Percival Aircraft Company
On his return to England in 1929, he became an Air Ministry Test Pilot specialising in amphibians, seaplanes and Schneider Trophy racers. His interest in technology grew further and he became involved in a number of collaborative projects with Saunders Roe Limited such as the Saro-Percival Mail Carrier in 1930.
In 1933, Percival turned his attention to building his own designs and set up the Percival Aircraft Company.
Initially operating from his private address in London and sub-contracting out manufacturing to George Parnell & Sons in Gloucestershire, the company quickly expanded its reputation through a series of record-breaking flights by some of the best known aviators of the day, all in Percival aircraft.
In 1934, and after recieving an order for 24 Percival Gull aircraft (which had to be manufactured by Parnell), Percival set up his own manufacturing facility in Gravesend, Kent.
With business very bouyant during the inter-war years, in 1936 they consolidated operations to a larger facility at the newly-built Luton Corporation Airport with Design Offices in a large Georgian farmhouse nearby.
Under the new name of Percival Aircraft Limited, all efforts were concentrated on the Percival Gull civilian racing aircraft and the Percival Q.6 Petrel, a communications aircraft and feeder-liner. With war imminent in 1938 however, Percival Aircraft concentrated on the developement of military communications aircraft such as the Percival Vega Gull and Percival Proctor.
As war raged throughout Europe, Edgar Percival himself become disillusioned with life in England and resigned from the company in March 1940, before moving to the USA.
The company continued independently as Percival Aircraft Limited until 1944 when it was purchased as part of the Hunting Group who, after allowing the name to continue for another 10 years, changed it to Hunting Percival in 1954, and then Hunting Aircraft 1957.
|1933||Percival Aircraft Company|
|1936||Percival Aircraft Limited|
|1954||Hunting Percival Ltd|
|1960||British Aircraft Corporation|
|1932||Percival Gull IV/VI||1946||Percival P.40 Prentice|
|1934||Percival Mew Gull||1947||Percival P.48 Merganser|
|1935||Percival Vega Gull||1948||Percival P.50 Prince P.54 Survey Prince & P.66 President / Pembroke|
|1937||Percival Q.6||1950||Percival P.56 Provost|
|1937||Percival Petrel||1956||Percival P.74|
|1939||Percival P.28 Proctor|