CLASSIC AIRCRAFT SALES LTD

DE HAVILLAND DH.84 DRAGON

NZ$ 390,000 o.n.o. (+ GST if sold in NZ)
Australian built, ex-RAAF, QANTAS. A sound, reliable, vintage airliner, with the benefit of more powerful 145hp Gipsy Major 10 engines and Fairey Reed airscrews. Located in N.Z.
ABOUT ZK-AXI

Sir Geoffrey de Havilland's Hatfield, England based company had already been established for two decades when the DH.84 Dragon twin-engined airliner first appeared in 1932. The Dragon was an immediate success in its first role, flying passengers between London and Paris, six passengers carried in closed cabin comfort and with the security of twin engines. The facility to fold the wings made it easier to keep the aircraft hangared and out of the weather.  Larger engines and revised wing design and streamlining saw the introduction of the DH.89 Dragon Rapide (originally called the 'Dragon Six', reflecting the jump from four-cylinder Gipsy Major engines to six cylinder Gipsy Sixes).

Prior to the introduction of the Dragon Rapide, a total of 115 DH.84 Dragons had been completed, but the story didn't end there. A requirement by the Royal Australian Air Force for a navigation trainer during WW-II saw the recommencement of production of the DH.84 by de Havilland Australia Pty Ltd at Bankstown, NSW. The Dragon made more sense than the Rapide as the Gipsy Major engines that powered the DH.84 were in large scale manufacture in Australia for the Tiger Moth production line.

The total result from both English and Australian production came to 202 aircraft. Understandably, as these were replaced by more modern equipment these prior to, during or soon after WW-II and they were scrapped. A number carried on as freighters and aerial ambulances for a time after the end of the war before the survivors found their way to museums and collectors. Today, a mere 10 Dragons survive, with just half of them airworthy, so these charming old time machines do not become available every day.

A QUICK GLANCE AT THE HISTORY

Sir Geoffrey de Havilland's Hatfield, England based company had already been established for two decades when the DH.84 Dragon twin-engined airliner first appeared in 1932. The Dragon was an immediate success in its first role, flying passengers between London and Paris, six passengers carried in closed cabin comfort and with the security of twin engines. The facility to fold the wings made it easier to keep the aircraft hangared and out of the weather.  Larger engines and revised wing design and streamlining saw the introduction of the DH.89 Dragon Rapide (originally called the 'Dragon Six', reflecting the jump from four-cylinder Gipsy Major engines to six cylinder Gipsy Sixes).

Prior to the introduction of the Dragon Rapide, a total of 115 DH.84 Dragons had been completed, but the story didn't end there. A requirement by the Royal Australian Air Force for a navigation trainer during WW-II saw the recommencement of production of the DH.84 by de Havilland Australia Pty Ltd at Bankstown, NSW. The Dragon made more sense than the Rapide as the Gipsy Major engines that powered the DH.84 were in large scale manufacture in Australia for the Tiger Moth production line.

The total result from both English and Australian production came to 202 aircraft. Understandably, as these were replaced by more modern equipment these prior to, during or soon after WW-II and they were scrapped. A number carried on as freighters and aerial ambulances for a time after the end of the war before the survivors found their way to museums and collectors. Today, a mere 10 Dragons survive, with just half of them airworthy, so these charming old time machines do not become available every day.

Specifications
  • Length: 34 ft 6 in (10.52 m)
  • Wingspan: 47 ft 4 in (14.43 m)
  • Height: 10 ft 1 in (3.07 m)
  • Wing area: 376 sq ft (34.9 m2)
  • Empty weight: 2,300 lb (1,043 kg)
  • Gross weight: 4,200 lb (1,905 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × de Havilland Gipsy Major I 4-cylinder air-cooled inverted in-line piston engine, 130 hp each side (N.B. 145 hp each side for this example).
  • Propellers: 2-bladed fixed-pitch propellers
  • Maximum speed: 128 mph (206 km/h, 111 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 109 mph (175 km/h, 95 kn)
  • Range: 460 mi (740 km, 400 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 12,500 ft (3,800 m)
  • Rate of climb: 612 ft/min (3.11 m/s)