Percival Gull
and Vega Gull

The Gull and Vega Gull  led directly to the Proctor military communications and civilian touring aircraft.
Percival Gull 6 HB-OFU Sywell Percival Gull 6 HB-OFU (ex-G-AERD) is now in the collection of the National Museum of Australia.
 

Percival Gull


The prototype Percival Aircraft Gull (G-ABUR) was designed and built by Edgar Percival in a workshop at Maidstone, Kent. 
 
It was first flown in the Spring of 1932 and competed in the July 1932 King’s Cup air race.
 
The Percival Gull was an attractive, low wing cabin monoplane, powered by a Cirrus Hermes IV inverted in-line engine. Initial production of the type was undertaken by George Parnall & Co, Yate, who built 24 aircraft before production was transferred to Percival’s own facilities at Gravesend where they built 22 additional Gull aircraft.
 
The Type D.1 Percival Gull was powered by a ADC Cirrus Hermes engine whilst the Type D.2 used either the De Havilland Gipsy Major or the Napier Javelin III – these types were also known as the Gull Four.
 
Percival Gull 6 G-ADPR Old Warden Jean Batten made notable long-distance flights in this Percival Gull 6 G-ADPR 'Jean'.
 
Perhaps best-known is the Type D.3 Gull, or Gull Six, which was powered by a 200 hp six cylinder De Havilland Gipsy Six engine. Aviatrix Jean Batten flew a Gull Six (G-ADPR) named ‘Jean’, on a number of notable flights including flights to Brazil, Australia and New Zealand. Amy Mollison also flew another (G-ADZO) out and back to the Cape in May 1936, a journet lasting just under 8 days and many other notable flights were made in the type.
 
A single aircraft was built for the Maharajah of Jodhpur, with tandem open cockpits.
 
Production comprised 29 Percival Gull Four, 18 Percival Gull Six plus a single open-cockpit percival Gull Six, giving a grand total of 48 aircraft.
 

Vega Gull


The Percival Type K Vega Gull was a four-seat derivative of the Percival Gull Six and the prototype (G-AEAB) was flown for the first time at Gravesend in November 1935.
 
Similar in external appearance to the Percival Gull Six, the Percival Vega Gull introduced dual controls and split flaps.
 
Percival Vega Gull G-AEZJ Eggesford Percival Vega Gull G-AEZJ photographed at Eggesford, Devon.
 
The Percival Vega Gull built on the success of the Percival Gull Six and some 90 were built. A number of these aircraft were exported to countries including Kenya, France, India, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.
 
The introduction of the Percival Vega Gull coincided with the move of the company’s works from Gravesend to Luton with the Percival Vega Gull being built at both sites.
 
Like the Percival Gull, the Percival Vega Gull completed some notable flights including winning the 1936 Schlesinger Race to Johannesburg, flown by CWA Scott, the famous winner of the 1934 MacRoberston Race in DH88 Comet (G-ACSS).
 
The last of 90 production Percival Vega Gull was flown at Luton in July 1939.
 
Percival Vega Gull G-AEZJ in flight The similarity between the Vega Gull and the later Proctor is evident from this photo of G-AEZJ in flight.
 

Specifications


 
Gull Four
Gull Six
Vega Gull
Powerplant
One 130hp Gipsy Major
One 200 hp Gipsy Six
Span
36 ft 2 in
39 ft 6 in
Maximum Weight
2,300 lb
2,450 lb
2,750 lb
Capacity
Three seats
Four seats
Maximum Speed
155 mph
178 mph
170 mph
Cruising Speed
133 mph
160 mph
160 mph
Range
745 miles
640 miles
620 miles

 

Variants & Number built


Percival D.1 Gull Four
130 hp Cirrus Hermes IV; prototype plus 3 production
Percival D.2 Gull Four
130 hp DH Gipsy Major (14 built) or 160 hp Napier Javelin III (8 built); one aircraft with Blackburn Cirrus Major and two unknown; total of 29 Gull 4
Percival D.3 Gull Six
200 hp DH Gipsy Six; 18 Gull Six plus one open cockpit special
Percival K.1 Vega Gull
200 hp DH Gipsy Six or 205 hp Gipsy Six II; total of 90 built
Grand total
138 aircraft; 48 Percival Gull and 90 Percival Vega Gull

 

Survivors


Gull Four
VH-UTF airworthy in Australia
Gull Six
VH-CCM airworthy in Australia
Gull Six
G-ADPR ex-Jean Batten’s aircraft now displayed at Auckland Airport
Gull Six
G-AERD (ex-HB-OFU) on display at the National Museum of Australia www.nma.gov.au  
Vega Gull
G-AEZJ airworthy in the UK