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Scottish Aviation
Pioneer

Scottish Aviation's first design offered superb STOL performance and paved the way to the Twin Pioneer.
Scottish Aviation Prestwick Pioneer landing Head-on view of the prototype Prestwick Pioneer landing, showing its generous high-lift devices.
 
The Scottish Aviation Pioneer was a Short Take-Off and Landing military transport, casualty evacuation and communications aircraft that was designed against 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 (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 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).
 
Scottish Aviation Pioneer G-ANRG ground 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 Pioneer CC.1 with a 520 hp Alvis Leonides engine. The company designation for the production aircraft was initially Pioneer II but this later reverted to Pioneer 1 to avoid confusion with the Twin Pioneer.
 
Deliveries to the RAF commenced in August 1953 and the type remained in service until 1969.
 
Scottish Aviation Pioneer RAF landing on rough strip RAF Scottish Aviation Pioneer landing on a typical improvised strip in Malaya.
 
The type proved its ability to operate out of extremely short strips in hostile terrain and high temperatures whilst serving with the RAF in Malaya and Borneo. 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 the Gipsy Queen-powered prototype!
 
Scottish Aviation Pioneer RAF XL703 Cosford RAF Scottish Aviation Pioneer XL703 is displayed at the RAF Museum, Cosford.

 

A total of fifty-nine Pioneer aircraft were built (including one static test airframe), the first production aircraft flying on 25th June 1953. Pioneers were also used by the Royal Ceylon Air Force and the Royal Malayan Air Force.

Numbers

Total built 58 aircraft Operators - RAF (40), Ceylon (4), Malaya (9)

Specification

  Pioneer CC.1
Powerplant One 520 hp Alvis Leonides 502/4 
Span 49 ft 9 in
Maximum Weight 5,800 lb
Capacity  Pilot and up to 4 passengers
Maximum Speed 162 mph
Cruise Speed 121 mph
Range 420 miles

Survivors

XL703                      RAF Museum, Cosford, Shropshire www.rafmuseum.org.uk/cosford/
CC602 Sri Lanka Air Force Museum at Ratmalana www.airforcemuseum.lk
FM-1016 Royal Malayan Air Force Museum, Kuala Lumpur (closed at time of writing)