Newcastle aircraft profile day 4 – Irish Historic Flight

Day 4 of our aircraft Profile is actually 2 different types of aircraft which are run by The Irish Historical Flight, who will be bringing with them their Iolar Dragon and THREE Chipmunks! (The 3rd only joined them this year)

The Irish Historic Flight Foundation was formed to celebrate Ireland’s rich aviation heritage. The Foundation has wide industry support from the likes of the Irish Air Corps, Department of Defence, Ryanair, Aer Lingus, Stobart Air, the Irish Aviation Authority and a team of very dedicated volunteers who restore and maintain these aircraft.

In addition to the restoration work already undertaken, Irish Historic Flight is focused on the establishment of a dedicated ‘aviation experience’ facility, allowing the public to both view historic aircraft up close and gain an in-depth scientific understanding of aviation and flight.


The Iolar Dragon is EI-ABI and was built in 1936, coincidentally the same year Aer Lingus commenced scheduled operations. The inaugural service of the Irish Airline Aer Lingus was provided by a DH.84 Dragon, registration EI-ABI and named Iolar, which means “Eagle” in the Irish language. For the 50th anniversary of the airline in 1986, a replacement Dragon was acquired, restored, reregistered as EI-ABI and repainted as the Iolar. This aircraft commemorates the original Dragon EI-ABI which operated Aer Lingus’ first service from Dublin (Baldonnel) to Bristol on 27 May 1936. That original aircraft was sold in the UK in February 1938 and was lost during WWII.


The de Havilland Canada DHC-1 Chipmunk is a tandem, two-seat, single-engined primary trainer aircraft which was the standard primary trainer for the Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Air Force and several other air forces through much of the post-Second World War years. The de Havilland Chipmunk was the first postwar aviation project of de Havilland Canada. This year will see the addition of a 3rd Chipmunk to the flight (Chipmunk 168)

We look forward to them making their long awaited debut in Newcastle, sadly they had to pull out last year due to trouble with the Iolar. However, they are back in the air and will soon be in the skies of Newcastle! Check back tomorrow for another aircraft profile! (Photo and Information from Irish Historic Flight website, additional information from Wikipedia)

Newcastle Festival of Flight's photo.

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