The Percival Provost was designed by Henry Millicer as a single engine basic trainer as a replacement for the Percival Prentice.
A contract was given to Percival on the 13th January 1950, to produce 2 prototype P.56's powered by a Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah engine. The company also built a third prototype with an Alvis Leonides Mk 25 engine.
The Cheetah powered prototype serial number WE522 first flew on 24 February 1950. However, after evaluation at Boscombe Down, the Leonides powered P.56 was selected for production as the Provost T.1.
An initial order for 200 aircraft was placed on 29 May 1951 with production ending in 1956 with 461 aircraft being manufactured.
The Percival Provost entered service with the RAF in 1953 and had more than twice the power of its predecessor, the Percival Prentice, higher performance and better manoeuvrability.
The aircraft served with the RAF until the early 1960s and formed the basis of its replacement the Jet Provost.
A few Percival Provosts continued in service until the last example was retired in 1969. Several retired airframes were renumbered with maintenance serials and used for training of airframe and engine tradesmen.
At least five Percival Provost have survived as civilian aircraft.
|Crew:||1 or 2|
|Length:||28ft 8in (8.74m)|
|Wingspan:||35ft 2in (10.72m)|
|Height:||12ft 2.5in (3.73m)|
|Empty Weight:||3,350lb (1519.5kg)|
|Max. Weight:||4,400lb (1996kg)|
|Engine:||Alvis Leonides 126|
producing 550 hp.
|Max. Speed:||201 mph (322 km/h)|
|Range:||648 miles (1036 km)|
Provost T.Mk 1
Two-seat basic trainer for the RAF.
Provost T.Mk 51
Unarmed export version for the Irish Air Corps.
Provost T.Mk 52
Armed export version for the Rhodesian Air Force.
Provost T.Mk 53
Armed export version for Burma, Iraq, Ireland and Sudan.
Provost 'XF603' was acquired as part of the Shuttleworth collection in 2001 from Kennet Aviation at Cranfield.
None of the RAF trainers sported this paint scheme but a number of Provosts were sold to Oman where they were used operationally, hence the camouflage.
RAF roundels were required on the delivery flights from the UK to Oman thus justifying the apparent conundrum.