Tuesday, December 16, 2008

DE HAVILLAND “DRAGON”/“RAPIDE”



STANDARD DATA: Gross wt. 5,550. Empty wt. 3,230. Fuel capacity 76. Engines two 200 hp D.H. Gipsy-Sixes.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 157. Cruise mph 132. Initial climb rate 867. Range 556. Ceiling 16,700. Takeoff run 870. Landing roll 510.

The Dragon/Rapide was a twin-engine passenger or freight carrier designed by de Havilland Aircraft Company and flown for the first time in 1934. Production continued until 1945, and 737 of the airplanes were built including the D.H. 89A that was adopted by the R.A.F. and named the “Dominie.” It was the radio training and communications version; 475 of these were built. It accommodated a pilot, who sat far up in the nose of the plane, and seats and freight space as desired. You enter the main cabin by a large door on the port side. Construction consisted of a boxlike structured fuselage with plywood paneling on the inside and fabric covering on the outside. Wings had wooden spars and fabric covering. Dragons and Rapides still in service have usually changed to the Gipsy Queen 2 engines.



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