Historic Aircraft Lands in Doncaster
The South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum are pleased to announce the arrival of de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide G-AHED from the RAF Museum. Summer 2021 saw a number of airframes made available by the RAF Museum for transfer to museums around the country, and with many Dragon Rapides being based at, and flying from, Doncaster Airport the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum's Board of Trustees made an application for G-AHED. After careful consideration by the RAF Museum, we were delighted to be informed in August 2022 that we had been successful with our bid, and that G-AHED would be transferred from the RAF Museum and into the ownership and care of the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum.
Built under licence by Brush Coachworks in early 1946, initially under the serial number RL962 for the RAF, but with the end of the Second World War G-AHED would not see military service and was sold into civil ownership instead. First operated by Marshalls Flying School Ltd based at Cambridge Aerodrome from February 1946, G-AHED was then transferred to Marshalls Flying Services in 1952, where the aircraft was used for charter flights. G-AHED was sold to Hunting Surveys and Consultants Ltd in April 1961 and would see use as an aerial survey platform, before being withdrawn from use and acquired by the RAF Museum in 1969. Having spent the majority of its time in storage, with restoration efforts paused after repeated moves between storage facilities, G-AHED arrived at the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum on 14th December 2022 where the fuselage is currently displayed in the main hangar.
Projects Manager of the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum, James Stables, said “The airframe is in excellent condition and is a great starting point for a full restoration project. The volunteers are looking forward to the opportunity to get their hands on it when our work schedule allows, and for some of them it will be an interesting experience to learn more about restoration of wood and fabric aircraft.”
South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum Curator Naylan Moore said “We are delighted to receive G-AHED from the RAF Museum and it is a great addition to the museum’s collection. With de Havilland Dragon Rapides and Dominies being operated from Doncaster from the 1930’s up to the late 1970’s, and knowing that this aircraft flew from our site on at least one occasion makes it a very relevant acquisition and fits within a number of criteria in our collections policy.”
RAF Museum Chief Executive Officer Maggie Appleton said “For us, transferring the de Havilland DH.89 Dragon Rapide to the South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum means sharing the RAF story with a wider audience across the country. In doing so we hope to enable greater access to our aviation heritage and inspire future generations”