Dragon Rapide
We’re used to seeing at air shows across the world incredible flyers. Whether we’re talking about the restored fighting machines of the Second World War, or the Cold War, or the more recent, high-tech winged monsters, planes are a constant presence in our lives.
But not all of us get to experience the thrills of seeing a biplane taking to the sky, because not all air shows make room for such displays in their program, or there simply aren’t all that many biplanes to go around. Australia however has a real passion for restoring biplanes, and that’s where the safest bet of finding one is.

What you’re looking at is a restored de Havilland Dragon Rapide. Built by British aircraft company de Havilland starting with the mid-1930s, it was envisioned as a short-haul airliner, but was used by the country’s armed forces as well.

The biplane is as primitive as they get, with the body made of plywood and fabric used in more than one place. It is powered by de Havilland Gypsy Six engines that gave the plane a top speed of 157 mph (253 kph), for a range of at most 556 miles (895 km).

Technically, a little over 700 of them were made for civilian use, but once the war started they were enlisted as well primarily for training, transport, and so-called communications missions. The military called these planes Dominie, and the one you’re looking at is one of them.

This plane served with the military for three years, and its career career was uneventful. After the war, it entered civilian life, and was used as a platform for parachuting, among other things, and was the recipient of restoration work that brought it back to perfect shape.

The plane is now in working order, and located in Australia. It is looking for a new owner there, selling for AUD$575,000, which is about $445.000 at today’s rates.
If you liked the article, please follow us:  Google News icon Google News Youtube Instagram
About the author: Daniel Patrascu
Daniel Patrascu profile photo

Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
Full profile


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories