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Edgar Wikner Percival was an ebullient high achiever with a sometimes abrasive personality, a brash Irish-Australian making his mark in the cosy world of British civil aviation between the wars. After RFC service in the Great War, Percival designed the three-seat Gull light aircraft with R H Bound. It closely resembled Basil Henderson's Hendy 311, including the patented wing design, which folded on the Gull. Parnall produced 24 Percival Gulls for private owners and air racers. In 1933 Edgar set up a new firm, the Percival Aircraft Co Ltd at Gravesend, moving to Luton Airport in 1936. The P.1 Gull Four came next, followed by the P.3 Gull Six, P.2 and P.6 Mew Gull, P.10 Vega Gull, and P.16 Petrel. In 1939 the Gull Six became the Proctor 1 in RAF service, followed others up to Proctor VI. Before the end of the Second World War, Percival left the company he had set up, selling it to the Hunting Group. Postwar Percivals included the Prentice, Provost, Prince, Pembroke and Jet Provost. In 1954 the firm was renamed Hunting Percival, producing experimental aircraft including the H.107, which led on to the BAC 1-11 jet airliner, as part of the British Aircraft Corporation, who 'sacrificed' the Luton factory after the TSR2 debacle. Edgar Percival had become a naturalised US citizen, then in 1951 he went to New Zealand to work on aerial crop spraying. In 1954 he returned to the UK and set up Edgar Percival Aircraft Ltd. He designed a new aircraft multi-role STOL (Short Take-Off and Landing) aircraft, the P.9. It became the EP.9, then the Lancashire Prospector, but only 27 were built in total.
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