Scottish Aviation (Prestwick) Pioneer
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Scottish Aviation (Prestwick) Pioneer

The Pioneer began life as a three-seat light military communications aircraft built to Specification A.4/45 and powered by a 179kW de Havilland Gipsy Queen 34 engine. The original military requirement failed to materialise and so the basic design was developed into a civil light transport aircraft as the (Prestwick) Pioneer.

On 5 May 1950 the first prototype of the 387kW Leonides-powered Pioneer II flew. It was selected for service as a five-seat communications and casualty-evacuation (one stretcher and an attendant) aircraft for the RAF and production CC.1s were flown from mid-1953. By March 1960 a total of 53 Pioneer IIs had been delivered, most to the RAF but five to the Royal Ceylonese Air Force and others to Iran and Malaya.

Scottish Aviation (Prestwick) Pioneer

 ENGINE1 x 520hp Alvis Leonides 501/4 9-cylinder radial engine
    Take-off weight2630 kg5798 lb
    Wingspan15.16 m50 ft 9 in
    Length10.59 m35 ft 9 in
    Height3.12 m10 ft 3 in
    Max. speed195 km/h121 mph
    Ceiling7010 m23000 ft
    Range690 km429 miles

Comments1-20 21-40
John(Nobby)Hosier, 18.08.2017

I was a pilot on 209Sqn Seltar from 1966-68, and served under Phil Burton. Probably the most enjoyable and testing flying I ever did. Some of it made exciting memories. Trying to take off from Kota Tinngi without selecting flaps, realising that I was not going to clear a ridge when leaving Chabai on a 'casevac' to Ipoh, and my first attempt at landing on HMS'Bulwark'. When training we were allowed go to any airstrip and use our discretion as to whether to land. I spent a lot of airtime finding and photographing as many strips as I could, which can be found on my Youtube films.

Ben King, 10.03.2017

My Dad Terence(Terry)King was with pioneer 267 squadron between 1953-58 and worked on pioneers in Malaysia sadly he has Alzheimer's now but his fondness of these aircraft is still clear.

Colin Rutherford, 06.08.2016

I started my apprentice Building the wing Jigs for this Aircraft then Twin Later Both Jetstreams { 32 & 41 )

neil mckinnon, 01.03.2015

I was cpl radio fitter 209 sqdn Kuching,Sarawak 1964-65
Loved the Single Pin and the TwinPin. Flew as observer with the crazy Poles, beating up the native fishermen and dodging the 225 whirlies up and down the river.
Love to chat with old 209 bods.

Adrian Wijeyewickrema, 30.10.2014

A pristine example of this aircraft is displayed in the Sri Lanka AF Museum at the Ratmalana airport (RML) sporting its original RCyAF colours. Please email me if interested in one of my pics which I will be happy to contribute to your website.

Stuart Moles, 17.07.2014

Sorry needed to correct my email address

Stuart Moles, 17.07.2014

I spent 2.5 years on 267 son 1954/57 and although an engine mech on A flight spent quite a bit of time as crewman on B Flt single pins. Great aircraft and could get into the jungle forts without any problem. My claim to fame was when the starter firing pin broke (Koffman Starter) stranding us in a fort. We got the engine going again by swinging the prop with a sack and a length of rope and pulled by three local natives once we had primed the cylinders by turning over the prop with switches off of course

A. ANDERSON, 08.06.2014


Siva, 18.12.2013

From my postings in 2009 and occasionally following the comments at this site, this is to inform all here that I have in my possession an "Aeromodeller Plans Service" Plan of the Single Pioneer. This Plan was drawn in 1953 by a R. Burns, and is described as a " 52 inch wingspan Flying Scale Power Model powered by an Albion 1.49cc IC engine.
I bought it in the eighties from ASP with the intention of converting it to a Scale RC Model. Looking at the state of Aeromodelling these days this would be perfect for modern 'electrics'........The Plan is in good condition, very comprehensive and shows full size formers, fuselage, wings and tail. I still harbour the thought of building it 'someday', but I am willing to make reproductions for any one interested.

Barry Ropere, 30.10.2013

Having done a year’s unaccompanied tour on 225 Squadron in Borneo 1964-65. I returned to RAF Odiham and worked on Twin Pioneers used for training aircrew. I was posted to RAF Seletar in 1967 and joined 209 Squadron. The SEP & TP’s were separate and I spent 18 months on first line servicing of TP’s with regular detachments to RAAF Butterworth. Supplying the Northern Forts and Dr. Bolton’s supplies when space was available. I did two trips to East Malaysia, flying unescorted from Seletar to Kuching via “Penjabu”? A small beacon in the South China Sea the only landmark reference for the navigator. The last trip was to visit airstrips in Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah, to land wherever possible and to photograph the strips from the air and the approach view from the cockpit. If we were able to land we assessed the amenities fuel, fire extinguisher, radios etc. We also recommended the safest escape lane if an aircraft suffered an engine failure on take-off. The RAF was handing over to the Malaysian Air Force and JARIC’s AIDU were to publish a new strip directory for pilots. We were at RAF Kuching the week it closed, flying on to RAF Labuan, where we daily flew into the interior returning to develop our films each night. We had numerous hydraulic leaks before discovering a serious kink in the hydraulic tank vent pipe. Caused by somebody trying to remove the tank without first separating it from the pipe. On discovering the mistake the pipe was disconnected and the kink remained unnoticed behind a supporting cleat. When checked the vent pipe appeared to be clear but when operating flaps slats and brakes it caused the weakest pipe in the system to fail. Luckily the Borneo Airways crashed TP at Lawas Mission proved to be a source of spare parts. I never did see a copy of the 1968 strip directory. RAF Labuan closed and we returned to Seletar. My SEP experience was very limited. A pilot, marking targets for 20 Squadron Hunters, dropped a smoke grenade in the cockpit and I was asked to try and devise a safer system of dropping the flares. I took a vary pistol barrel and welded a circular plate with about ten holes in its outer circumference. This plate was painted like a pie chart in the colours of the flares being used. I took two ex Beverley aircraft fuel dip sticks and trapped the flare handles between them. From each flare a cable ran through a tufnel block up to the plate above the barrel. The pilot could then select the colour and pull the pin out, the wing strut being level with the ground, it worked well. Unfortunately the senior armament officer, I believe it was Wg Commander Wallace of gyrocopter fame would not allow us to use the vary pistol mounting and as an engine fitter I couldn’t find a suitable place to mount it. so gave up the idea. However 209 Squadron disbanded and I finish my tour at Changi. The SEP’s went to 20 Squadron at Tengah and I got a telephone call to say did I know what became of my flare delivery rack. I said it should be in the bottom of my locker in 500 hangar. Perhaps somebody knows if they ever found it ?

Doug Michael, 01.10.2013

I have just discovered this site. My late was employed at Scottish Aviation Ltd Prestwick. She worked as an upholsterer and she designed the Pioneer's pilot's seat.So I hope you pilots out there had a comfortable journey...She left a lot of information about what happened at Scottish avaiation during and after the war

Sue Hunter, 14.11.2011

Whilst researching the twin and single pioneers for a book I'm writing about my Dad's life I came across this site, and was interested to see the name Richard Barcley. Like his father, mine also flew one of the single pioneers out from Prestwick to Kuala Lumpur in 1959. Dad's aircraft FM1012 flew with a twin piloted by Air Cmdr N.C. Hyde, and they were the last of a batch being delivered to the RMAF for use on jungle air strips. Once Jack had landed safely in KL after his epic flight of 26 days, my mother, brothers Richard & Stephen, and myself, boarded the P&O liner Strathmore and sailed to Singapore. From Singapore we were ferried up to KL in a twin pioneer. My father, Flt. Lt. John (Jack) Ward and wife Jean were friends of the Barclays - I have recently been looking at photographs from those days and there are several of them together at fancy dress balls at the Selangor Club (The Dog) and other social events. My brothers and I attended Bourne School. Jean and her friends Libby Colterjohn and Marie Otley spent time at Dr. Bolton's facility teaching the aborigines how to sew. We lived on base at Sungai Besi until Dad was posted home to the UK in October 1962. After an 18 month stint at RAF Lindholme Dad was again posted out to the Far East, this time to Singapore. He was with 209 squadron, RAF Seletar, until he retired from the Air Force in October 1966 and emigrated to New Zealand. We lost Dad this year, aged 88 and he is survived by Jean, Susan, Richard & Stephen. Dad loved his years as a pilot, especially those flying the pioneer in and out of jungle forts and onto aircraft carriers. For those who might have known them, Wing Cmdr. George Frain also emigrated to NZ and he passed away several years ago. Squardron Ldr. George Charles emigrated to NZ, and then to Australia, where at aged 92 he lives in Brisbane with wife Grace.

Martin Shelvey, 31.07.2011

I was Elect fitter on 209 sqdn 1959-1962 and knew most of the blokes here I accompanied servicing teams up country to Kroh and other locations also Borneo and Brunei.
I would like to hear from any ex 209 bods that I do not already have on my e-mail list.

John Hieron, 31.03.2011

i served with the RAF at Kuala Lumpur in the years 1955/57. While in holiday in KL in March 2011, i visited the old airfield , I was kindly shown around the MRAF camp that no longer has a runway, i can confirm the museum at the airfield does have on display a single and twin engine Pioneers mk2,.

Michael Taylor, 02.01.2011

My late father Charles Taylor was at KL for nearly 4 yrs, 3 of which was as Flt Cmdr of the SEP on 267 Sqn. On one trip into a jungle fort he was carrying the Adjutant General, who was on a tour of inspection in Malaya. As my father was on the final circuit having reduced speed to just above stall, an Army Auster, being flown by a major, anxious to be there to meet and greet the general, radioed that he was a major and insisted on landing first, forcing my father to go around. `My father witnessed the general giving the major something of a dressing down. At the same location on another occasion he was being flown in a Sycamore, by the CO of the helicopter squadron investigating the possibility of extracting a SEP, which one of the squadron had managed to get stuck in the trees on take off. The Sycamore suffered rotar failure and father and S/L Frank Barnes hit the ground rather hard. My favourite memory of the SEP was father touching downand lifting off between two set of rugby posts at the army school I first attended in KL.

Dave Barford, 23.10.2010

I want to build a large scale 9 foot wingspan rc model of single Pioneer and would very much like any technical drawings and possibly handbook or cockpit/ dashboard controls/ layout etc, can anybody help? PS i was at alexandra grammar (boarding)in the 1950's. Lived in PENANG

Phil Burton, 26.08.2010

I had the priviledge of being SEP Flt Cdr on 209 and then 20 Sqns at Seletar and then Tengah 1967-69. It was the best flying I ever did and I grew to respect this tough aircraft and its abilities whether it was landing on carriers or on the interesting 'one way in' strips. We trained as Tactical Transport pilots then some of us became airborne Forward Air Controllers using techniques from the UK, the early Malayan campaign and Vietnam. Our most interesting trips were with Special Forces and the mission that we maintained in Laos. Everybody shot at us, including the Royal Thai Air Force. We ended up flying either over 3500 ft or very low - well under 50 feet. Night approaches into remote strips were also an event to be remembered. We had a lot of crunches, but no fatalities.

There is a SEP preserved very well at the Cosford Museum, XL702 I believe, for the modellers that want to see the original. It's in silver finish, unlike the camouflage that we used (although we tried other scemes for Thailand and Laos, none of which deterred the shooters)

On the short take off, I once annoyed ATC at Tengah after being asked to take off immediately and took off from the holding point: they weren't amused. We could do backwards circuits at Seletar by getting airborne, climbing then slowing down to drift slowly backeards if the breeze was strong enough, then accelerating in the descent back on to the runway: at night that was a real laugh....

Richard Barclay, 01.06.2010

My father, Flt Lt Barney Barclay was stationed at KL with the RMAF until 1965 when were repatriated as a family back to UK. He flew both Single & Twin Pioneers out of jungle forts, his log books make fascinating reading. He ferried singles from uk all the way to Malaysia on several occasions, a trip that couldn't possibly done in this day and age!

Alex Carder, 23.03.2010

Re Ashly GS Lim. I was Flt Cdr of Single Pioneer Flight in the early 1960s. It was a super a/c and I enjoyed many flights into the jungle forts Chabai, Betau, Legap etc. I was lucky enough to fly Dr Bolton the Aborigine doctor on his fort rounds. My experience in the RMAF ranked highly in my service career.

Ken. Weatherill, 28.01.2010

I was a J/T Electrical fitter (air) and was stationed Kuala Lumper in 1957 on FWASF one of the aircraft types I serviced was the Single Pioneer. I managed to have several flights on air-test on the Pioneers, great for taking photos from. I remember folowing a road and the cars were going faster than us. One Pioneer I remeber servicing was XE512 which I belive flew in a Farnborough air display and the electics were not to the F700 so I remarked all the fuses to what they actual did (not to the F700). Most of our Aircraft we servised came from 267 Sq. and included the 3 Voice Dakotas (Faith, Hope, and Charity).

1-20 21-40

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