Monday 28 December 2015

De Havilland memories.

G’day to you all.

   I just happened across your ‘blog’ on nzcivair from way back in May 2010, in which you were requesting ‘fill in the gaps material’– I am not sure if the following constitutes expectations as you proposed, but here goes!  

   Re the Dragon; a DH84 was my first steed in a long aviation career which began in the mid 1950s. That stint was to fly the ‘Adelaide Advertiser’ from Pt. Pirie to Whyalla on weekday mornings!
    An interesting aerodyne sans any dual control facility and or brakes, starter motor as I recall; although we tend to regard them in our dotage as having a ‘romantic’ side, they would surely tax the ability of those brought up on a strict diet of FBW and the glass cockpit.
    I used to joke about it as being one of the few aircraft that took off, climbed, cruised and arrived all at the same speed – mind you I recall a story told of a US airline jock who on sighting one asked the ATC person what it was – the retort  “a collection of De Hav. spare parts flying by in close formation”.
   As an aside my father actually worked at the GMH (General Motors Holden) Woodville plant during World War Two, I’m pretty certain that he would not have even dreamed that his eldest son would one day be driving an aircraft that he may have had a part in its conception?
    Other De Hav types on licence:- DH82, DHC1, DHA3, DH114L; I guess the only one that I absolutely ‘loved’ was the Chippie; t’others pretty much conformed to that very shrewd observation by the ATC character!
   I was fortunate enough to strap a Tiger to my arse some 20yrs ago, despite not having then flown a Tiger for nigh on 40 years it was like I’d never been apart from it – so I guess that says more than a little bit about the qualities, from the driver’s aspect any way, of the DeHav. basic design  functions?

Hoping this may be of some value…David Rerecich Orewa.

PS just had a ‘memory moment’ – I recall one of my less sensible innovations was towing my mates on water skis at Whyalla during the summer weekends!
Pic above comes from the Ed Coates collection and shows the De Havilland DH84 Dragon VH-AEF at Mascot in 1945. This became ZK-AXI on 14-07-1953 - one of three Dragons that featured on the NZ civil register.
Check out previous posts on ZK-AXI at :-

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