A Second World War classic – the Percival Proctor IV


Percival Proctor IV

Behind the great bomber fleets and fighter wings of World War Two, there were simply hordes of aircraft performing vital roles as trainers, communications aircraft, radio trainers, target tugs, and all the multitude of tasks needed to make the war run smoothly. Here is a lovely example of the Percival Proctor IV, a three-seat radio trainer (sometimes used as a four-seat communications aircraft). The first Proctor flew in October 1939, and wartime orders flowed swiftly. It was sure to be a success, as it was developed from the record-breaking Percival Vega Gull. Over 1,100 Proctors, of various marks, were built and they proved to be a solid aircraft with no vices. Powered by a De H Gipsy Queen 2 of 210 hp, it is still a viable touring aircraft today, with a range of over 500 nm. This example is hangared at Biggin Hill International, which is appropriate, considering Biggin’s pivotal role in the Battle of Britain; it is highly likely that the famous Royal Air Force station on the same site would have been visited by many Proctors during the war. Note the ‘dark earth/dark green’ early war camouflage scheme, with an all yellow underside – correct for second-line aircraft such as trainers and prototypes. Here she is basking in the sunshine at GVFWE, Hullavington.

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