de Havilland 100: MacRobertson race Rapide

Think of de Havilland aircraft in 1934’s MacRobertson International Air Race from England to Australia, and the winning DH88 Comet Grosvenor House springs inexorably to mind. But another DH design, first fl own that same year, also made an impression: the DH89 Dragon Rapide, or Dragon Six, as it was referred to early in its life. Entered by the New Zealand Centenary Air Race Committee from Auckland, with Sqn Ldr James Hewett as pilot in command and Fg Off Cyril Kay as navigator, ZK-ACO Tainui was not among the winners, but demonstrated the capabilities of the new twin. Acting as radio operator was Frank Stewart, who wrote this fascinating first-hand account of the great race

After a “perfect landing” at Laverton, south-west of Melbourne, DH89 Dragon Six ZK-ACO is helped on its way across the airfield’s rather bumpy grass. 

20 October 1934

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