|Location:||National Cold War Exhibition|
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.