Newer Older

    on display at the RAF Museum Cosford
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------------------------

    Known as the 'Twin Pin', the Twin Pioneer was a follow-up to the same company's single-engined short take-off and landing (STOL) transport, the Pioneer, and like the latter required an area only 30m (99ft) by 275m (902ft) in which to operate.

    The Twin Pioneer was initially designed as a 16-passenger civil transport aircraft and first flew in June 1955. Following the success of the Pioneer, the RAF ordered 39 of the new type, the first examples entering service in October 1958 with No.78 Squadron in Aden, air-lifting troops and supplies in the Protectorate.

    STOL characteristics and suitability for operations in tropical conditions were also demonstrated by aircraft based in Singapore (during the Borneo Campaign in the 1960s), in Bahrain (during the 1961 Kuwaiti crisis) and in Kenya (on internal security duties in the mid-1960s). A fifth unit to use the Twin Pioneer was No.230 Squadron at RAF Odiham which provided transport support for Army units.

    In 1965 an additional aircraft was acquired for use by the Empire Test Pilots School, though the last aircraft on frontline duties was retired in 1968.

    Including civilian versions, 89 Twin Pioneers were built, other operators including the Royal Malaysian Air Force and the Nepalese Royal Flight.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------------------------------------------------------

    Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer XL993

    Built by Scottish Aviation at Prestwick to contract 14074 as a CC. Mk.1, constructor’s number 528. Serials batch XL991-997. One of 39 Twin Pioneers delivered to the RAF, which served with six squadrons in the transport, supply dropping, photo survey and casualty evacuation roles, and even as a light bomber.

    12 Jun 58
    First flight

    30 Jul 58
    To No. 22 Maintenance Unit, RAF Silloth, Cumbria.

    30 Sep 58
    Allotted to the first RAF Twin Pioneer unit, No. 78 Squadron, RAF Khormaksar, Aden. Originally flew in standard Transport Command scheme of silver and white with blue cheat line and black serial numbers.

    28 Nov 58
    Arrived in Aden. Coded ‘Y’; one of 8 ‘Twin Pins’ on unit strength by November 1958, providing support to the Aden Levies policing the Aden British protectorate.

    6 Dec 58
    First operational sortie, transporting 1,100lb of supplies and passengers to the outpost at Dhala near the Yemen border, then back to Khormaksar. Total flight time 1.20 hours.

    Flew supplies and passengers to the up country airstrips, mainly Dhala, Lodar, Beihan, Makeiras and Ataq, plus the occasional casevac sortie.

    16 Jan 60
    One of three aircraft detached to Sharjah to provide support for No. 22 Regiment, Special Air Service, making several reconnaissance flights.

    4 Mar 60
    Returned to Khormaksar.

    1 July 60
    Believed grounded awaiting spares during second line servicing until 3 January 1961.

    19 Jan 61
    VIP passenger - The Governor of Aden, Sir Charles Hepburn Johnson, KCGM.

    16 Jun 61
    To No. 131 MU at Khormaksar; Converted to CC.2 configuration; more powerful 640hp Leonides engines fitted.

    24 Nov 61
    Returned to No. 78 Squadron strength, making several local flights that day.

    12 May 62
    VIP passenger - CinC Transport Command, Air Chief Marshal Sir Edmond Hudleston.

    18 Jun 62
    Station medical officer flown on mercy mission to Berbera, Somaliland. The landing was made with the aid of motorcar headlights, but sadly the patient, a baby, had already died.

    23/27 Jun 63
    Assisted in the rescue of a 45 strong British services adventure training party who had strayed into hostile Yemen. On 23rd June XL993 brought back the bodies of four of the group killed by the Yemenis.

    Late 1964

    Radfan area operations against Yemeni supported dissident Qutebi tribesmen north of Aden - XL993 had, uniquely, been modified to carry two Nord SS.11 wire-guided missiles on outboard underwing pylons, and flew two missile firing sorties, on 1st July and 28th July in the Khormaksar area. Also based at Khormaksar at this time were RAFM Argosy XP411, Belvedere XG474, and Hunter FGA.9 XG154.

    25 Nov 64
    Grounded for six months on major inspection with the end of the Radfan offensive following capitulation of the dissidents on 18th November 1964.

    14 May 65
    Two local flights.

    30 May 65
    Last flight with No.78 Squadron.

    1 Jun 65
    No.78 Squadron re-formed re-equipped with Wessex helicopters.

    6 Jun 65
    To No. 21 Squadron, Muharraq, Bahrein, this unit being renumbered from No. 78 Squadron and acquiring its aircraft. Duties continued much as before.

    29 Jul 65
    Leaflet drop.

    18 Sep 65
    Last flight for 6 months

    9 Feb 66
    Air Test - Damaged in flying accident.

    5 Mar 66
    Flew again.

    27 Sep 66
    Began flight back to UK for refurbishment; first stage to Jedda; Cairo - El Adem on 28 Sep and Malta on 29th September.

    2 Oct 66
    Arrived at RAF Lyneham, Wilts.

    3 Oct 66
    Returned to No. 5 MU, RAF Kemble, Glos. For repair.

    2 Nov 66
    To No. 27 MU, RAF Shawbury, Salop.

    14 May 68
    Returned to No. 5 MU, RAF Kemble.

    14 Jun 68
    Displayed statically at the Royal Review at RAF Abingdon.

    Sep 68
    Displayed at RAF St. Athan, Glam.

    19 Nov 68
    Returned to RAF Shawbury; presented to RAF Museum.

    6 Feb 69
    Flown to RAF Henlow, Beds. For storage; struck off charge. The last RAF Twin Pioneers were withdrawn in December 1968 when serving with No 209 Squadron at Seletar, Singapore.

    5 Sep 73
    Allotted RAF Instructional Serial 8388M.

    c. Feb 79
    By road to Aerospace Museum, RAF Cosford, Salop for display in its final brown/sand/black camouflage scheme.

    3 Aug 98
    Donated to RAF Museum by MoD.

    2007 On display in new National Cold War Exhibition building at Cosford.

    2011 Still on display Cosford

    1. crusader752 34 months ago | reply

      Nice machine Gaz - so unique as as it says on the tin could operate from a 'postage stamp' !
      Saw the odd one out of RAF Thorney back when I was knee high and the ETPS had theirs for many years - now with the Coventry outfit in that 'spoof' ripple scheme it never wore?
      Flight One out of Staverton used them for aerial survey and sensor work - could hear them coming for miles - you could have a cup of coffee, read the paper before the 'twin pin' appeared and flogged slowly over......:-))

    2. n303wr 34 months ago | reply

      Thanks to all for the wealth of interesting information. Regards, Jim/N303WR

    3. A F Images 34 months ago | reply

      Nice shot good bit of info.Like :-)

    4. david12lloyd 30 months ago | reply

      I was in Singapore 60/62 when 209 Squadron Twin Pin using Skyshout flew over playing Christmas carols! I was in Thailand - Ubon - when a Twin Pin flew in with a tail wind - we had to hold it down! Although I spent most of my time on Bevs at Seletar - my trade - Air Wireless saw me servicing a variety of equipment during time in ASF and 1124 MCU, until I got a posting to Gan and back to UK for a long delayed Fitters Course.

    5. Gaz West 30 months ago | reply

      Its always nice to hear from a veteran who has stories to tell about these machines. It brings them to life far more than seeing them in a museum. Thanks for sharing your memories ;-)

    keyboard shortcuts: previous photo next photo L view in light box F favorite < scroll film strip left > scroll film strip right ? show all shortcuts