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Brussels Rapide restored in LAC colours PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 22 April 2014 00:00

Beautifully restored de Havilland D.H. 89  Dragon Rapide G-AKNV, wearing its newly applied 1947 Lancashire Aircraft Corporation markings at the Brussels Air Museum in early March. Nicholas GodfurnonBeautifully restored de Havilland D.H. 89  Dragon Rapide G-AKNV, wearing its newly applied 1947 Lancashire Aircraft Corporation markings at the Brussels Air Museum in early March. Nicholas Godfurnon

At the Brussels Air Museum, de Havilland D.H.89 Dragon Rapide G-AKNV has gone on show following a 6,000hr-plus restoration, which originally began back in 1992. The aircraft has been completed in the colours it wore while being operated by the Lancashire Aircraft Corporation (LAC) from Squires Gate, Blackpool, during 1948.

The Rapide was taken on charge by the museum back in 1973, after being rescued from dereliction following several years in open storage at Wevelgem Airfield in West Flanders. During the past 24 years, restoration work has been interrupted when members of the team have been otherwise engaged in the restoration of the museum’s Douglas A-26B Invader and Fieseler Fi 156 Storch. Invaluable assistance to the project has been forthcoming from Mark Miller of de Havilland support at Duxford, who has provided many spare parts and detailed engineering drawings for other parts that were not available, and had to be manufactured. The cockpit frame had to be manufactured using a badly corroded original part as a template, as did the cabin windows and frames. The upper cockpit glazing was generously provided by Croydon Aircraft Company Ltd, at Mandeville, New Zealand. The only major components still missing are the upper wing fairings.