VH-UZY  de Havilland D.H.89A Dragon Rapide               (c/n  6384)


                                   Here's an evocative study of a working Rapide, circa 1945, from the Geoff Goodall collection.  
                                   Originally delivered in January 1938 and destined for W.R. Carpenter and Co Ltd's Sydney-
                                   New Guinea service, the Rapide was quickly sold by the end of that year to North Queensland
                                   Airways.  This outfit was founded by Cairns jeweller Tom McDonald, and itself was very short-
                                   lived, merging into Airlines of Australia within a month of its inception!   Which makes Geoff's
                                   shot of it (below) in NQA titling extremely rare indeed!   In AOA service is was named 'Iluka'.
                                   It was impressed by the RAAF in August 1940 as A33-6, being released in 1944 to Airlines
                                   (WA) Ltd in Perth in whose service it is seen above at Esperance, WA and named "RMA Perth".
                                   This small airline had, like many others, relinquished much of its fleet to RAAF impressments
                                   and desperately needed replacements in order to maintain a modicum of service.  DCA there-
                                   fore negotiated to have a RAAF DH.89A released to it.   A33-6 was being stored dismantled
                                   at de Havilland Aircraft at Mascot for overhaul, so DCA arranged for it to be shipped to Perth
                                   in March 1944 along with spare parts from Rapide VH-UXT, and additional RAAF spares from
                                   Melbourne.  On arrival in Perth, the aircraft and the spare parts were found to be in extremely
                                   poor condition, leading to an acrimonious dispute between Airlines (WA) Ltd and DCA over the
                                   purchase price.  A major rebuild at Maylands resulted in VH-UZY being test flown on 17 Nov
                                   1944 and restored to the Civil Register two days later.  -UZY was sold to Connellan Airways in
                                   1948.   It crashed on takeoff from Coolibah in the Northern Territory on 22 October 1949 and
                                   was destroyed in the resultant fire.