INDEX OF NAVAL AIRCRAFT

 

  Percival Procter 
 
Proctor III LZ766 G-ALCK preserved at the IWM Duxford (UK)

History

The Percival Proctor was a development of the pre-war Gull. The prototype D.1 Gull (G-ABUR) , a three seat tourer first appeared in 1932. This was followed by the D.2 which was more commonly known as the Gull IV. In 1934 Percival introduced the D.3 Gull Six which featured the DH Gipsy Six engine, improved undercarriage and cabin arrangements, but retained the Gull IV folding wing. In November 1935 the four seat K.1 Vega Gull was introduced. Powered by the same DH Gipsy Six engine this introduced dual controls and flaps, and was very successful with 90 being produced up till July 1939.

It was in a Gull, G-ADPR that New Zealand Aviatrix Jean Batten set many of her records.

The Proctor was initially a military variant of the Vega Gull with seating reduced to three. It was primarily used for training and communication work by the RAF, FAA, and Air Transport Auxiliary. The Proctor I was a communications model, and the naval version carried a radio operator in the rear. The Proctor II was used by the FAA with the radio operator alongside the pilot. The Proctor III series one was used by the RAF as a three seat communications aircraft , and the series two as a two seat radio trainer. The Proctor IV was a substantial redesign returning to a four seater, involving a longer deeper cabin (and was initially to be renamed the Precepter). The aircraft was utilised as a three seat radio trainer, or four seat communications aircraft. The Proctor V is a civil version of the Proctor IV. Production amounted to 247 Mk.I, 175 Mk.II, 437 Mk.III, 258 MK.IV, and 150 Mk.V. A single Proctor 6 floatplane was produced in 1946 for the Hudson Bay Company.

The first Proctors to be received by the Fleet Air Arm were the 99 Percival Proctor IA ordered under contract No 975967/3950. The first nine were delivered to the RN in 1939. The first squadron being 754 squadron receiving its Proctors from November 1939 at Lee on Solent.  Aircraft were subsequently sent the same month to 755/756 squadrons at Worthy Down,  and 758 squadron at Eastleigh. The remainder of the first batch arrived January-May 1940. Subsequently, 50 Percival Proctor IIA were delivered, 12 Percival Proctor IA, 4 Percival Proctor II, 100 Percival Proctor IIA and 12 Percival Proctor Mk III.

Post war several hundred military Proctors were released for civilian purchase, including FAA aircraft P6034 (later became G-AHDK/OO-AVG) and Z7251 (became G-AIRF), and along with the Proctor V were a popular aircraft up until the 1960's. Several aircraft were then lost to the failure of glue joints. As a primarily wooden aircraft utilising casein glues, the costs of maintaining the certificates of airworthiness meant that from that time any aircraft were withdrawn from use.

            Fleet Air Arm history
Percival Proctor
Total FAA 1939-1945:             265
First delivered to RN:              1939
First squadron 1939 -1945:       754 squadron 11.1939
Last served with RN                 BV564 from RN to RAF at 44 MU 21.3.1946

99 Percival Proctor IA ordered under contract No 975967/39
Serial Numbers: P5999 P6167

First RN              9 deld in 1939
First sqdn            Deld 11.39 754 sqdn Lee P5999 and 11.39 755/756 sqdn Worthy Down P6000,
                          11.39 758 sqdn Eastleigh P6004. Then rest 1-5.40

50 Percival Proctor IIA ordered under contract No 89305/40.
Serial Numbers: X8825 -X8912

12 Percival Proctor IA ordered under contract No 89305/40.
Serial Numbers: Z7239-Z7251. Part of RAF order.

4 Percival Proctor II ordered under contract No 89305/40
Serial Numbers: BT278-BT281

100 Percival Proctor IIA ordered under contract No ctts/A/c/498.
Serial Numbers: BV586 - BV658

12 Percival Proctor Mk III built under contract No ctts/A/c/498.
Serial Numbers: LZ757 - LZ768. Part of RAF order

Aircraft Type:
Percival Procter
Mark:
I,II, III
Primary Role:
trainer
First Flight: 
1932
Date operating with FAA squadrons:
1939-
Manufacturer:
Procter
Engine:
One 208hp DH Gypsy Queen 2 engine
 Wing Span: Length: Height: Wing Area: 
Span : 12.04m (39'6ft) 
Length : 8.60m (28'2ft)
Height : 2.20m (7'3ft)
Empty Weight: Max.Weight:
empty : 1,111kg (2,450lb) 
max : 1,588kg (3,500lb)
Speed: 

Ceiling: 

Range:

max speed : 250km/h (157mph) 
max climb : 680ft/min (207m/min) 
ceiling : 14,000ft (4270m) 
range : 805km (500miles) 
Armament: 
None
Crew:
2
Squadrons:
746,752,754,755,756,758,759,761,767,770,772,778,780,781,782,784,787,794
Battle honours:
None with FAA
Additional references and notes:
-

Battle Honours and Operational History
None with FAA


Surviving aircraft and relics
There are many Proctors preserved in Museums, including the last two airworthy Proctor Vs in the world. However it is not known if any of the former Fleet Air Arm Proctors survive. Examples of preserved Proctors can be found at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre (UK), RAF Museum (UK), Imperial War Museum - Duxford (UK), Sport and Vintage Aviation Society (SVAS) at Masterton (NZ), Stan and Gilly Smith syndicate, North Shore (NZ), Ex Ashburton Aviation Museum (NZ), Musée de l'Armée et d'Histoire Militaire (Belgium) and the Thameside Aviation Museum (UK).



Proctor III LZ766 G-ALCK preserved IWM Duxford (UK)

New Zealand has had seventeen Proctors of various types (eight Mk.I, two Mk.III, and seven Mk.V) on the civil register (See Kiwi Aircraft Images by P Treweek for details). They were used in a variety of roles including passenger and freight roles, aeroclub operations, and air ambulance work. Six are reported to have crashed or been scrapped. Today, just six (all Proctor V's) which are known to survive. However, two of these are again airworthy, and are the only currently airworthy Proctor Vs in the world.

ZK-AQZ (c/n Ae143) ex G-AHGN was built at Luton and first flew on October 27, 1948. The aircraft was imported by Ernie Clark, the New Zealand Percival agent, and used as a demonstrator. He retained the aircraft until his death in December 1964. The aircraft then passed through various owners including Airwork (NZ) Ltd, B.R.Cragg, A.J.Robinson, Scotts Engineering Ltd, and P. Dyer. In 1972 the aircraft went to the Golden Age Flying Society (GAFS) at Omaka, near Blenheim. When this ceased its activities in the late 1970's, its assets passed to the Sport and Vintage Aviation Society (SVAS) at Masterton. The aircraft was only displayed in a static condition for some years. However, in 1990 restoration work began supported largely by Lottery Board funding. Many hours and approximately NZ$60,000 later, AQZ made its first official post restoration flight on October 10, 1993 in the hands of John Lanham. Today the aircraft remains at Masterton with the SVAS.


ZK-ARP (c/n Ae97) ex G-AIEO preserved by Stan and Gilly Smith at North Shore (NZ)

Proctor V ZK-ARP (c/n Ae97) ex G-AIEO preserved by Stan and Gilly Smith at North Shore (NZ) was manufactured in October 1946. The aircraft was shipped to New Zealand in June 1948 for the Wairarapa and Ruahine Aero Club having flown a total of 50 minutes. The aircraft went into service in September 1948. In December 1950 the aircraft went to the Wellington Aero Club, where it stayed until April 1957. The aircraft was then stored in Nelson for two years. The aircraft was purchased by Frank Brittain and taken to Palmerston North, where it was rebuilt over a five year period. The aircraft was occassionaly flown by the owner for a number of years. Stored after his death, the aircraft has been restored by Stan and Gilly Smith at North Shore and is now operated by a syndicate Kiwi Aircraft Images by P Treweek.

The other known survivors (Kiwi Aircraft Images by P Treweek) are:


Associations and reunions
No information
FURTHER INFORMATION
 
Kiwi Aircraft Images by P Treweek Details of the Proctors in New Zealand
Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995) 'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to1945'  Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1995 ISBN: 0 85130 232 7 
 
Created 3-4-1999, Modified 3-4-2000

 

Return to Home Page

 

This page is published by Fleet Air Arm Archive and is updated regularly.
© 2000-2001 All rights reserved for all information created for or on behalf of the Fleet Air Arm Archive
Contact email: drucker@fleetairarmarchive.net