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 (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).
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 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.
Scottish Aviation Pioneer RAF landing on rough strip
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!
Scottish Aviation Pioneer RAF XL703 Cosford
RAF Scottish Aviation Pioneer XL703 is displayed at the RAF Museum, Cosford.


A total of fifty-nine Scottish Aviation Pioneer aircraft were built (including one static test airframe) with the first production aircraft flying on 25th June 1953.

Scottish Aviation Pioneers were also used by the Royal Ceylon Air Force and the Royal Malayan Air Force.

Number built

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



                                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



Scottish Aviation Pioneer
RAF Museum, Cosford, Shropshire
Scottish Aviation Pioneer CC602 Sri Lanka Air Force Museum at Ratmalana
Scottish Aviation Pioneer
Royal Malayan Air Force Museum, Kuala Lumpur (closed at time of writing)
12 Default Profile Image
BAE Systems
The information shown is based on that available at the time of the content creation. If you have any additions or corrections then please contact us via email - All images BAE Systems / Ron Smith copyright unless otherwise shown.