Percival P.44 Proctor
The Proctor as a type dates back to 1939, being designed as a radio trainer and light communications machine for the Royal Air Force by A.A.Bage. A development of the pre-war Vega Gull with Percivals incorporating RAF design requirements into the Vega Gull airframe, the Proctor was produced in five versions - Mks I to III being three seaters for the RAF, while Mks 4 and 5 (Arabic mark numbers replaced Roman in 1948) were four seaters, and incorporated folding wings, the last variant being targeted at the immediate post war civil market, a purely post-war civil version of the RAF’s Mk.4.
In all, 246 Mk.1s were built by Percival, at Luton.
The Mks II and IIIs for the Navy had a quick release dingy installed in the wing centre sections.
A total of 200 Mk.2s and 436 Mk.3s were built. All by F.Hills & Sons at Manchester.
In 1943, the Mk. III fuselage was redesigned and strengthened to accommodate two side-by-side pairs and the windscreen and cabin windows were enlarged. This was originally known as the Preceptor but was renamed Mk.4. The added visibility from the Mk.4 enabled carrier deck landing trials to be undertaken. Eight pre-production aircraft and 250 production aircraft were built by F.Hills & Sons at Manchester.
The Proctor V is a civil version of the Proctor IV. The Proctor 5 is a low-wing cantilever monoplane of all-wood construction powered by a six cylinder de Havilland Gipsy Queen II engine driving a two-bladed, variable pitch propellor with constant speed control. The fabric covered wings fold upwards and rearwards to lessen hanger area. Access to the engine is easy with large cowl flaps either side hinging upwards to reveal the whole engine. Fuel is contained in two tanks just outboard of the centre sections and a 5 gallon oil tank is located on the right side in front of the fuel tank. The undercarriage - fixed cantilever with compression springs coupled with oil dampers and recoil springs - is fully covered by “trousers” and most of the wheels by “spats.
Series production of the Mk.V began at Luton in May 1946, with three converted from Mk.4s, and 150 newly built. All were powered by a DH Gipsy Queen II of 208 hp, providing a maxi-mum speed of 160 mph, a cruising range of some 500 miles and a ceiling of 14000 feet.
Of the hundreds built for RAF use, 225 Mk. 1, 2, and 3 found their way onto the civil register to join at least 150 Mk.5s specially made for the civil market at Percival’s Luton plant. Some continued in service with the RAF until 1955.
The one and only Mk.6 was built as a floatplane for the Hudson Bay Trading Company of Toronto, Canada. It was basically a Mk.5 fitted with floats and a Gipsy Queen 32 engine of 250 hp.
More than 1200 Proctors were produced. The airworthiness design standard of the Percival Proctor was A.P. 1208, dated November 1937 for the Proctor III and October 1938 for the Proctor IV. The design organisation with Type Responsibility Authorisation in 2011 was Tenecia Ltd, at Coventry Airport.