The Prentice was the first all metal aircraft to be produced by Percival with the prototype first flying on the 31st of March 1946.
After trials the rudder was found to be inadequate and was modified including a large cut-out in the elevators.
The Prentice was fitted with three seats, two side-by-side seats with dual controls for the instructor and the pupil and one seat behind for a further pupil.
Night flying training was was carried out in daylight hours by incorporating 'amber' screens into the canopy and the use of special goggles. The amber screens could be folded back when not in use.
The Percival Prentice saw service with the RAF with the Flying Training School (FTS) replacing the de Havilland Tiger Moth. Later deliveries of the Prentice saw service with the Reserve Flying Schools (RFS).
The Prentice was used as a trainer aircraft until late 1953 when it was replaced by the Percival Provost. The Prentice was also operated by two Air Signals Schools (ASS) to train signallers unbtil being withdrawn in 1956.
In 1956, 252 RAF Prentices were bought by Aviation Traders Ltd with all but 28 being scrapped. They were converted to civil use with 2 jump seats behind the two pilot seats to allow seating for 4.
|Length:||31ft 6.5in (9.6m)|
|Wingspan:||46ft 0in (14.02m)|
|Height:||12ft 10in (3.68m)|
|Empty Weight:||3,140lb (1424kg)|
|Max. Weight:||4,100lb (1859kg)|
|Engine:||Gipsy Queen 32|
producing 251 hp.
|Max. Speed:||143 mph (230 km/h)|
|Range:||466 miles (745 km)|
Percival P.40 Prentice T.1 (VR259/M, G-APJB) giving a pleasure flight in 2007 at Kemble Airport, Gloucestershire, England.
The aircraft was built in 1948 and is now owned by the Air Atlantique Classic Flight, Coventry, England.