De Havilland DH-89 Dragon Rapide – c/n 6801

With Air Charter from Dec 1951 to Mar 1956

With most of Air Charter’s operations requiring the use of much larger aircraft for its freighting and trooping work, the acquisition of this Dragon Rapide seemed to be a rather curious one, although having previously stood idle without a CoA for nearly a year, she may well have initially been purchased on behalf of ATL for the sole purpose of renovating and then selling on for a profit. Indeed, this aircraft saw little in the way of use until April 1952 when she was registered to Eagle Aviation. However, this change of ownership was not taken up and finally, with a new CoA under her belt, Dragon Sierra Lima was instead sent to work for Surrey Flying Services until both the name and its operations were finally absorbed by ACL later in 1952. Once again having little to do, this Dragon was temporarily stored until she found a new lease of life as Freddie Laker’s own personal hack which he would frequently use to attend business meetings, corporate events and as a V.I.P transport until she was finally sold off in March 1956 having effectively been replaced by Miles Gemini G-AKDD.


History of G-AJSL

11/44 to 5/47

Royal Air Force as NR713

5/47 to 6/47

Field Aircraft Services Ltd as G-AJSL

6/47 to 9/49

Sold abroad – Purchaser unknown – Reg cancelled

9/49 to 9/50

Trent Valley Aviation as G-AJSL

9/50 to 12/51

Eagle Aviation Ltd

12/51 to 4/52

Air Charter Ltd


Eagle Airways (NTU)

4/52 to 3/56

Surrey Flying Services (Air Charter Ltd – Southend)

3/56 to 1/61

Southern Flying Schools Ltd

1/61 to 5/62

Portsmouth Aero Club

5/62 to 8/62

Thomas Hutton Marshall

8/62 to 5/63

Palmer Holdings, Hurn

5/63 to 10/64

Shackleton Avaition Ltd

10/64 to 10/66

Airgeneers Ltd, Staverton

10/66 to 3/67

Parachute Regiment Free Fall Club

3/67 to 1/68

Lt Richard Brinton

1/68 to 3/70

Trent Valley Aviation

3/70 to 8/76

To unknown owner at Usworth

8/76 to 2/77

To unknown owner Baginton

2/77 to 4/82

To Biggin Hill – Various unknown owners until exported to Australia during the winter of 1978-79

4/82 to Present

Maurice Howard Rolfe as VH-UXZ – Undergoing restoration as of 4/01


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Many thanks from the SAAD Admin Team.