The Edgar Percival E.P.9 was a 1950s British light utility aircraft designed by Edgar Percival and initially built by his company, Edgar Percival Aircraft Limited and later as the Lancashire Prospector E.P.9 by the Lancashire Aircraft Company Limited.
Design and development
In 1954, Edgar Percival
formed Edgar Percival Aircraft Limited
at Stapleford Aerodrome
, England, his original company had became part of the Hunting Group. His first new design, the Edgar Percival E.P.9
was a utility aircraft designed for agricultural use. Construction numbers (c/n) commenced at 20 onwards. The aircraft was a high-wing monoplane with an unusual pod and boom fuselage. The pod and boom design allowed the aircraft to be fitted with a hopper for crop spraying
. The pilot and one passenger sat together with room for four more passengers. The clamshell side and rear doors also allowed the aircraft to carry standard size wool and straw bales or 45 imperial gallon (55 U.S. gallon) oil drums or even livestock.
The prototype (c/n 20)(registered G-AOFU
) first flew on 21 December 1955
. After a demonstration tour of Australia
four aircraft were ordered as crop-sprayers
and an initial batch of 20 was built. Two aircraft were bought by the British Army
in 1958. In the same year, Samlesbury Engineering Limited acquired rights to the design and the company was renamed the Lancashire Aircraft Company Limited
. Lancashire Aircraft re-named the aircraft the Lancashire Prospector E.P.9
but only six more were built.
In 1959 Skyspread Limited of Sydney, Australia re-engined their two aircraft VH-SSX (c/n 27) and VH-FBZ (c/n 34) with a Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah 10 radial engine as the Skyspread E.P.9.
The E.P.9s in their various guises had a long and successful lifespan as private aircraft, utilized in multi-role STOL operations as an agricultural sprayer, light cargo aircraft, jump plane, air ambulance and glider tug. One E.P.9 even had a more chequered career. Today, registered as N747JC, this particular E.P.9 originally was registered in Great Britain as G-ARTV. Prior to that it was XM819, one of two evaluated by the British Army Air Corps (the other being XM797). It was once owned in the late 1960s by a gang of international smugglers who found it the ideal way to smuggle stolen furs and counterfeit Swiss francs between England and Belgium. Although the criminals were apprehended in 1969, the E.P.9 ended up for sale in Belgium in 1972. After three years of pleasure flying in England, the aircraft was shipped to the United States where it sat in storage in a Wisconsin barn until 1999. After an extensive restoration, N747CJ appeared at Oshkosh in 2001-03. The aircraft currently (summer 2008) is for sale with an asking price of $59,000.
Edgar Percival E.P.9
- Production aircraft powered by a 270 hp Lycoming GO-480-B1.B engine, 21 built.Lancashire Prospector E.P.9
- Continued production powered by a 295 hp Lycoming GO-480-G1.A6 engine, six built.Skyspread E.P.9
- Two aircraft re-engined in Australia with a 375 hp Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah 10 radial engine.Lancashire Prospector E.P.9 Series 2
- Prototype (c/n 47 G-ARDG) officially re-engined with a 375 hp Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah 10 radial engine.
- Total produced - 27 airframes (c/n 45 uncompleted)
- c/n 28 VH-EPN ex- VH-DAI/SSC/SSV ex-G-APBR under restoration Victoria, Australia
- c/n 30 CF-NWI stored Reynolds Museum, Wetaskiwin, Alberta, Canada
- c/n 38 ZS-CHZ ex- G-ARTU ex- XM797 airworthy, based SAAF Historic Flight, Zwartkop, South Africa
- c/n 39 N747JC ex- G-ARTV ex- XM819 airworthy, based Holmen, Wisconsin, USA
- c/n 41 N8395 ex- G-APWX airworthy (?), based Mississipi, USA
- c/n 42 ZK-PWZ ex- G-APWZ airworthy, based Kairanga Aviation Ltd, New Zealand
- c/n 43 XM819 ex- G-APXW displayed as XM819, Museum of Army Flying, Middle Wallop, England
- c/n 46 ex- VH-SSR ex- VH-DAV fuselage only Lincoln Nitschke Aviation Museum, Greenock, Australia
- c/n 47 G-ARDG fuselage only Redhill Aerodrome, England
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). London: Orbis Publishing, 1985.
- Classic Wings Downunder article. Issue 52 Vol.12 No.4
- Percivals Aircraft by Norman H.Ellison. Chalford Publisjing Co' ISBN 0-7524-0774-0
- British Civil Aircraft since 1919 - Vol. 2 by A.J.Jackson, London: Putnam, 1974. ISBN 0-370-10006-9.