Percival P.44 Proctor V


The 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 (top and doors), but retained the Gull IV folding wing. It was in one of these (G-ADPR) that New Zealand Aviatrix Jean Batten set many of her records. 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.

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.

Post war several hundred military Proctors were released for civilian purchase, 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casein glues, the costs of maintaining the certificates of airworthiness meant that from that time any aircraft were withdrawn from use.

New Zealand has had seventeen Proctors of various types (eight Mk.I, two Mk.III, and seven Mk.V) on the civil register. 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. Five have just faded away. Today that leaves just six (all Proctor V's) which are known to survive. However, two of these are again airworthy, and to my knowledge are the only currently airworthy Proctor Vs in the world.

The other known survivors are:

Last Text Update:- 21 May, 2001
Last Picture Update:- 2 December, 2002

Technical Data


rear view - wings folded starboard profile nose on starboard three quarter starboard three quarter starboard three quarter take off run take off airborne airborne into sunset starboard rear three quarter starboard three quarter starboard side startup - starboard three quarter front view airborne Neville Worsley & Noya Smith port three quarter - fueling

Close Up

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engine cockpit cockpit cockpit - panel cockpit - rear tail section cabin door nose section wing fold
wing fold tail - SVAS logo

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