Dragon Rapide Flights
The ultimate in city sightseeing in a vintage aircraft. Tour over the UK's finest cities
in a 1930's de Havilland Dragon Rapide.
During the summer of 2008 we are offering the chance to soar above the dreaming skyline of Oxford,
Cambridge or London in 1930's style, viewing the historic sights from the stylish art-deco seats of
a vintage Dragon Rapide biplane airliner.
Your flight is a ticket to a unique time warp experience. Every one of the eight passengers
in the art-deco cabin get an aisle and a window seat, giving a superb view along with a sense of how
it was to travel the world in a 1930's airliner.
The Dragon Rapide first flew on the 17th April 1934 from the de Havilland factory at Hatfield in
Hertfordshire and such was the safety of its design that it became the first aircraft to carry a reigning
British Monarch. Over 600 were used during war years as training and communications aircraft and in the
1940s, these were used by scores of airlines. Today though only a handful are flying, but the Rapide remains
one of the best loved pre-war aircraft. Your aircraft are two of the very few left flying
and are completely restored to comply with modern regulations.
New for 2008
View Brighton and the impressive Sussex coastline with regular scenic flights from Shoreham airport.
Typical Oxford Tour
The historic aeroplane will be based for the summer at Oxford's Kidlington airport, just a short
journey from the city centre. For both visitors and locals alike, the flight is the stuff of dreams,
with elegant tapered wings framing views of famous landmarks including the Bodleian Library and the
Oxford colleges as well as Blenheim Palace - one of the UK's finest stately homes.
Typical Cambridge Tour
Taking off from Duxford, the Dragon Rapide flies north at 1500 feet giving you the finest possible
views over the local countryside. First the ancient city of Cambridge will appear beneath the
silver wings; see the breathtaking spires, the pinnacles of King's College Chapel, the courtyards of
Trinity and St. John's, and the River Cam as it flows through the gardens and meadows of the
University. Then you will fly on to the mighty Cathedral at Ely and Newmarket racetrack.
Flights from Cambridge
Flying March to October on selected week days and every weekend
Flights to London
Flying March to October on Wednesdays and most weekends
Taking off from Duxford, your aircraft flies gently south towards London and its famous skyline.
The large windows at every seat offer superb views of a modern city framed between silver wings and
their bracing wires and struts, emphasizing the grace and nostalgia of this lovely aircraft.
You will receive a comprehensive briefing before your flight where any specific requirements can be
discussed. When airborne, your pilot will point out sights during your flight.
The Rapide is largely based on the four-engined DH 86 which in turn had originated from the earlier
De Havilland Dragon. The original Dragon was designed to a requirement from Hillman Airlines for an
aircraft that could carry 6 passengers and luggage from London to Paris in some comfort.
The Rapide was quickly assimilated into the Royal Air Force during the Second World War, initially
as a communications aircraft. These military aircraft worked very hard, often flying four details
a day. When hostilities came to an end a great many of the surviving aircraft were made available
to charter companies and "start-up" airlines after a conversion which basically involved new paint,
soundproofing and better seats. Indeed British European Airways, later merged with BOAC to form
the present British Airways, had a fleet of Rapides for the short distance over-water routes in
Scotland, Scilly and Channel Islands. The typesí continuing versatility led to it being used
worldwide for tasks such as aerial survey, oil exploration, ambulance flights, parachute dropping
and to bring the wheel full circle, pleasure flying.
Tiger Moth flights
Other vintage biplane flights