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.
The Jet Provost proved to be a capable trainer. After successful
acceptance trials of the T1 during late 1955 at No. 2 Flying Training
School at RAF Hullavington,
the RAF formally accepted the type in 1957. The first production
version was the T3, powered by the Viper 102, and this entered service
with No. 2 FTS, now relocated to RAF Syerston, during June 1959, when deliveries commenced from the Hunting Aircraft factory at Luton airport.
The later T4 was fitted with the more powerful Viper A.S.V. 11 of 2,500 lbs static thrust
and first flew on 15 July 1960. It quickly entered service with several
Flying Training Schools including No. 1, No. 2, No. 3 and No. 6.
The T5 variant was further developed and fitted with the Viper 201
and cockpit pressurisation. These developments 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. The first T5 made its maiden flight on 28 February 1967 and
deliveries from BAC's Warton factory commenced on 3 September 1969. Operators of the T 5 included the RAFs Central Flying School and No. 1, No. 3 and No. 6 Flying Training Schools.
Besides service with the RAF, the Jet Provost found success in export
markets. Jet Provosts were withdrawn from RAF service in the early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
The BAC 167 Strikemaster is a British jet-powered training and light attack aircraft. It was a development of the Hunting Jet Provost trainer, itself a jet engined version of the Percival Provost, which originally flew in 1950 with a radial piston engine.
Capable of operating from rough air strips, with dual ejection seats
suitable even for low-altitude escape, it was widely used by third-world
nations. Use of the type was restricted by most users after the Royal New Zealand Air Force found fatigue cracking in the wings of its aircraft. Aircraft retired by Botswana, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia and Singapore have found their way into museums and private collections.
Approximately 11 privately owned Strikemasters are still flying.
The Strikemaster was deployed by the Royal Air Force of Oman on several occasions during the Dhofar Rebellion, including a notable appearance at the Battle of Mirbat. Three Strikemasters were shot down over the course of the war, including one lost to an SA-7 missile.
The Ecuadorian Air Force deployed the Strikemaster during the brief 1995 Cenepa War,
flying ground sorties against Peruvian positions. An Ecuadorian
Strikemaster crashed during a training mission in the Northern Border
area, near Colombia, on 25 March 2009. Both pilots ejected; one later
died of injuries received during the rescue attempt.
In 2009 a new UK-based aerobatic-display team named "Team Viper" after the Viper engine
used in the Strikemaster began displaying at air shows with a fleet of
Strikemasters. They fly formation aerobatics including high speed
opposition manoeuvres and some solo work. "Team Viper" operated five Hawker Hunter aircraft from 2011, until they disbanded in 2012.
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