72DR011 Oxford Diecast DH Dragon Rapide ZK-AHS Mokai NAC
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Oxford Diecast 1/72nd Scale Future Release
De Havilland Dragon Rapide
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Oxford Diecast 1/72nd scale 72DR011 DH Dragon Rapide ZK-AHS Mokai NAC. Buy online at Flying Tigers.
The de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide was a 1930s British short-haul biplane airliner for 6 – 8 passengers. It proved an economical and durable craft, despite its relatively primitive plywood construction.
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 DH.86 Express, including its tapered wings, streamlined fairings and the Gipsy Six engine, but it demonstrated none of the operational vices of the DH.86 Express, and went on to become perhaps the most successful British-built short-haul commercial passenger aircraft of the 1930s.
On 17 April 1934, the prototype aircraft first flew at Hatfield. 205 craft were built for airlines and other owners all around the world before the outbreak of World War II. Originally designated the “Dragon Six” it was first marketed as “Dragon Rapide”, although later it was popularly referred to as the “Rapide”. From 1936, with the fitting of improved trailing edge flaps, they were redesignated DH.89As.
In the summer of 1934, the type entered service with UK-based airlines, with Hillman Airways Ltd being first to take delivery in July. From August 1934, Railway Air Services (RAS) operated a fleet of Dragon Rapides on routes linking London, the north of England and on to Northern Ireland and Scotland. The RAS DH.89s were named after places on the network, for example “Star of Lancashire”.
Isle of Man Air Services operated a fleet of Rapides on scheduled services from Ronaldsway Airport near Castletown to airports in north-west England including Blackpool, Liverpool and Manchester. Some of its aircraft had been transferred to it after operation by Railway Air Services.
One famous incident was in July 1936 when two British MI6 intelligence agents, Cecil Bebb and Major Hugh Pollard, flew Francisco Franco in Dragon Rapide G-ACYR from the Canary Islands to Spanish Morocco, at the start of the military rebellion which began the Spanish Civil War. It is on display in the Museo del Aire, Madrid.
DH Dragon Rapide ZK-AHS Mokai NAC was built at Hatfield in 1938 and issued with it’s British C of A on 19 September of that year.Shipped to New Zealand on the “Rangitata” arriving on 16 November 1938. Delivered to Cook Strait Airways on 23 November 1938.
Registered as ZK-AGT “Neptune”, it was test flown on 30 November of that year. Impressed into RNZAF at Ohakea on 15 October 1939 for a cost of 20,500 pounds. Left Nelson for Ohakea at 2.30 pm on 10 November 1939 along with ZK-AEE. It was allocated the serial NZ558 on 18 February 1940. Operated by No.42 Transport Squadron as a communications and training aircraft. February 1944 sold to Air Travel (NZ) Ltd. Overhauled and rebuilt by DH Aircraft of NZ at Rongotai. Restored to the civil register as ZK-AHS on 30 November 1944. Operated by them until the company was taken over by NZNAC on 01 November 1947. To NAC as “Huia” and later “Mokai” from June 1948 until sold to West Coast Airways in January 1957. To Tourist Air Travel as a result of a takeover in 1965.
To Mount Cook Airlines when they took over TAT in March 1967. Retired in 1973 and ferried to Ardmore on 05 June 1974 for presentation to MOTAT where it remains on display as New Zealand’s oldest airliner.
Model Code: 72DR011