Twin Pioneer Restoration Update from Downunder

Both props turning during the Twin Pioneer's recent engine run. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Both props turning during the Twin Pioneer's recent engine run. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Both props turning during the Twin Pioneer’s recent engine run. (photo by Phil Buckley)

Twin Pioneer Close to Flying Down Under

by Mark Booth/Phil Buckley and photos by Phil Buckley

We thought our readers might enjoy a restoration update on the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer at Wedderburn Airfield near Sydney, Australia that we reported on back in December, 2016 (see HERE). The rare Short Take Off and Landing (STOL) transport will soon become the only flying example of the type in the world.

This particular ‘Twin Pin’ rolled off Scottish Aviation Ltd’s assembly line at Prestwick, near Glasgow, Scotland in 1962 as construction number 586, the penultimate example from a production run of 87 airframes. The Royal Malaysian Air Force accepted her as FM1066 on May 28th, 1962, and she continued to serve with them for the next decade. She then went through several civil operators until she ended up at Wedderburn with Richard Thompson.

One of the data plates inside the Twin Pin. (photo by Phil Buckley)
One of the data plates inside the Twin Pin. (photo by Phil Buckley)
A view of the 'Twin Pin' inside the hangar dedicated to the late Sy Allsep, the mad responsible for saving this aircraft and another of the type. (photo by Phil Buckley)
A view of the ‘Twin Pin’ inside the hangar dedicated to the late Sy Allsep, the man responsible for saving this aircraft and another of the type. (photo by Phil Buckley)

Over the past year, the team of volunteers have been working on the airframe and testing it at various times. The most recent effort has focused on bleeding the brake lines from the master cylinders back to the brake control valve up in the hydraulic panel beside the Flap and Slat jack mechanism jack inside the fuse, then bleeding the brakes down to the callipers on the wheels.

Working in the nose bay. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Working in the nose bay. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Brake line gauges inside the engine nacelle. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Brake line gauges inside the fuselage. (photo by Phil Buckley)
John Land working inside the engine nacelle during the brake line bleed work. (photo by Phil Buckley)
John Land working inside the engine nacelle during the brake line bleed work. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Mark Booth working inside the engine nacelle during the brake line bleed. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Mark Booth working inside the fuselage during the brake line bleed. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Mark Booth checking the brake lines during the bleed process. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Mark Booth checking the brake lines during the bleed process. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Brake line gauges inside the engine nacelle. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Brake line gauges inside the fuselage. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Chief Engineer Johnny Land buttoning up the engine nacelle access panels. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Chief Engineer Johnny Land buttoning up the engine nacelle access panels. (photo by Phil Buckley)

Earlier this year Richard Thompson changed the aircraft registration from VH-EVB to VH-SYS, and this is now reflected upon the Twin Pioneer’s airframe as well.

The new aircraft registration lettering applied to the tail. (photo by Phil Buckley)
The new aircraft registration lettering applied to the tail. (photo by Phil Buckley)

Other work has included cosmetic changes to markings with decals either applied to the airframe or removed. The team applied new decals to ensure that the aircraft meets Australian civil aviation regulatory requirements; such as the ‘LIMITED’ class stencil near the main door and a travel warning notification inside the passenger compartment. They also removed the names of previous aircrew from the cockpit area… all but the late Sy Allsep, that is, the man who saved the aircraft.

Richard Thompson applying the Warning decal inside the . (photo by Phil Buckley)
Richard Thompson applying the Warning decal inside the . (photo by Phil Buckley)
The passenger warning label. (photo by Phil Buckley)
The passenger warning label. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Richard Thompson using a heat gun to remove the old aircrew stenciling from the cockpit side. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Richard Thompson using a heat gun to remove the old aircrew stenciling from the cockpit side. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Sy Allsep's name is the only stenciling left on the cockpit skin. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Sy Allsep’s name is the only stenciling left on the cockpit skin. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Richard Thompson cutting out the 'LIMITED' stencil prior to application. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Richard Thompson cutting out the ‘LIMITED’ stencil prior to application. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Richard Thompson applying the 'LIMITED' stencil to the fuselage near the cargo door. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Richard Thompson applying the ‘LIMITED’ stencil to the fuselage near the cargo door. (photo by Phil Buckley)

After they completed the above tasks, the team pushed the Twin Pioneer out of the maintenance hangar to fire up her two Alvis Leonides 531s for an engine run. They also successfully tested the braking systems during a taxi run.

Pulling the props through in the shade, prior to wheeling her out for an engine test. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Pulling the props through in the shade, prior to wheeling her out for an engine test. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Pulling the left-hand prop through prior to the engine test. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Pulling the left-hand prop through prior to the engine test. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Out in the fresh air for an engine test. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Out in the fresh air for an engine test. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Out in the fresh air for an engine test. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Out in the fresh air for an engine test. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Getting ready for engine-start. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Getting ready for engine-start. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Johnny Land in the right seat for the engine test. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Johnny Land in the right seat for the engine test. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Richard Thompson in the captain's chair just prior to engine start. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Richard Thompson in the captain’s chair just prior to engine start. (photo by Phil Buckley)
The right-hand engine is running smoothly. (photo by Phil Buckley)
The right-hand engine is running smoothly. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Running the left-hand engine. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Running the left-hand engine. (photo by Phil Buckley)
A rear view during the engine run. (photo by Phil Buckley)
A rear view during the engine run. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Testing the brakes during a brief taxi run. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Testing the brakes during a brief taxi run. (photo by Phil Buckley)

The aircraft is very close to being ready to fly, so watch this space!


WarbirdsNews wishes to thank Richard Thompson and his team of volunteers for this update. We must also thank them for their hard work and dedication to preserving a rare and sadly neglected aircraft type…. Long may she fly! Many thanks to the contributions to this article from Phil Buckley and Mark Booth as well!

(l-r) Mark Booth, Richard Thompson and Phil Buckley standing under the Twin Pin's nose. (Photo via Phil Buckley)
(l-r) Mark Booth, Richard Thompson and Phil Buckley standing under the Twin Pin’s nose. (Photo via Phil Buckley)
Some of the restoration crew from the recent work party. (photo by Phil Buckley)
Some of the restoration crew from the recent work party. (photo by Phil Buckley)

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