DW 48035 Percival Proctor Mk.1
Whilst the very early Proctors (Mks I to III.) followed very closely the last incarnation of the Vega Gull, and consequently retained most of its performance, later versions became much heavier and less aerodynamic, with inevitable detrimental effects upon their performance. The later marks of Proctor, whilst looking broadly similar, were in fact a complete redesign of the aircraft and were much enlarged, heavier and even less efficient. Flight performance was poor. There were later plans to fit them with the 250 hp Queen 30 and larger airscrew, but only one trial aircraft was so fitted as the all-metal Prentice was being developed to replace the Proctor, utilising the Queen 30 etc. The Prentice itself proved to be a very poor aircraft (even worse than the later Proctors) and served in the RAF for only a handful of years before withdrawal as it was deemed unsatisfactory. The remaining Proctors in use soldiered-on after Service use in private hands until the 1960s. At this point, owing to concerns about the degradation of glued joints in their wooden airframes, they were all grounded. Several surviving Proctors have been rebuilt with modern adhesives and should be returned to the air shortly. Early Proctors still make good light aircraft, as they combine the Vega’s attributes of Long-range, speed and load-carrying ability. Notably, all Proctors inherited the Vega Gull’s feature of wing-folding.