Military Wiki
Percival Prince
Royal Navy Sea Prince T.1 of 727 Squadron FAA from RNAS Brawdy operational with radar nose in September 1956
Role Transport aircraft
Manufacturer Percival Aircraft Limited
Designer Edgar Percival
First flight 13 May 1948
Number built 75 of all variants[1]
Developed from Percival Merganser

The Percival Prince was a British light transport of the early post-war period. It was a twin-engine, high-wing, cantilever monoplane of all-metal stressed-skin construction; the undercarriage was of retractable, tricycle type.


The design of the Prince followed on from the solitary Merganser. Further development of the type led to the Survey Prince survey aircraft and the Sea Prince. An improved version of the Prince 3 with an increased wingspan and engine and undercarriage modifications was developed for the Royal Air Force as the Percival Pembroke.

Operational history

Percival Prince 3E executive aircraft of Standard Motor Co. at Croydon Airport in April 1954

The Prince was produced in six marks for the civil market. Several examples were operated as executive aircraft including by Standard Motors and Shell Oil. Three aircraft were used by the UK Ministry of Civil Aviation as airport facilities checking aircraft.

The Sea Prince operated in two roles: in T.Mk.1 form it served as a navigation and anti-submarine trainer; the C.Mks. 1 and 2 were flown in the transport role. However, these were landplanes and not COD (carrier on-board delivery) aircraft. Sea Princes operated in both roles from 1954 to 1972 and as a navigation trainer until 1978, when it was replaced by the Handley Page Jetstream



  • P.50 Prince 1 - prototype based on Merganser with modified fin and undercarriage and two 520 hp Alvis Leonides 501/4 engine, one built.
  • P.50 Prince 2 - As Prince 1 with sloping windscreen, stronger mainspar, 5 built.
  • P.50 Prince 3 - As Prince 2 with Alvis Leonides 502/4 engine and lengthened nose on some aircraft, 12 built.
  • P.50 Prince 4 - Conversions to Alvis Leonides 503 engines, 10 converted.
  • P.50 Prince 5 - original designation of the Percival President.
  • P.50 Prince 6 - Conversions to Alvis Leonides 504 engines.
  • P.54 Survey Prince - Prince 2 with lengthened transparent nose and camera hatches, 6 built.

Sea Prince T.1 preserved at the Gatwick Aviation Museum in 2008

  • P.57 Sea Prince C1 - Prince 2 for Royal Navy use, 3 built.
  • P.57 Sea Prince T1 - Prince 3 with long nose housing radar, twin wheeled main undercarriage and lengthened engine nacelles for navigation and anti-submarine training, 41 built.
  • P.57 Sea Prince C2 - Transport version of Sea Prince T1, 4 built.


Civil Operators

  • Brunei Shell Petroleum Company
  • Aeronorte
 New Zealand
 South Africa
United States

Military Operators

  • Royal Australian Air Force - Three Princes were in service with the RAAF from 1952 to 1957. The aircraft were used for communications and support duties at the Weapons Research Establishment, Woomera, South Australia.
    • Air Trials Unit
  • Fleet Air Arm[1]
    • 700 Squadron FAA
    • 702 Squadron FAA
    • 727 Squadron FAA
    • 744 Squadron FAA
    • 750 Squadron FAA
    • 781 Squadron FAA
    • 831 Squadron FAA
  • Royal Naval Reserve
    • 1830 Squadron RNVR
    • 1840 Squadron RNVR
    • 1841 Squadron RNVR
    • 1844 Squadron RNVR


  • On display, Prince, T1-1/98 (cn P.50/41), at Royal Thai Air Force Museum, Don Muang AFB
  • On display, Prince 3E, G-AMLZ (cn P50/46), at Speke Aerodrome Heritage Group, Merseyside, England
  • On display, Sea Prince T.1 WP308 at the Gatwick Aviation Museum, Surrey, England
  • On display, Sea Prince T.1 WP309 at the Solway Aviation Museum, Carlisle Airport, England.[2]
  • On display, Sea Prince T.1 WF118 (569) G-DACA at the Gatwick Aviation Museum, Surrey, England
  • On display, Sea Prince T.1 WF122 (575)CU (c/n PAC/57/18), Now under restoration At Aeroventure,Doncaster,Sth Yorks. Formally of 750 Sqdrn Fleet Air Arm.

Specifications (Sea Prince T.1)

Percival Sea Prince T.1

Data from British Naval Aircraft since 1912[3]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Capacity: 3 students
  • Length: 46 ft 4 in (14.13 m)
  • Wingspan: 56 ft 0 in (17.07 m)
  • Height: 16 ft 1 in (4.90 m)
  • Wing area: 365 ft² (33.9 m²)
  • Empty weight: 8,850 lb (4,023 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 11,850 lb (5,386 kg)
  • Powerplant: 2 × Alvis Leonides 125 radial, 550 hp (411 kW) each


  • Maximum speed: 194 knots (223 mph, 359 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 159 knots (183 mph, 294 km/h)
  • Range: 400 nm (460 mi, 740 km)
  • Service ceiling: 22,000 ft (6,706 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,400 ft/min (7.1 m/s)



See also




  • Jackson, A.J. British Civil Aircraft 1919-1972: Volume III. London:Putnam, 1988. ISBN 0-85177-818-6.
  • Thetford, Owen, British Naval Aircraft since 1912. London:Putnam, 1978. ISBN 0-370-30021-1.

External links

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