AU$ 660 pledged of AU$ 25,000 goal
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By Daniel Sherburn
AU$ 660 pledged of AU$ 25,000 goal
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About

ZK-DHW at Dairy Flat 2007 Copyright Brendan McCartney
ZK-DHW at Dairy Flat 2007 Copyright Brendan McCartney

The de Havilland DH.104 Dove is a British short-haul airliner developed as a successor to the de Havilland Dragon Rapide biplane.

The prototype Dove first flew on 25 September 1945 and production ended in 1967 with a total of 544 built. Only a handful remain airworthy around the world and thier number has declined rapidly in the new millenium.

  • ZK-DHW is construction number 04533 and is one of only 21 Dove 8's built, The Dove 8 being the final development of the Dove line fitted with 400hp Gipsy Queen Mk.3's. 

    DHW's first flight was on the 30th of October 1963 and was registered G-ASMG to what is now BAe Systems. DHW has also carried the registrations VH-JGZ & VH-DHQ. 

    G-ASMG at Dunsfold photo copyright Andrew Lawson
    G-ASMG at Dunsfold photo copyright Andrew Lawson

    DHW was based at Dunsfold as part of British Aerospace's Communications Fleet, ferrying staff between thier airport sites like Dunsfold, Hatfield, Brough & Warton. DHW was retired by BA in May 1986 and replaced by a leased Jetstream. 

    Cockpit of ZK-DHW photo courtesy of Devon 21
    Cockpit of ZK-DHW photo courtesy of Devon 21

    After ending its service in the UK, DHW spent over 15 years in Australia with Rudge Air operating charter and sight-seeing flights from Essendon Airport, Melbourne, Australia

    In January 2003 DHW was sold to a New Zealand operator, based at North Shore Dairy Flat, about 10 miles north of Auckland Airport.

    DHW still wears the BAe livery of blue, red and orange stripes.

    VH-DHQ with Rudge Air Courtesy of Paul Finnigan
    VH-DHQ with Rudge Air Courtesy of Paul Finnigan

    DHW has remained hangared at North Shore since 2011 after wing spar corrosion was found during the 12,000 hour check. 

    In July 2013 the current owners had repair work assessed by an engineer.   Restoration was not comenced and it was decided to offer DHW for sale.

    The DH.104 Dove Preservation Group Inc's intention is to purchase and ship DHW to Australia for preservation and prevent it being reduced to spares. 

    Our long term aim is to undertake restoration with the goal of returning DHW to flight.   

    ZK-DHW at Dairy Flat during restoration assessment, courtesy Devon 21
    ZK-DHW at Dairy Flat during restoration assessment, courtesy Devon 21

    Funds raised through this appeal will be directed to the following,  

    • Purchase of DH.104 Dove 8 ZK-DHW (no longer registered) Estimated at $10,000 NZD.
    • Packing and Shipping to Australia quoted at $12081.62 AUD.

    Remaining funds will be directed miscellaneous costs, updating the assessment of the corrosion and preservation works.

    ZK-DHW currently stored, photo courtesy of Devon 21
    ZK-DHW currently stored, photo courtesy of Devon 21

Risks and challenges

This will be a long term restoration project that will need to overcome many challenges relating to parts and labour as well as the size and complexity of the Dove itself.
Current owners have supplied a copy of the report and quoted works to the Dove Preservation Group.
A major risk is that the corrosion in the wing area may require replacment of one or both wings. Wings are available but at a cost.

An additional risk could be that DHW has deteriorated further since the engineering assessment was carried out, although, it has been stored in a hangar and this risk would be low.

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Funding period

- (30 days)