The Jet Provost was developed from the Hunting-Percival Piston Provost to meet an RAF requirement for a low cost jet trainer. The Jet Provost first flew in 1954 and served with the RAF from 1955-1993, with a handful still flying in private ownership today.
The first version was the T1, which had very long undercarriage legs associated with Piston aircraft. Only 12 of these were built. The next version was the T2, of which only 4 were built. They were used for trails work, and featured a lower undercarriage, as seen on all further versions of the Jet Provost. The first major version for the RAF was the T3; 201 were built, from which 70 were converted to T3A’s with improved avionics. At the same time the T4 was also developed with an improved engine; 198 of these were built. The last version built for the RAF was the T5, which was a pressurised T4, and 110 were built, of which 94 were converted to T5A with improved avionics. An armed version of the T5 was developed and named the Strikemaster, of which 146 were built for export.
The museum’s Jet Provost, XP557, is a T4, first flown in 1962. From 1962-1971 it was used by RAF College, Cranwell for basic pilot training and from 1971-1975 by No 6 F.T.S for navigator training. Between 1975 and 1991 it was used by No 1 School of Technical Training at RAF Halton for engineer training and did not fly again.
From 1991-2005 it was held in various museum collections, including Bruntingthorpe, Firbeck and Helmswell. In March 2005, it came to our collection. In July 2015 it gained its dazzle finish courtesy of the Guild of Aviation Artists.
The Jet Provost can be found displayed outside.