de Havilland Dominie D.H.89
(Dragon Rapide)
Preserved Dominie DH 89, ZK-AKY, over Central Hawkes Bay, New Zealand


The Dominie was an elegant British transport biplane. The Mk.I was primarily a navigation trainer version of the Dragon Rapide. The Dominie Mk.II was a liaison aircraft. The Dominie served with the RAF and FAA, and seven in the Belgian AF service. A total of 66 DH Dominie served with the Fleet Air Arm, mainly various transfers from the RAF. Their role was primarily for ferrying personnel, however, X7394 and X7487 of 782 squadron were used as air ambulances.
The  first aircraft delivered (R9563) was an ex RAF Dominie delivered to 9 MU in May 1940, and  the same aircraft was the first to delivered to a FAA second-line squadron in August 1940. The reaminder of the Dominie aircraft wrere delivered to 782 squadron between 1941-1945, however  some also went to 781 squadron. The wartime Dominie's finally retired from the FAA in July 1946 with NF871 at Middle Wallop NARIU. However the type saw service with the FAA until at least the 1950s, including with front-line squadrons (1832 and 1844 squadrons).
Fleet Air Arm history

De Havilland Dominie
Total FAA 1939-1945:        66
First delivered to RN:         1940
First squadron 1939-1945:   782 from 8.1940
Operational squadron:          None
Last served with RN            782 squadron 7.1946 (NF871)

Aircraft Type:
de Havilland Dominie D.H.89
Dominie (Dragon Rapide) Mk I 
Primary Role:
Trainer and air ambulance
First Flight: 
Date operating with FAA squadrons:
de Havilland
Two 150kW D.H. Gipsy Queen engines
 Wing Span: Length: Height: Wing Area: 
Empty Weight: Max.Weight:



Speed: 250km/h 
Ceiling: 5100m
Range: 920km
700Z, 701,703,736,739,740,744,767,776,778,781,782,787,790,799,
(postwar also 1832,1844)
Battle honours:
None with FAA
Additional references and notes:
Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995) 

Battle Honours and Operational History

None with the Fleet Air Arm

Surviving aircraft and relics
A number of Dominies still survive including in flying condition, there also numerous extant Dragon Rapides around the World. Examples of preserved Dominie include those with military markings at the USAF Museum (USA), and a flying example at Old Mandeville Airfield (NZ). Dragone Rapides are found at the Imperial War Museum - Duxford (UK) and RAF Museum (UK) Reserve Collection & Restoration Centre, Cardington (UK).

Dominie DH 89, ZK-AKY, over Central Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. Painted in the  national carrier's colours, NZ National Airways Corporation, she is named after a native bird, Tui. The Dominie now lives at Old Mandeville Airfield, NZ

USAF Airworthy Dominie in USAF markings at the USAF Museum (USA)

Associations and reunions
  • The de Havilland Moth Club
  • Croydon Aircraft Company Ltd specialise in the manufacturing and restoration of de Havilland and vintage aircraft.
    Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995) 
     'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to1945'  Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1995 ISBN: 085130 232 7 
    Created 3-4-1999, Modified 3-4-2000


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