Support the restoration of France's last flying Rapide

The Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis is making excellent progress with its de Havilland Dragon Rapide restoration, but needs funding to see it through

Like many of its breed in preservation, DH89A Dragon Rapide F-AZCA was akin to part of the furniture. Go to La Ferté-Alais for its annual airshow, and the de Havilland twin, part of the Amicale Jean-Baptiste Salis fleet, would inevitably be one of the performers. That was until the late 2000s, when it ceased taking to the air. More recently, it disappeared entirely from public view. What had happened?

The answer was to be found in the AJBS workshops at La Ferté this spring, as the Rapide showed several details of an extensive restoration. Supported by France’s main national heritage foundation, the Fondation du Patrimoine, the AJBS team is in the process of transforming what was previously a rather tired aeroplane into a fine airworthy specimen, ready to open another chapter in a highly varied flying career lasting more than 80 years. But there are still some hurdles which need to be overcome before that can happen.

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