de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide: 80 years ago today.

Designed to replace the Dragon and, in fact, a reduced scale twin engine version of the DH.86 Express, the “Rapide” was the British best-seller airliner of the 1930s. Utterly conservative in terms of configuration and construction methods, these elegant biplanes proved to be nevertheless both economical and rugged.

In July 19 1936 , this “Rapide” (G-ACYR) chartered to Olley Air Services Ltd flew General Francisco Franco from the Canary Islands to Spanish Morocco. A capital event at start of the military coup d’état that soon turned into the bloody Spanish Guerra Civil.
G-ACYR is nowadays on display in the Museo del Aire (Madrid); a museum, sadly, still “enjoying” a bit too much the history as written by the victors.

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