Percival P.6 Mew Gull


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Percival P.6 Mew Gull

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Percival P.6 Mew Gull

Rod burgess, e-mail, 25.03.2011 18:49

The only surviving Mew Gull, Alex Henshaw's G-AEXF is alive and well and living at Breighton in East Yorkshire, UK, where it is preserved in immaculate condition and regularly flown by the Real Aeroplane Company.


Malcolm Logan, e-mail, 04.03.2011 10:03

Hi Don - interesting stuff ! I wonder if you can verify with source material my own input on 04.03.2011 above ? Thankas. Malcolm


Malcolm Logan, e-mail, 04.03.2011 09:55

Hello - this is my first foray into your website. I chose to check out your info on Percival's Mew Gulls. To my surprise, there is no mention of the arguably most famous version namely the S African ZS-AHM which was flown back to UK and registered G-AEXF. Then sold to Alex Henshaw, it took the 1938 King's Cup at the record speed of 238 mph and also broke the out-and-back record to Cape Town in 1939 which still stands today, I believe. It would be a pleasure to have you verify or otherwise these points (source - 'Vintage Aircraft of the World', Gordon Riley, p. 108). Thank you. Malcolm Logan


Don Mears, e-mail, 20.06.2010 06:49

With the Percival Gull already making a name for itself as a racer, over several months in 1933-1934 Capt. Edgar W. Percival designed and built a single-seat racer derivative initially named the E1. This was developed into the E2, E2H and the E3H variants between 1934 and 1938. With the exception of the sole E3H, G-AFAA which was built after the company moved to Luton, all of the Mew gulls were built in the small factory at Gravesend.

Structurally, there was very little commonality of parts between the Gulls IV / VI / Vega Gull and the Mew Gull, other than a few minor components. All of the Gulls, however, did use a similar generic structure. Proprietary equipment such as engines, airscrews, spinners, instruments, undercarriage legs, wheels and tyres were generally common to all series. The Mew Gulls (apart from the E1 in its initial configuration) used a fixed, conventional oleomatic main undercarriage and a fully castoring tailskid. Small manually-operated, split trailing-edge wing flaps were incorporated into the mainplanes.

The aircraft was designed for handicapped air racing which gained huge popularity in the UK during the 1920s and especially 1930s the so-called "Golden Age" of aviation. The King's Cup Race, an annual handicapped air racing event developed to aid in the development of British light aircraft, was considered to be the "Blue-Riband" event. Ultimately, Mew Gulls went on to win this event four times.

The prototype G-ACND first flew in March 1934 with a 165 hp Napier Javelin, but it was replaced with a more powerful and reliable 200 hp Gipsy Six engine, fitted with a fixed-pitch airscrew, prior to its first race.


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