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Percival Type D3 Gull Six monoplane G-AERD

1986.0135.0001

Percival Type D3 Gull Six monoplane G-AERD

Object information

Description

The gull series of aircraft were all wood low wing monoplanes designed by Edgar W Percival, the Australian who founded Percival Aircraft Ltd. The prototype (G-ABUR) was flown for the first in time in 1932 with a Cirrus Hermes IV engine of 130 hp and was known as the type D-1. Subsequently production of the type was subcontracted to George Parnall and Co and an initial quantity of 24 was built. With folding wings for easy storage these aircraft were offered with a variety of engines. Those with the de Havilland Gipsy Major or 160-hp Napier Javelin III became known as the type D-2.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith purchased a Gull Four (G-ACJV) (c/n D-37) as the model with the 4-cyclinder engine became known, and in this aircraft named Miss Southern Cross made a record-breaking flight from Lympne to Darwin in seven days, four hours and forty-four minutes.

In 1934 the Percival Aircraft Co Ltd established its own manufacturing facilities at Gravesend Airport in Kent where a new model was built with a single-strut undercarriage, revised cabin top and entrance doors, and fitted with a 200-hp Gipsy six engine. This model which was known as the type D-3 or Gull Six became very popular, and Edgar Percival flew G-ADEP from Gravesend to Oran Algeria and back in one day in 1935. The New Zealand aviatrix Jean Batten also used the Gull Six flying from Lympne to Darwin in five days, twenty-one hours and three minutes in October 1936 and continuing on to New Zealand. Twenty-nine Gull Fours and nineteen Gull Sixes were built.

Physical description

Maroon and silver Percival Type D3 Gull Six three seat cabin monoplane. Fitted with a single in-line air cooled 200hp De Havilland Gypsy Six Engine. Marked with the aircraft's registration number "G-AERD" in silver on the fuselage and wings. Aircraft constructor's serial number D65.

Statement of significance

The Neil Jensen collection consists of a Percival Gull Six aircraft, G-AERD, and associated archive. Made by the Percival Aircraft Company at Gravesend in Kent, England, in 1936, this aircraft was first purchased by Ariane Dufaux of Switzerland and registered as HB-OFU. After passing through several owners in Switzerland, the aircraft was sold to a collector and restored by Cliff Lovell in England where it was featured on the air show circuit and registered as G-AERD. Neil Jensen purchased G-AERD in 1983, and while it was based in Redhill, Surrey it was awarded the Percival Trophy by the Cotswold Aircraft Restoration Group.

Born in Albury, New South Wales, in 1897, Edgar Wikner Percival served in Europe and Egypt with the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. Returning to Australia after the war, Percival operated a commercial aviation business while pursuing opportunities to design and manufacture new types of aircraft. In 1929, he travelled to England to work as a test pilot for the Bristol Aircraft Company, and in 1930 designed and manufactured the first low-wing cantilever monoplanes in the British Commonwealth. Percival formed the Percival Aircraft Company in 1932 and named the new aircraft series 'Gull'. Characterised by their graceful lines, the Gulls had light wooden frames covered with doped (lacquered) fabric and powerful four or six cylinder engines. Percival's Gulls quickly established a reputation for high performance, with Percival designing racing versions named 'Mew Gulls', which won acclaim in the Kings Cup Air Race.

Object information

When

  • Date of event

  • 1977
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  • Returned to England to aircraft restorer Cliff Lovell. Entered on the British Register G-AERD

  • Date of event

  • 1983
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  • Repaired and returned to the air in March 1983, and was acquired by Neil Jensen in Redhill shortly afterwards

Where

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