Oxford Diecast DH84 Dragon EI ABI IOLAR
Product Code: 72DG003
The De Havilland 84 Dragon, 'IOLAR' has an amazing history. Originally De Havilland produced this six seater bi-plane from 1932 as a small commercial aircraft for short-haul flights. EI-ABI operated the first Aer Lingus service, flying on the Dublin to Bristol route from May 1936. In the build-up to World War II, the original aircraft was sold to the UK but was sadly lost during the conflict.
To commemorate the original EI-ABI, another DH84 which was built in 1936 and which was also commandeered during the War but fortunately survived, underwent several ownerships from 1946 onwards, before being taken out of service in 1959 and put into storage in Ireland. There it stayed until being bought by Air Lingus in 1967 and decorated to represent the original EI-ABI and stored at Dublin Airport. Following other cosmetic makeovers and a spell as a static display in the Irish Aviation Museum, a restoration team was put to the task of making the aircraft airworthy, at the same time getting the necessary permission from the aviation authorities to re-number the plane as an accurate replica of the original. With a new Certificate of Airworthiness, It took to the air in April 1986, exactly 50 years on from its first flight. In the ensuing years, it flew and was grounded several times before a definitive effort to have it flying to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of Air Lingus. Mission accomplished, El-ABI is one of only two Dragons still flying in Europe, the other being an aircraft built under a De Havilland licence in Australia in 1942.
Our 1:72 scale replica evokes all this history, authentically decorated in an all-over silver livery with black lettering along the fuselage and black line-out to the fuselage and tail. Note the passenger window configuration, short exhausts, the black air speed funnels on the left and right, as well as the bespoke main undercarriage style. A final detail sees the name IOLAR printed on both sides of the fuselage beneath the pilot's window.
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