The Scottish Aviation
Pioneer was a Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) military transport, casualty evacuation and communications aircraft, designed against Air Ministry Specification A.4/45. Full span slots and large area-increasing Fowler flaps allowed exceptional take-off and landing performance to be achieved.
The first prototype Scottish Aviation Pioneer(G-31-1 / VL515) flew for the first time on 5th November 1947, being initially powered by a 240 hp Gipsy Queen 34 engine, and known as the Prestwick Pioneer.
In this form, the Scottish Aviation Prestwick Pioneer proved to be rather under-powered and the design was therefore revised, with the two prototypes (VL515 and VL516) being fitted with Alvis Leonides engines and receiving civil registrations (G-AKBF and G-ANAZ).
The fifth Pioneer G-ANRG (later XH469) in civil markings for the 1954 Farnborough Air Show.
The type was taken into RAF service as the Scottish Aviation Pioneer CC.1 with a 520 hp Alvis Leonides engine. The company designation for the production aircraft was initially Scottish Aviation Pioneer II but this later reverted back to Scottish Aviation Pioneer 1 to avoid confusion with the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer
introduced in 1956 .
Deliveries to the RAF commenced in August 1953 and the type remained in service until 1969.
RAF Scottish Aviation Pioneer landing on a typical improvised strip in Malaya.
The Scottish Aviation Pioneer proved its ability to operate out of extremely short strips in hostile terrain and high temperatures, especially whilst serving with the RAF in Malaya and Borneo. Air strips as short as 160 yards were used operationally, and Scottish Aviation claimed a 33 mph landing speed and a minimum landing run of only 26 yards for their Gipsy Queen-powered prototype!