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LN-BEZ De Havilland DH.89A Rapide c/n 6838 - ROTHMANS PARALIFT - Groningen Airport Eelde in Holland - 6 August 1971 Groningen Airport Eelde (GRQ)

The De Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide is a six/eight-passenger bi-plane airliner. Developed from the De Havilland commercial twin DH.84 Dragon and DH.86: the DH.89 Dragon Six prototype was first flown on April 17, 1934. Delivery of the DH.89 Dragon Rapide started in 1934. The D.H.89A entered production in 1937. When the production in July 1946 ended, a total of 728 DH-89 were built, including 475 DH.89B Dominie Mk.1 and DH.89B Dominie Mk.2 for the R.A.F. & Fleet Air Arm

De Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide s/n 6838 was manufactured in 1944 as a DH.89B Dominie by the Brush Coachworks Ltd. factory at Longborough. The aircraft was delivered in January 1945 and was operated first with the Royal Air Force as NR750 at Halton Station Flight, coded "THA-F". On 3 March 1947, the NR750 was transferred to No. 5 MU (Maintenance Unit). On 25 August 1947, after wfu from military service, the aircraft was sold to A Hamson & Son Ltd. On 24 September 1947 the aircraft was registered G-AKIF as a DH-89A "Rapide" to A Hamson & Son Ltd, Northampton. On 11 October 1947, the aircraft was sold to Manx Air Charters Ltd. and the G-AKIF was registered with Manx Air Charters Ltd, Ronaldsway, on 22 October 1947. In service with Manx, the aircraft was named "Glen Wyllin". In February 1953, the company changed its name to Manx Airlines as the old name was now out of date as the company's operations were now basically of a scheduled nature. On 20 August 1953, the registered name of the owner of the G-AKIF was changed into Manx Airlines Ltd., Ronaldsway. In May 1956, Manx Airlines became part of the Northern Division of Silver City Airways. During the spring of 1958, the Manx Airlines' aircraft and routes were integrated with those of those of  Silver City's Northern Division, and the name of Manx Airlines finally disappeared. DH-89A G-AKIF didn't join the Silver City fleet, but was operated by Skyflights Ltd, Ramsgate, in the period June 1958 - September 1958 on joy-flights. On 16 October 1958, DH-89A G-AKIF was registered with Hants & Sussex Aviation Ltd, Portsmouth. On 5 February 1959, DH-89A G-AKIF was registered with Thomas Hutton Marshall, Christchurch. On 2 March 1962, the aircraft was registered to Southern Counties Aerial Contracts Ltd, Staverton. On 5 March 1963, the registered name changed to Bardock Aviation Services Ltd., London. On 25 April 1966, the aircraft was sold and on 15 July 1966 registered to Kentair Charters (Biggin Hill) Ltd, Biggin Hill. On 2 May 1968, the DH-89A G-AKIF was registered to Bernard Sydney Schofield, Trustee of the Assets of the Parachute Regiment Free Fall Club, Netheravon. The ancient airliner was restored in splendid condition by Arrow Air Services, Shipdham for Rothmans sales promotion in Norway. On 2 August 1971, registration G-AKIF was cancelled as sold in Norway. On 6 August 1971, the restored old-timer biplane was temporarily registered LN-BEZ with Paralift / Petter Ringvold, Asker, and flown to Norway. After the CofA was issued on 1 October 1971, the DH-89A was registered LN-BEZ with Paralift / Petter Ringvold & ptnrs, Asker, on 1 November 1972. In February 1973, the DH-89A LN-BEZ was flown back to the UK, and on 30 April 1973, registration LN-BEZ was cancelled as sold to UK. On 15 June 1973, the aircraft was restored as G-AKIF with to Adrian Christopher Swire, Booker. On 12 September 1973, the G-AKIF was registered with Airborne Taxi Services Ltd, London, and based first at Booker and later Duxford. In May 1974, the DH-89A was temporarily painted as G-ADAE for TV programme “South Riding”. On 2 August 2006, DH-89A Dragon Rapide G--AKIF was damaged during a landing accident at Duxford Aerodrome. Despite the nature of damage: both propellers bent, left engine-mount distorted, left bracing struts to upper fuselage deformed, cowlings bent and landing gear fairing damage, the aircraft was restored in flying condition. Today, the DH-89A Dragon Rapide G-AKIF is as before owned by Airborne Taxi Services but operated by Cirrus Aviation t/a Classic Wings out of Duxford Aerodrome, Cambridgeshire.
On 6 August 1971, De Havilland DH.89A Dragon Rapide LN-BEZ was seen with ROTHMANS PARALIFT titles at Groningn Airport Eelde during the ferry flight UK-Norway.

page last updated: 15-02-2021
Copyright © Jack Wolbrink, Emmen, the Netherlands

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