EDGAR PERCIVAL: The Aircraft, The Man and his Legacy

It is curious that of all the British aircraft manufacturers, Percival remains the one least documented. You will look in vain for a history of Edgar Percival the racing pilot and aircraft designer who designed the Percival Mailplane, Bull and Mew Gull racer and then went on to give us Vega Gull, Proctor, Prentice, Provost, Jet Provost and eventually, after the hiatus of company consolidation, the Strikemaster, the Hunting P.74 helicopter and the P126 high-lift experimental jet. Percival Aircraft Ltd and Hunting-Percival establishing a great name during and after the Second World War. The only problem was that Edgar Percival the man had very little to do with these aircraft. The fact is that the number of aircraft he actually designed was but three – and one of those wasn't actually his design either! The final fling was the EP.9 agricultural aircraft. But what happened in between? The story is quite extraordinary and starts in Australia with Harry Broadsmith and A V Roe and, via Saunders-Roe, Spartan and Basil Henderson, ends up at Gravesend, then Luton. We find that Percival was hard to get on with, that company changes were very frequent and finally his Board of Directors kicked him out. Disagreement, accusation and downright untruths seem never far away from Percival the man. This well-researched history is the result of six years' study and includes full aircraft details and three-view drawings of all Percival-associated designs including Hunting and BAC. Many rare and never before seen photographs make up this large book. Comprehensively indexed. Published by Stenlake Publishing Ltd, Catrine, 2012. Full details imminent!