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Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer — First for the Royal Malaysian Air Force

8 January 2014

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer — First for the Royal Malaysian Air Force

03° 07′ 01″ N / 101° 42′ 12″ E

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer — photo by Joseph May

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer, meant for STOL operations — photo by Joseph May

Scottish Aviation produced the Twin Pioneer — “Twin Pin” — during the 1950s to meet a need civilian and military operators had for a cargo aircraft with STOL (Short Takeoff and Landing) capabilities. The Twin Pin more than fit the bill needing only a 1000 foot  (~300m) runway. It has a characteristic triple tail, braced wings, stout and fixed landing gear as well as a pair of Alivis Leonides 531 radial engines (each rated at 640 hp/ 564kW). The Twin Pin quickly found use in the tropical environments of the Philippines, New Guinea and Malaysia. Interestingly, the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s first aircraft type was the Twin Pioneer.

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer — photo by Joseph May

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer’s stout landing gear and heavily braced wing designs are readily apparent (Rajawali is Malay for hawk) — photo by Joseph May

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer — photo by Joseph May

A better view of the truss wing brace and landing gear design of the Twin Pin — photo by Joseph May

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer — photo by Joseph May

The left side Alivis Leonides 531 radial engine of the Twin Pin — photo by Joseph May

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer — photo by Joseph May

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer pilots were well forward, note the access door below the cockpit and access panel on top of the nose — photo by Joseph May

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer — photo by Joseph May

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer’s triple tail, a characteristic shared with only a few other aircraft types — photo by Joseph May

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer — photo by Joseph May

Twin Pin’s Royal Malaysian Air Force wing marking detail — photo by Joseph May

Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer — photo by Joseph May

This Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer’s condition on exhibit is excellent — photo by Joseph May

The Twin Pin images in this post is located in the Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum* and Ross Sharp has posted in his Shortfinals’s Blog this wonderful photo in his post on the Twin Pioneer.

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*The Royal Malaysian Air Force Museum was reviewed in an earlier post
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5 Comments leave one →
  1. shortfinals permalink
    8 January 2014 10:33

    This is a great photo study of a rare type, Joe. I have some shots of another survivor in the National Cold War Exhibition at the RAF Museum, Cosford, which I hope to feature at a later date. Also, thank you for the kind words about the photograph, Joe. All the credit for the action shot, however, goes to my camera, ‘Mr Nikon’, (or, perhaps, ‘Nikon San’). I just point, close my eyes and shoot……..he rarely misses!

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      8 January 2014 17:16

      Maybe I have to try that zen photo technique 😉 The Twin Pin looks like it’s right for the job but I have not found found anything that has real meat to it (e.g., pilot reports, strengths, quirks, reliability etc.) just that it was successful in island environments. The island examples given where mountainous so, perhaps, it’s implied that steep sloping airstrips were used or small clearings in the jungle canopy? The 2000 pound capacity isn’t a huge amount but enough to keep a small operation going, I would think.

  2. 8 January 2014 11:08

    Hi, Joe..
    This plane is FANTASTIC! I’d never heard of or seen it before….and I’m left wondering here in Indiana!…why someone didn’t carry the design forward. With contemporary refinement it would be a real winner today I have so many questions, I don’t know where to start!…and won’t!…but it sure looks like it is/was a real workhorse.
    questions like …..
    how many people would it carry?
    engine hp?
    was it used as civilian transport (airline)?
    performance capabilities?
    etc. etc.!
    Are there any other places I can find more details on the plane? The triple tail is exquisite!.. The landing setup looks like you could slam it onto the runway without hurting anything!
    I’m hoping that you’ll have more info or photos about it. Its really hard to get a sense of scale with no human reference!…like setting a Cessna 150 alongside !! lol!
    In any case, its a …
    Plane with Panache!
    🙂

    • travelforaircraft permalink*
      8 January 2014 17:10

      Hi David,

      I con’t have original sources but if you don’t mind the use of Wikipedia then it could carry 13 troops or 2000 lbs of cargo with its 640 hp engines. The size of the aircraft size would sit neatly between a Twin Beech and a DC-3. It saw service in the military as well as civilian areas — see the link to Ross’s article in the, as well as his comment in this post — his photos and knowledge are excellent. I’d check the British and Scotland aviation museums for more photos (go to the museum links page where they are grouped by country). Why it wasn’t more successful I cannot say without good sources but I agree — it looks great for the job. Taildraggers are great for STOL but not as good for cargo loading/unloading operations, though. Those are the photos I have, walkarounds aren’t allowed at the museum and I didn’t want to risk running afoul of the Malaysian authorities! The U.S. had a similar aircraft, with three engines no less, and it was the Northrop YC-125 Raider (I have a post on that 😉

      Joe

  3. 28 June 2014 07:32

    Love the Scottish Aviation Twin Pioneer, It looks classy. Thanks for sharing an informative post about this vintage aircraft…

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