Edgar Percival E.P.9
|Edgar Percival EP-9 at Ghent, Belgium c. 1972|
|Manufacturer||Edgar Percival Aircraft Limited|
|First flight||21 December 1955|
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 Aircraft EP-9 Prospector by the Lancashire Aircraft Company.
Design and development
In 1954, Edgar Percival formed Edgar Percival Aircraft Limited at Stapleford Aerodrome, England, his original company had become part of the Hunting Group. His first new design, the Edgar Percival P.9 was a utility aircraft designed for agricultural use. 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. Even when the hopper was fitted, a ground crew of three could be carried when moving between sites.
The prototype (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. Lancashire Aircraft renamed the aircraft the Lancashire Prospector E.P.9 but only six more were built, the last of which was fitted with a Cheetah radial engine as the sole new build Mark Two.
In early 1958 World Wide Helicopters Ltd were operating three EP-9s out of Tripoli, Libya, on flights into and around the Libyan Sahara in support of oil exploration companies (mainly Esso-Libya). These aircraft were registered G-APCR, 'PCS and 'PCT, their construction numbers being 21, 24 and 25 respectively. In 1959 'PCR suffered a non-fatal accident in the far southwest of the country and may not have been subsequently recovered. The other two aircraft were sold in late 1959/early 1960.
In 1959 Kingsford Smith Aviation of Bankstown, Australia re-engined two aircraft with an Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah 10 radial engine as the EP-9C.
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 EP-9 N747JC had a more chequered career and was one of two evaluated by the British Army Air Corps with serial XM819. 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 EP-9 was finally offered for sale in Belgium in 1972. After three years of pleasure flying in England, the aircraft was shipped to the United States where it was stored in a Wisconsin barn until 1999. After extensive restoration, N747JC appeared at Oshkosh in 2001-03, and in 2008 the aircraft was for sale. Per the current owner, the aircraft is for sale as of April 2015.
- Edgar Percival E.P.9
- Production aircraft powered by a 270 hp Lycoming GO-480-B1.B engine, 21 built.
- Edgar Percival E.P.9C
- Two aircraft re-engined in Australia by Kingsford Smith Aviation at Brisbane with a 375 hp Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah 10 radial engine.
- Lancashire Aircraft E.P.9 Prospector
- Continued production powered by a 295 hp Lycoming GO-480-G1.A6 engine, six built.
- Lancashire Aircraft E.P.9 Prospector II
- Prototype (c/n 47 G-ARDG) officially re-engined with a 375 hp Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah 10 radial engine.
- Total produced - 27 airframes (a further unfinished fuselage was not completed)
- c/n 28 VH-EPN under restoration Victoria, Australia
- c/n 36 ZS-CHZ, displayed as 'XM797', airworthy, based SAAF Historic Flight, Zwartkop, South Africa
- c/n 42 ZK-PWZ airworthy, based Kairanga Aviation Ltd, New Zealand
Data from British Civil Aircraft since 1919 - Volume 2
- Crew: one
- Capacity: five passengers (or hopper for 1,550 lb (705 kg) fertilizer)
- Length: 29 ft 6 in (8.99 m)
- Wingspan: 43 ft 6 in (13.26 m)
- Height: 8 ft 9 in (2.67 m)
- Wing area: 227.6 ft2 (21.14 m2)
- Empty weight: 2,010 lb (912 kg)
- Gross weight: 3,550 lb (1610 kg)
- Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming GO-480-B1B flat-six piston engine, 270 hp (201 kW) each
- Maximum speed: 146 mph (235 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 128 mph (206 km/h)
- Range: 580 miles (933 km)
- Service ceiling: 17,500 ft (5,335 m)
- Rate of climb: 1,120 ft/min (5.7 m/s)
- Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
- Flight 30 December 1955, p. 969.
- Jackson 1973, p. 195.
- Odum, David. "Oshkosh 2003 Scrapbook: Percival EP.9." Airplane Zone, 2003. Retrieved: 4 December 2011.
- Jackson 1974, pp. 197–198.
- Flight 30 December 1955, p. 972.
- "Edgar Percival E.P.9." Classic Wings Downunder, Issue 52, Vol. 12, No. 4.
- "The Edgar Percival P.6 - Famous Name Returns to the Scene With a New Agricultural All-rounder." Flight, 30 December 1955, pp. 969–972, 982.
- Ellison, Norman H.Percivals Aircraft (The Archive Photographs Series). Chalford, Stroud, UK: Chalford Publishing Company, 1997. ISBN 0-7524-0774-0.
- The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985). London: Orbis Publishing, 1985.
- Jackson, A.J. British Civil Aircraft since 1919 - Volume 2. London: Putnam, 1974. ISBN 0-370-10006-9.
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