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Who else still alive has ever flown in a commercially-operated biplane?

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Who else still alive has ever flown in a commercially-operated biplane?

Old 13th Nov 2017, 06:07
  #41 (permalink)  
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Late 1980's in a BNB biplane (radial engine, tail-dragger) from Silverwood Amusement Park in Idaho. The biplane had side-by-side passenger seating for two ahead of the pilot. Wife and I were flown once around the theme park and then around a lumber mill, all within 4 miles of the aerodrome. It was fun. The pilot was probably 20 years of age.

Last edited by evansb; 13th Nov 2017 at 08:18.
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Old 13th Nov 2017, 06:29
  #42 (permalink)  
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2 commercial flights. In a Rapide as a very small child during the war, 1944?? Hamilton / Melbourne,, early Ansett; was travel sick for the first and only time Last time was a CAC AN2. In the Tsaidam basin in the far reaches of Western China ,, a very cold place in the winter, We were issued with a full set of leather flying suits and fur lined helmets, main gear was frozen onto the runway, directed by the pilot, we passengers lifted the tail wheel and rotated the plane to the direction of take off
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Old 13th Nov 2017, 11:41
  #43 (permalink)  
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As a kid got to ride in a Dragon used on a newspaper run, and later jumped out of one used as a jumpship. Gave joyrides in a Tiger to friends.
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Old 13th Nov 2017, 13:26
  #44 (permalink)  
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Still alive so qualify. Rapide in 1964 and Y5 in 1987.
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Old 13th Nov 2017, 13:39
  #45 (permalink)  
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G-AHAG Was at Lands End on the 4th Oct as part of the 80th anniversary of passenger flights to the Isles Of Scilly(at the time by DH Dragon).
However apart from seeing this beautifully restored machine (now back in Scillonia Airways colours of pale blue and white) one of its pilots from the 60's
Brian Neely (looking as elegant as the Rapide) was also present.
The Rapides of BEA operated the route right up till the S61 took over.
After Scillonia ceased to operate Westward Airways had a Rapide doing pleasure flights there flown by Viv Bellamy. This machine eventually went to David Cyster for the Australia flight.
Scheduled and pleasure flights at L-End now use the BN2.
Chrisair was a well known operator of a Dragon; frequently on pleasure flights for Butlins campers,(saw it operating out of a 'field' (Broomhall) near Pwllheli North Wales, and Mike Hood operated out of Biggin with his Rapide for some time.
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Old 13th Nov 2017, 14:06
  #46 (permalink)  
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Wasn't there once, quite recently actually, an occasion where a bint flew around the world solo (I swear to gawd it wuz solo) in a biplane on a commercial basis?

Artifice of Articificiality, or somesuch cover for a tax-dodge somewhere in the Caribbean, perhaps?
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Old 13th Nov 2017, 14:10
  #47 (permalink)  
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Mike Hood looks to have operated 'IDL as Southern Joyrides from 1977 - 1987.

If there is a Islander joy-ride option at Lands End, I must have a go. If I do the planned trip out to the Scillies, I guarantee I'll get an Twin Otter both ways!

I did also book an "after show" ride in a New Standard from Old Rhinebeck - unfortunately a strengthening wind put the rides and the airshow out of action mid-afternoon. Haven't been back yet...
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Old 13th Nov 2017, 17:01
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2012
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My earliest flights to Alderney in the 1950s were in Rapides. I seem to remember my first crossing went from Exeter airport, but I could be mistaken. On the other hand, it could all be in my imagination
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Old 13th Nov 2017, 18:38
  #49 (permalink)  
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Mike Hood

Well remember Mike's AOC (with Rapide and mountain of spares) being available for sale, for I recall the asking price of around 40.000 for everything. I was very much West Country based when it came on the market, and whilst there was 'summer trade' available, the dreaded salt laden atmosphere would have been heavy on maintenance, plus the main problem would have been where to keep it. Lands-End had no space and Newquay was still RAF St Mawgan. I seriously considered a 6 monthly operation Cornwall/Biggin, but it really needed a 'support' business or 'pension' to keep it afloat if it was to be an ongoing operation. We got there in the end but with the 'multi-purpose' C182 and 180 that could do several jobs (including the then recently reapproved banner towing) and shed loads of other 'aerial work', which was quite profitable, all with machines that were easy to hangar, and maintain. Of course in the days of BEA the Rapide was still a 'relatively' young machine which probably never really covered its 'real total costs', today it needs lots of TLC and a 'user friendly' base.
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Old 13th Nov 2017, 20:24
  #50 (permalink)  
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My first flight ever was when my Dad paid for me to go in a’joyride’ in a DH Rapide at an air show at Renfrew (Glasgow). It must have been in the early 50s.
A few years later, my Mum and I went to visit the Isle of Man going there in a BEA DH Rapide. We came back in a DH Heron. What is now Glasgow Airport was then the Royal Naval Air Station Abbotsinch which had Supermarine Attackers - a tail dragging jet fighter.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 06:39
  #51 (permalink)  
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Land's End to the Scillies by Dragon Rapide for our honeymoon in October 1954. Got the actual date here somewhere. (lol).
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 07:19
  #52 (permalink)  
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Thanks, everyone, for the fascinating stories!

I had no idea biplanes were so common back then, and also even not long ago. I only flew i that one once. Wish I could remember a lot of details about that flight, but all that is lost in the mists of time (can't remember it). Wish my one and only photo of that Dragon Rapide showed more details, including the whole tail number, but there are people in the way.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 07:54
  #53 (permalink)  
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About 20 years ago, I flew a number of times in a venerable An 2 around the Balkans.
There are still many in operation in ex Soviet Republics and Russia.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 08:19
  #54 (permalink)  
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Just been reading over on Flypast that a Rapide has joined the Historic Flight Foundation at Paine Field, Seattle, and should be doing rides.
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 10:38
  #55 (permalink)  
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As we're including pleasure flights... aren't all flights pleasure flights?.... how about Fox Moth G-AOJH I think. Shoreham?
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 13:29
  #56 (permalink)  
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I still have some recollection of flying from Glasgow/Renfrew to Benbecula and back when aged 2 in 1943, in a Rapide of what (I think) was then Scottish Airways. I went with my father and, given that it was wartime, I imagine that the journey was "really necessary" for some family reason. I rather think one leg involved "air pockets" and a sickbag!
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Old 14th Nov 2017, 13:58
  #57 (permalink)  
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Not "commercial, but aged 15, as an RAF CCF Section cadet on a Sea Cadet "Aviation Acquaint" course at HMS Daedalus (RNAS Lee on Solent), I flew in an RN Dominie (four wings, 2 turning, none burning) over the Solent and saw the SRN-1 on trial below.

Last edited by Wander00; 15th Nov 2017 at 19:21. Reason: Silly me
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Old 15th Nov 2017, 08:24
  #58 (permalink)  
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Fiji Airways

DH Rapide, 1952-1953. I'd put up a pic but I am only allowed urls. Or am I wrong?
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Old 15th Nov 2017, 08:52
  #59 (permalink)  
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Pinkharrier, when you post there is a small paperclip icon - click that and it should allow you to upload and post a pic from your PC.

Or click the "mountain" icon and paste in the url of your pic...
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Old 15th Nov 2017, 10:58
  #60 (permalink)  
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All you young people with your biplane joyrides......I'm not sure they count.

I vaguely remember a trip to Jersey and/or Dinard in a Rapide, 1950s, scheduled flight but I can't recall which airline or even which mainland airport.

FWIW, I also remember several fantastic trips in a Heron.
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