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  • Writer's pictureroy blewett

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer

VH-AIS was built as a srs.1 and initially operated for Iraq Petroleum as G-APPH. It was converted to a srs.3 in 1960 and sold to Australian Iron & Steel the following year. It has remained in Australia and is thought to have been parked at Bradfield, a privately-owned airstrip northwest of Brisbane, QLD, for more than 20 years (8 Jul 23)

Scottish Aviation Ltd. was established at Prestwick in 1935 as a flying school but quickly expanded into aircraft overhaul and modification. After World War II the company began to produce its own designs, the first being the Pioneer, a 5-seat communications aircraft with extremely short take-off and landing capability. The Pioneer's success led to development of the much larger Twin Pioneer, intended to have similar short field performance. The biggest customer was the Royal Air Force (RAF), which purchased 39 mostly for service with the Near East and Far East Air Forces. Although the Twin Pioneer was only in RAF service for 10 years, the type was used extensively in operations in Aden, Kuwait, Oman, Borneo and Kenya. In addition to military use, the Twin Pioneer saw airline service in Dutch New Guinea and its stability made it a popular choice among oil exploration and air survey companies. Losses were high, with some 35 of the 87 built being lost or damaged beyond repair in crashes. Despite this, a healthy number survive, with one active in Australia.

First flight: 25 Jun 55 (c/n 501, G-ANTP)

Production: 87, at Prestwick, UK

First delivery: 26 Jun 57, to De Kroonduif Co of Dutch New Guinea (c/ns 509, 510 and 511, JZ-PPX, ‘Y and ‘Z respectively)

Last delivery: 30 Jun 63, to Royal Malaysian Air Force (c/n 582, FM1071)

Variants: Srs.1 - prototype and initial production version powered by 2 Alvis Leonides 514 radials, with seating for 16 passengers (62 built, including 32 as Twin Pioneer CC.1 for the Royal Air Force);

Srs.2 - Srs.1 powered by Pratt & Whitney R-1340 radials (5 built, first flight 16 Apr 59);

Srs.3 - Srs.1 powered by Leonides 531s (20 built, including 7 for the Royal Air Force as Twin Pioneer CC.2; first flight 29 May 59).

Twin Pioneer survivors
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