Twin Pioneer Close to Flying Down Under
by Mark Booth/Phil Buckley and photos by Phil Buckley
We thought our readers might enjoy a restoration update on the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer at Wedderburn Airfield near Sydney, Australia that we reported on back in December, 2016 (see HERE). The rare Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) transport will soon become the only flying example of the type in the world.
This particular ‘Twin Pin’ rolled off Scottish Aviation Ltd’s assembly line at Prestwick, near Glasgow, Scotland in 1962 as construction number 586, the penultimate example from a production run of 87 airframes. The Royal Malaysian Air Force accepted her as FM1066 on May 28th, 1962, and she continued to serve with them for the next decade. She then went through several civil operators until she ended up at Wedderburn with Richard Thompson.
Over the past year, the team of volunteers have been working on the airframe and testing it at various times. The most recent effort has focused on bleeding the brake lines from the master cylinders back to the brake control valve up in the hydraulic panel beside the Flap and Slat jack mechanism jack inside the fuse, then bleeding the brakes down to the callipers on the wheels.
Earlier this year Richard Thompson changed the aircraft registration from VH-EVB to VH-SYS, and this is now reflected upon the Twin Pioneer’s airframe as well.
Other work has included cosmetic changes to markings with decals either applied to the airframe or removed. The team applied new decals to ensure that the aircraft meets Australian civil aviation regulatory requirements; such as the ‘LIMITED’ class stencil near the main door and a travel warning notification inside the passenger compartment. They also removed the names of previous aircrew from the cockpit area… all but the late Sy Allsep, that is, the man who saved the aircraft.
After they completed the above tasks, the team pushed the Twin Pioneer out of the maintenance hangar to fire up her two Alvis Leonides 531s for an engine run. They also successfully tested the braking systems during a taxi run.
The aircraft is very close to being ready to fly, so watch this space!
WarbirdsNews wishes to thank Richard Thompson and his team of volunteers for this update. We must also thank them for their hard work and dedication to preserving a rare and sadly neglected aircraft type…. Long may she fly! Many thanks to the contributions to this article from Phil Buckley and Mark Booth as well!