The Percival Proctor was a radio-trainer and communication aircraft, developed from the Percival Vega Gull, and produced in large numbers during the Second World War.
The Vega Gull was a four-seat low-wing monoplane that had developed from a series of similar aircraft designed by Captain Edgar W. Percival, starting with the Gull of 1932.
The RAF had ordered a number of Vega Gulls for use by overseas air attachés. In 1938, with the RAF expanding rapidly, the Air Ministry had ordered a radio trainer version of the Vega Gull, to Specification 20/38.
The Proctor was a low-wing monoplane, with fixed landing gear. The first Air Ministry order covered both the Mk II radio trainer and the Mk I communication version. The prototype made its maiden flight on 8 October 1939, and the type remained in production through the war.
The Proctor was used by both the RAF and the Royal Navy, with 250 of the 1,143 produced going to the Navy.
P.28 Proctor I
The Proctor I was a three-seat communications aircraft, of which 247 were built. Like all versions of the Proctor it was powered by the 210hp de Havilland Gipsy Queen II engine.
P.30 Proctor II
The Proctor II was ordered at the same time as the Proctor I, and was a three-seat radio trainer. A total of 175 were built.
P.34 Proctor III
The Proctor II was followed by the similar Proctor III three-seat radio trainer, of which 437 were built, making it the most common version of the Proctor.
P.31 Proctor IV/ Preceptor
The Proctor IV was an enlarged version of the aircraft, with a longer fuselage that allowed it to carry a crew of four – pilot, instructor and two trainees. The change in size was reflected in a planned name-change, to the Preceptor, but this was abandoned. As built the Proctor IV lacked dual controls, but it was later pressed into use as a communications aircraft, and the second set of controls added. 258 Proctor IVs were built.
The Proctor 5 was a civil version of the aircraft, built for charter companies and flying clubs. 150 were produced from new, and had to compete with more than 200 ex-military aircraft that were sold off at the end of the war.
The Proctor 6 was a floatplane. Only one was built, for the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1946.
Engine: de Havilland Gipsy Queen II
Crew: three or four
Span: 39ft 6in
Length: 28ft 2in
Height: 74 3in
Empty weight: 2,370lb
Maximum take-off weight: 3,500lb
Maximum speed: 160mph
Service ceiling: 14,000ft
Range: 500 miles