New freeware - de Havilland DH89 Dragon Rapide

In case you haven’t seen it this is a new freeware addition made available at simouthouse.

Edit - I’m not the creator, just a nosey parker who came across the forum post.

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Are you also going to make it available on flightsim.to? That seems to be a much more used website.

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It’s nothing to do with me. I’m just linking it.

It looks like the creator wasn’t too happy with a few things after SU5 so is looking to keep the release low key ish.

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After this weekend’s Phenom debacle I am weary about “freeware” planes but since I am assuming this is their own work I will check it out.

It’s a longstanding FSX mod that has been updated by the original creator. It’s good fun to fly with a couple of quirks.

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I missed that one. What Phenom debacle?

Downloading this Dragon Rapide now.

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Hi Jeremy… Someone allegedly converted Carenado’s Phenom, and then uploaded it to flightsim.to.

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Reprehensible. Carenado already said they are bringing all their stuff over gradually. Everyone can wait. The result WILL be better than their P3D stuff because everything else they have put out is even better visual fidelity than what they had in FSX/P3D.

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needs a minute to complete the HD processing, but a short video of Dave Garwood’s DH89…

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Just flew this… it does have some quirks - the brakes are not very effective at all… the oil pressure lamp lights up even with throttle at 33% on descend. Not exactly sure why the mixture levers won’t adjust freely. Overall, pretty enjoyable. Gonna keep this one.

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Always loved the Rapide - I had one back in the FSX days which I think was payware. I normally avoid freeware but may have to try this one out.

It must be the author in me, or nostalgia, or both… but, I feel a DH Rapide story coming on.

It was the summer of 1974. I was a 16-year old, fresh-faced (well, spotty-faced if I am honest) senior NCO in 422 Sqdn, Air Training Corps. We were on summer camp at RAF Abingdon, near Oxford, and I was to become spellbound by an old lady.

Well, before you start to doubt the suitability of this post, I must admit that the old lady in question was De Havilland Rapide, G-AGSH, one of the very aircraft represented in Dave Garwood’s collection, and the moment I saw her, my jaw dropped, and I was captivated by her timeless beauty.

I was already in love with another De Havilland, the DHC-1 Chipmunk. The Chippy had been the first aircraft I’d ever flown, and that week at camp I was to fly another sortie in that lovely lass (WK586). I was therefore already smitten by the classic and graceful lines of the single-engine De Havilland, but incredibly I’d never before come face-to-face with its older twin-engine stablemate, the Rapide.

And so it happened that another NCO and I were “off duty” and happily exploring the RAF station, when our eyes spotted a bright red biplane over on the grass. I suspected it was a Rapide, and so we decided to walk over and take a closer look. It was resplendent in the colours of the RAF Sport Parachute Association at the time, and it absolutely gleamed, the glossy red paint contrasting with the green grass and blue sky.

Coming closer, I could clearly see the DH family lineage in the shape of the tail fin, there was a commonality with the WW2 Mosquito, and the Chippy too. The aircraft seemed to point up at a crazy angle due to its tail-dragger configuration, and the split windshield with the pillar right down the centreline again resonated with the Chipmunk.

There was an officer standing beside the aircraft, a Flight Lieutenant. We walked up and saluted him, and he returned the gesture. Conversation ensued, and he invited us both into the aircraft. It was not exactly roomy, and the climb up to the cockpit was even steeper than I had initially thought. I sat in the pilot’s seat and wondered how the heck you were supposed to see the runway. Looking out on the twin engines, smelling the classic aromas, I was blown away with the presence of the old girl.

Suddenly, the officer said the words I could only have dreamed of. “Do you lads want to fly in her?”

My fellow-NCO and I looked at each other, smiles coming to our startled faces. The answer was of course a resounding “Yes Sir!” He then instructed us to meet him at this very spot the following morning, and with that we disembarked and walked back to our billets with a sense of euphoria.

And that’s when I made a terrible mistake that has haunted me for almost fifty years. We burst into the office where our camp CO was sitting, and I excitedly blurted out, “Sir, we’re flying a Rapide tomorrow!”

I had known this officer for three years, he used to drive me to the ATC meetings since he lived a few streets away, and I was certain that all our time together would cause him to celebrate with us, he knew I was in the cadets for the flying after all. However, it did’nt work out like that. “No you’re not.” he said. “Tomorrow is Sunday and you are going to church parade.” And that was it. “Dismissed.” he said.

I was absolutely shattered. I had given more than three years of service to our squadron, and had risen to senior NCO level. I had never questioned an order, until then. What was even more crazy was the fact that I was also a very committed Christian at the time, I attended church four times a week for goodness sake. I knew the almighty would understand, so why the heck couldn’t this supposed friend?

Well, we went to church the next morning, and later we walked over to try and find the Rapide, but it was gone. I made a decision that day to hand in my uniform upon my return home, and that’s what I did. I had joined the cadets to fly, and a once-in-a-lifetime flight possibility was crushed by the very cadets I had served.

And here we are 47 years later. I still have never flown a Rapide, and I still feel the disappointment of that lost opportunity in my mid teens. And so, today I flew G-AGSH in MSFS from the now “Dalton Barracks” (The RAF gave the Abingdon station to the army years ago), and had to hold back a tear for missed chances, and my long-lost youth.

And now this thought hits me… Since I quit the cadets the following week anyway, why the **** did I not just fly the aircraft that Sunday and let them throw me out the squadron? The result would have been the same in terms of my ATC career, and I would have had a lifetime of memories of that beautiful old lady… I shake my head and call myself “A bloody twit”.

My thanks to Dave Garwood for bringing this classic back from the older sims. I hope we see his Hunters too, maybe one day we shall get a Chipmunk from Aeroplane Heaven, or even the resurrection of the Rick Piper version. We shall see.

Thanks for the memories!

  • Kenneth James Kerr
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Hindsight is 20/20 as they say, but there is also the fact that ‘Orders is Orders’… that is kind of drummed into you in the cadets (and the RAF). Shame on the camp CO though. :confused:

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Ken, not to rub it in but here’s a Rapide experience you might have missed: As a child, my Dad flew in one circa 1950 on holiday to the Isle of Man with his parents and older brother, from a private airstrip near Huddersfield (EGND). On the flight back the weather became so poor over Manchester that the pilot flew low enough to read the road signs and follow the roads from Manchester back to Huddersfield!

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Ah… Early IFR procedures…

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Original IFR was “I follow roads and railways”.

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The author has updated this with a fix for the magnetos. He also explained the mixture levels, quoting Dave: “The mixture controls work fine here (although for some reason “grab and drag” isn’t working, but using the mouse wheel is ok). You can’t move the mixture levers past the throttles as there is a physical lock. With the throttles open you can weaken the mixture, but it will return to rich when the throttles are closed.”

This page has some other user-found tweaks that might help with high idle power and sound issues. There’s a new Dragon in the skys [Released to SOH 18 Sep 21] - Page 3 (sim-outhouse.com)

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For a freeware aircraft this is fantastic. Thanks a lot.




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Dave Garwood’s freeware stuff has always been above par and he’s a top bloke as well.

Saw my first flying Dragon Rapide just a couple of weeks ago. Was just a little before my time as far as service aircraft go.

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Isn’t that how early Spitfires were designed too? Mk1, MK2…