Connellan Airways: DH90 Dragonfly VH-UTJ

A smaller cousin to the DH89 Dragon Rapide, De Havilland DH90 Dragonfly VH-UTJ (c/n 7562) was imported into Australia in 1938 for use by North Western Airlines Ltd. of Moree, NSW. In October 1940 VH-UTJ was sold to Qantas Empire Airways Ltd., becoming one of four Dragonflies operated on internal services.

VH-UTJ was acquired by Connellan Airways on 18 October 1946. The aircraft was damaged by fire after an accident at Amaroo, NT, on 9 January 1948 but rebuilt. The photo above shows it at Alexandria Downs Station in July 1952. It was finally destroyed by fire at Tennant Creek, NT, on 9 August 1955 and struck off the Register on 28 September.

First flown in 1935, the DH90 was a five-seater intended for the private owner and small airline, and was powered by two 130 hp Gipsy Major Series I engines. It was of higher performance, though lower payload, than the similarly powered DH84 Dragon.

(Photo: Ian Leslie collection)

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