Mike Grant sees positive signs for new technologies, as he builds Tasman’s DH.89 upgrade

In the mid-1950s, a company called Sky Neon operated two DH Dragon Rapides and an Auster 5 from Croydon Airport in London. The aircraft were equipped with under-wing neon signs, and used to advertise such products as Ovaltine, as well as the then newly released Howard Keel movie Kiss Me Kate.

This unique configuration of the Dragon Rapide is the latest subject from New Zealand manufacturer Tasman (nowowned by JAYS Model Kits), and a comprehensive package it is too. Along with Heller’s original tooling, the package offers a vac-form canopy, white metal instrument panel, resin engine fronts and a length of wire for rigging. Specific to the Sky Neon boxing is a new sheet of decals and a set of 3D-printed parts for the under-wing frames, their mounting brackets and the neon letters themselves. There’s even a sachet of luminous powder to make the lettering glow!

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