North East Aircraft Museum      

The Jet Provost owned by the North East Aircraft Museum is ex- London Colney, Hatfield,27 MU, 6FTS, 3FTS, 1FTS.

Jet Provost


The prototype first flew on 16 June 1954 and the type was adopted by the RAF as its basic jet trainer (its first jet trainer), deliveries starting in August 1955. The type was based on the piston-engined Hunting Percival Provost, which had previously been the Jet Provost standard basic trainer, a role which it continued to serve in dimishing importance until 1961. So from the early 1960s, pilots completed all their training on jets.

After BAC took over Hunting, the T4 was produced with a Viper 11 engine of 11.100 N thrust. 198 of this mark were built, and were delivered between 1961-64.

Cockpit pressurization was not introduced until the Mk. 5, the ultimate version of the Jet Provost.

The T. Mk4 was phased out of training role by the mid-70s, although a small number served until 1988 in other roles.

The last Jet Provost in service was retired on 20 September 1993. It had been replaced by the Shorts Tucano, which uses eight times less fuel for a similar performance.

It was exported to Sri Lanka, Kuwait, Sudan, Iraq, South Yemen, Venezuala.

Two (TS2) were used by Nigeria against Biafra in 1969, one of which was hit by ground fire.

Aerobatic Display Teams


Formed as a team in 1957, "The Sparrows" were the Central Flying School's official team for two seasons. Led by Flt. Lt. J H Kingsbury the team flew the Hunting Provost T.1 ("The Piston Provost") for it's first year, converting to the Jet Provost T.1 in 1958 under the leadership of Flt. Lt. N Griffin.

"The Sparrows" displayed their Provost T.1s alongside many other RAF teams at the Farnborough Airshow in 1957.

The Piston Provosts flew in standard RAF training colours of silver with yellow training bands; the Jet Provosts having white upper surfaces and red undersides.

When "The Sparrows" disbanded at the close of the 1958 season two aircraft were allocated to a new team - "The Redskins".

The pair performed throughout 1959, being stood-down at the end of that season.

Named after the bird from the Central Flying School's crest, "The Pelicans" were to become the RAF's official team, and were often seen practicing in Cotswold skies.

The team was formed by the Central Flying School in 1960, and initially flew four silver and red Jet Provost T.3 aircraft. In 1962 the team converted to the more powerful Mk.4 and added a fifth aircraft.

The colour scheme changed in 1963 to all-over dayglo red, becoming "The Red Pelicans". At this time a sixth aircraft was added; during the season the team attended many home and European air displays. All aircraft were equipped with smoke generators, to enhance their displays.

1964 saw "The Red Pelicans" being nominated as the official team for the RAF. Led by Flt. Lt. T E L Lloyd, the team ended their season flying co-ordinated displays with the 'Gnats' of "The Yellowjacks" at the Farnborough Airshow.

The "Red Arrows" were formed as a Central Flying School unit in 1965. Whilst being head-quartered at RAF Little Rissington, the Gnat aircraft flew from RAF Fairford, some 20 miles to the south.

With the formation of the "Red Arrows", the "Red Pelicans" were stood down as the RAF's official team. For five years the team continued to entertain airshow crowds, often alongside their more famous colleagues.

For the 1970 season, the "Red Pelicans" converted to the Jet Provost T.5, and were led by Sqn. Ldr. E D Evers. The aircraft carried standard RAF training markings, with "The Red Pelicans" titles on the rear fuselage and a unit badge on the tail.

"The Red Pelicans" disbanded at the close of the 1973 season.



BAC (who absorbed Hunting) fitted a more powerful engine to the Provost T5 to produce the Strikemaster - a trainer/tactical multi-role aircraft suitable for third world and smaller countries. It first flew in October 1967 and has established a world record for the number of repeat orders placed by its export customers. It has been used in action, notably in Oman. Despite its modest performance, it proved popular because of its its toughness, agility, ability to operate from roughest airstrips and its low costs.

The plane was exported to Ecuador, Kenya, Kuwait (9 of which later went to Botswana), New Zealand, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sudan and South Yemen.

In 1969, Saudi Arabia used it against Yemen.

From 1970 it was used in Oman, particularly in the Dhofar region. All of Oman's Strikemasters suffered battle damage.

By 2000, only Sudan had the Strikemaster in front-line service, a total of three aircraft.