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DH-89A Dragon Rapide ZS-JGV


The de Havilland DH89 Dragon Rapide was a direct development of the de Havilland DH-84 Dragon, employing the same structure but having tapered wings, 149-kW (200-hp) Gipsy Six engines and a faired-in underrcarriage. Known originally as the Dragon Six, it was first flown on 17 April 1934 and remained in production for more than ten years.
Over 700 Rapides were built for civil and military customers.and served in most parts of the world – playing an important role on air routes in the United Kingdom and many parts of the British Common Wealth. The type was produced during World War II as the Dominie radio-and-navigation trainer. A number of Dragon Rapides were also operated on Fairchild-produced floats by Canadian airlines, produced by de Havilland’s Toronto-based company. The Dragon Rapide had exceptional airfield performance and a few are still airworthy.

Details about DH-89A ZS-JGV

Construction number 6831: Supplied to the Air Council with military serial NR743. To No 4 Radio School January 1945. To No 5 Maintenance Unit for storage December 1946. Struck off charge on transfer to British Overseas Aircraft Corporation for use by East African Airways Corporation (EAAC)  1 July 1947. Registered VP-KEF in July 1947 to EAAC. To Seychelles-Kilimanjaro Air Transport Ltd 1960. Registered 5H-AAN in August 1964. To Caspair Ltd, Mazinde. To AD Aviation Co Ltd, Nairobi, 1967. Aircraft damaged at Entebbe 3 March 1969 when brakes seized while taxying. To WJ Baker 1971. To Air Mahe February 1973, named African Queen; delivered ex Mombasa 21 February 1973 and operated services between the Seychelles and Praslin Island. Allocated VQ-SAG February 1973, but not taken up. (Note: Even though based in other East African countries, flown throughout as 5H-AAN until sale to South Africa.) Registered ZS-JGV in January 1975 to John English, based  at Progress Airfield . On rebuild, Port Alfred November 2002.


Chronical of Aviation; JOL International Publishing; Bill Gunston, editor-in-chief and associate editors Captain Mark S Pyle (United Stgates) and Captain Edouard Chemel (France), plus other contributors; first published in 1992 by Chronicle Communications Ltd, London, in 1992.

Civil Aircraft Registers of Africa, Air-Britain, 1981.
de Havilland Biplane Transports; a Gatwick Aviation Society publication in association with Aviation Classics; Paul Hayes and Bernard King; April 2003.
Jane’s Encyclopedia of Aviation, compiled and edited by Michael JH Taylor, with various contributors; Crescent Books, 1995.

The illustrated Encyclopedia of Propeller Airliners; editor-in-chief Bill Gunston, with Dennis Baldry, Chris Chant and John Stroud and others as contributors; Phoebus Publishing, 1980.


Here DH-89A ZS-JGV is illustrated at Margate Airport (ICAO code FAMG) on 16 May 1985 in an all-silver scheme during the Experimental Aircraft Association Convention. Notice the white-and-red tail section of ZS-LNW in the background. ZS-LNW is a SOCATA TB-10 Tobago.

The same aircraft is seen here on the same date, but this time with ZS-LNW (left) and ZS-JVA (right) in the background. ZS-JVA is a Fokker F-27 Friendship 200 of Comair.

On 2 May 1987 the aircraft took part in the commemoration of the World War II Joint Air Training Scheme at Air Force Base Waterkloof. Note that no registration is visible.

In this view the aircraft is seen at Air Force Base Ysterplaat on 17 March 1989, this time with the registration number.

Illustrated here is the machine on 21 November 2005 at Progress Airport (ICAO code FAPZ).
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