The BAC Jet Provost (originally built by Hunting Percival) was a British jet-powered trainer aircraft used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) from 1955 to 1993. The Jet Provost was also successfully exported, serving in many air forces worldwide.
In the 1950s the RAF issued a requirement for a new dedicated jet training aircraft. Hunting Percival developed the Jet Provost from the piston-engined Percival Provost basic trainer. On 16 June 1954, the prototype XD674 made its first flight from the factory at Luton Airport, flown by Dick Wheldon. The Air Ministry ordered ten of the Jet Provost T1.
In June 1957, an order was placed for the first 40 of the developed Jet Provost T3, featuring a more powerful Armstrong Siddeley Viper jet engine, ejector seats, a redesign of the airframe, and a shortened and strengthened version of the 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 1960, fitted with a new Viper engine and first flown on 15th July, and this was followed by the pressurised T5 in 1967.
The T51 was an armed export version, sold to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Kuwait and Sudan. It was armed with two 7.7-mm (0.303-inch) machine guns. The T52 was another export version sold to Iraq, South Yemen, Sudan and Venezuela, with the same armament as the T51. The T55 was the final armed export version which was sold to Sudan.
A more heavily armed variant of the airframe was developed as the BAC Strikemaster.
- Introduced: 1955