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National Museum of Australia

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Percival Proctor Mk 1 monoplane VH-FEP

1985.0021.0001

Percival Proctor Mk 1 monoplane VH-FEP

Object information

Physical description

White Percival Proctor Mk1 aircraft with the registration number VH-FEP in black. It is fitted with a modified 210hp de Havilland Gypsy Queen II engine, number 60583.

Statement of significance

The Frederick Edmunds collection consists of a Percival Proctor aircraft, photograph album, and associated aircraft maintenance manuals and log books.

During the Second World War, the Percival Aircraft Company developed a military version of the company's most successful aircraft the Gull, named the Proctor, which was adopted as a trainer aircraft for the RAF. The Museum?s Percival Proctor Aircraft MK1, VH-FEP, is an all wood construction, has a wing span of 39.5ft and is powered by a 210hp Gipsy Queen Series II engine. VH-FEP was manufactured in 1942 for the RAF and was used as a trainer until 1946 before being transferred to disposals. John Dyer, a former RAAF pilot bought the aircraft and flew it to Australia, where he sold to George Lewis of Kalgoorlie, proprietor of Goldfields Airways, in 1947. The Proctor was restored to flying standard in 1953, and Lewis made the aircraft available to the Royal Flying Doctor Service carrying out numerous mercy flights for injured miners, station workers, pastoralists and their families. The aircraft changed hands several times, eventually becoming a total wreck and languishing in a disused hangar in Perth until 1978 when Frederick Edmunds and his partner became joint owners. Edmunds spent the following five years (over 3000 hours) and $35,000 restoring the aircraft, replacing the panelling of its wooden fuselage and rebuilding the engine. The restoration process is recorded in the accompanying photograph album.

Object information

When

  • Associated date

  • 1944
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  • Completed, allocated RAF Serial P6245, and operated for 1358 hours and 55 minutes

  • Associated date

  • 1947
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  • Purchased and placed in storage by George Lewis of Kalgoorlie, proprietor of Goldfield Airways

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