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The BAC Jet Provost (originally built by Hunting Percival) was a Britishmarker jet-powered trainer aircraft used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1955 to 1993. The Jet Provost was also a successful export product, serving in many air forces worldwide.

Design and development

In the 1950s the RAF issued a requirement for a new dedicated jet training aircraft. Hunting developed the Jet Provost from the piston-engined Percival Provost basic trainer. On 26 June 1954, the prototype made its first flight, flown by Dick Wheldon. The Air Ministry ordered ten of the Jet Provost T1, and in June 1957, 40 of the Jet Provost T3, featuring a new Armstrong Siddeley Viper jet engine, ejector seats, a redesign of the airframe, and a strengthened, retractable tricycle undercarriage. Percival built one example used purely for structural tests throughout the development stages, giving the designers valuable research into what could be achieved with the basic design. In total, 201 T3s were delivered between 1958 and 1962.

The T4 followed in 1961 with a new engine, and then the pressurised T5 in 1967.

The T51 was an armed export version which was sold to Ceylon marker, Kuwaitmarker and Sudanmarker. Armed with two 7.7-mm (0.303-inch) machine guns. The T52 was another armed export version sold to Iraqmarker, South Yemen, Sudan and Venezuelamarker. It had the same armament as the T51. The T55 was the final armed export version which was sold to Sudan.

An armed variant of the airframe was developed as the BAC Strikemaster.

Operational service

The Jet Provost proved to be a capable trainer; after successful acceptance trials of the T.1, the RAF formally accepted the type in 1957. The definitive T.4 and T.5 variants with the more powerful Vipers fitted, had extra thrust available, and that encouraged the RAF to utilise the Jet Provost in a number of different roles besides basic training. With a top speed of 440 mph, excellent maneuverability, mechanical reliability and low operating costs, the Jet Provost was utilized as an aerobatic aircraft, air warfare and tactical weapons training as well as advanced training.

Besides service with the RAF, the Jet Provost found success as an export product. Jet Provosts were withdrawn from RAF service in the early 1990s and replaced by Short Tucanos. The Jet Provost remains popular among enthusiasts and being an inexpensive jet, many are now in private hands. Some are flown at airshows.


Model Number built Manufacturer Comments
Jet Provost T1 12 Hunting Percival Initial production batch for the RAF.
Jet Provost T2 4 Hunting Percival Development aircraft only.
Jet Provost T3 201 Hunting Aircraft Main production batch for the RAF.
Jet Provost T3A (70) Hunting Modified T3 with improved avionics for the RAF.
Jet Provost T4 198 BAC Variant with more powerful engine for the RAF.
Jet Provost T5 110 BAC Pressurised version for the RAF.
Jet Provost T5A (94) BAC Converted T5 with improved avionics.
Jet Provost T5B BAC Unofficial designation, basically a T5 with some conversions and used for navigator training.
Jet Provost T51 22 Hunting Aircraft Export version of the T3 (12 built for Ceylon, four built for Sudan, and six built for Kuwait).
Jet Provost T52 43 BAC Export version of the T4 (20 built for Iraq, 15 built for Venezuela, eight built for Sudan).
Jet Provost T55 5 BAC Export version of the T5, built for Oman.
BAC Strikemaster 146 BAC Ground attack version of the T5.


  • Royal Australian Air Force - Only one aircraft was ever used by the RAAF. A single Jet Provost T.Mk 2 was in service with the RAAF for six months in 1959, it was used for tests and evaluation with No. 1 Basic Flying Training School RAAF.
  • South Yemen Air Force

Specifications (T Mk. 5)

See also


  1. UK Civil Aviation Authority Aircraft Register - Entry for former Singapore AF Jet Provost T52 registered G-PROV
  2. Andrade 1982, page 192
  3. History of G-PROV
  4. UK Civil Aviation Authority Aircraft Register - Entry for former Singapore AF Jet Provost T52 registered G-JETP

  • Clarke, Bob. Jet Provost - The Little Plane With The Big History. Stroud, UK: Amberley Publishing Plc, 2008. ISBN 978-1-84868-097-5.
  • Taylor, John W.R. "Hunting Jet Provost and BAC 167." Combat Aircraft of the World from 1909 to the present. New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1969. ISBN 0-425-03633-2.
  • Taylor, John W.R. (ed.) Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1971–72. London: Janes's Yearbooks,1971. ISBN 0-354-00094-2.

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