© 2009 454 & 459 RAAF Squadrons

DeHavilland Dominie DH.89

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

Designed as a successor to the DH 84 Dragon, , it featured the tapered wings and streamlined undercarriage fairings of the four-engined DH 86 Express.

At the start of WW2 many Dragon Rapides were impressed by the British armed forces and, together with fresh RAF orders, served under the designation de Havilland Dominie. They were used for passengers duties and radio navigation training.

731 Rapides were built. They have proved astonishingly durable with many still flying into the 21st century.

At the IWM Duxford air museum in Cambridgeshire, UK, a pair of Rapides is used daily for short pleasure flights around the airfield. A pair of Rapides are also airworthy in New Zealand.

From the diary of John Simmonds - [RAF] RAAF 459 Squadron, he writes; "On the 2.12.1942 I stepped into a Dominie for my first official flight in the service-complete with parachute.  For one hour, thirty-five minutes we flew over the fields of Herefordshire learning how to tune a receiver in the air.  Thee were half a dozen pupils in the aeroplane, all puking their hearts up. After a few flights we graduated on to the Proctor.