British Aircraft (BAC) Jet Provost T.Mk.5A
British Military Trainer Aircraft

Archive Photos

BAC Jet Provost T.Mk.5A (XW323) c.1994 at the Royal Air Force Museum London, Hendon Aerodrome, London, England

British Aircraft BAC P.84 "Jet Provost" T.Mk.5A (N4XW/XW435, c/n EEP/JP/1057) at the 2007 & 2008 Camarillo Air Show, Camarillo, California


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.

  • Role: Military trainer aircraft
  • First flight: 26 June 1954
  • Introduced: 1955
  • Retired: 1993
  • Status: Mostly retired, some examples flown privately
  • Primary user: Royal Air Force
  • Produced: 1958-1967
  • Number built: 753
  • Developed from: Percival Provost
  • Variants: BAC "Strikemaster"

Design and Development

In the 1950s the RAF issued a requirement for a new dedicated jet training aircraft Hunting developed the Jet Provost from the piston-engined Percival Provost basic trainer. On 26 June 1954, the prototype made its first flight, flown by Dick Wheldon. The Air Ministry ordered ten of the Jet Provost T1, and in June 1957, 40 of the Jet Provost T3, featuring a new Armstrong Siddeley Viper jet engine, ejector seats, a redesign of the airframe, and a strengthened, retractable tricycle undercarriage. Percival built one example used purely for structural tests throughout the development stages, giving the designers valuable research into what could be achieved with the basic design. In total, 201 T3s were delivered between 1958 and 1962.

The T4 followed in 1961 with a new engine, and then the pressurized T5 in 1967.

The T51 was an armed export version which was sold to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Kuwait and Sudan. Armed with two 7.7-mm (0.303-inch) machine guns. The T52 was another armed export version sold to Iraq, South Yemen, Sudan and Venezuela. It had the same armament as the T51. The T55 was the final armed export version which was sold to Sudan.

Operational Service

The Jet Provost proved to be a capable trainer; after successful acceptance trials of the T.1, the RAF formally accepted the type in 1957. The definitive T.4 and T.5 variants with the more powerful Vipers fitted, had extra thrust available, and that encouraged the RAF to utilize 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.

Besides service with the RAF, the Jet Provost found success as an export product. 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 airshows.


  • Hunting Percival Jet Provost T1: Initial production batch for the RAF (12 built).
  • Hunting Percival Jet Provost T2: Development aircraft only (4 built).
  • Hunting Aircraft Jet Provost T3: Main production batch for the RAF (201 built).
  • Hunting Jet Provost T3A: Modified T3 with improved avionics for the RAF (70 built).
  • BAC Jet Provost T4: Variant with more powerful engine for the RAF (185 built).
  • BAC Jet Provost T5: Pressurized version for the RAF (110 built).
  • BAC Jet Provost T5A: Converted T5 with improved avionics (94 built).
  • BAC Jet Provost T5B: Unofficial designation, basically a T5 with some conversions and used for navigator training.
  • Hunting Aircraft Jet Provost T51: Export version of the T3 (12 built for Ceylon, four built for Sudan, and six built for Kuwait) (22 built).
  • BAC Jet Provost T52: Export version of the T4 (12 built for Iraq, 15 built for Venezuela, eight built for Sudan) (50 built).
  • BAC Jet Provost T55: Export version of the T5, built for Oman (5 built).
  • BAC Strikemaster: Ground attack version of the T5.


  • Australia: Royal Australian Air Force - Only one aircraft was ever used by the RAAF. A single Jet Provost T.Mk 2 was in service with the RAAF for six months in 1959, it was used for tests and evaluation with No. 1 Basic Flying Training School RAAF.
  • Ceylon: Royal Ceylon Air Force receive 12 Jet Provost T51 aircraft
  • Iraq: Iraqi Air Force received 12 Jet Provost T52 aircraft
  • Kuwait: Kuwait Air Force received six Jet Provost T51 aircraft
  • Oman: Sultan of Oman's Air Force received five Jet Provost T55 aircraft
  • Singapore: Republic of Singapore Air Force - 3 × T.52s (ex-South Yemen Air Force airframe) operated from the 1975 until 1980.
  • South Yemen: South Yemen Air Force
  • Sudan: Sudan Air Force received four Jet Provost T51 and eight T52 aircraft
  • United Kingdom: Royal Air Force
  • Venezuela: Venezuelan Air Force received 15 Jet Provost T52 aircraft

Specifications and Performance Data (Jet Provost T.Mk.5)


  • Two-seat jet primary and basic trainer


  • Cantilever low-wing monoplane.
  • Wing section NACA 23015 (modified) at root, NACA 4412 (modified) at tip.
  • Dihedral 6°, Incidence 3° at root, 0°: at tip.
  • All-metal structure, with main and subsidiary spars, having three-point attachment to fuselage.
  • Metal-covered ailerons with balance tabs.
  • Hydraulically-operated slotted flaps.
  • Hydraulically-operated air-brakes and lift spoilers on wings at rear spar position ahead of flaps.
  • Air-brakes and flaps hydraulically-operated.


  • All-metal semi-monocoque stressed skin structure, built in two parts, comprising bulkheads, built-up frames and longerons, covered with light alloy panels.
  • Two sections are joined in line with wing subsidiary spar.
  • Hinged nose-cap provides access to pressurization, oxygen, radio and electrical equipment.

Tail Unit:

  • Cantilever all-metal structure.
  • One piece tailplane, interchangeable elevators, fin and rudder.
  • Fixed surfaces covered with smooth and movable surfaces with fluted alloy skin
  • Combined trim and balance tab in starboard elevator, balance tabs in port elevator and rudder.

Landing Gear:

  • Hydraulically-retractable tricycle type.
  • Main wheels retract inward into wings, nose-wheel forward.
  • Dowty oleo-pneumatic shock-absorbers.
  • Dunlop wheels and tubeless tires.
  • Dunlop hydraulic disc brakes.

Power Plant:

  • One Rolls-Royce Bristol Viper Mk 202 turbojet engine (2,500 lb = 1,134 kg st) in fuselage aft of cockpit.
  • Lateral intakes on each side of forward fuselage.
  • Internal fuel capacity (one integral tank outboard and three bag tanks inboard in each wing) is 262 Imp gallons (1,191 liters).
  • Refuelling point near each wingtip.
  • Two wingtip fuel tanks, total capacity 96 Imp gallons (436 liters), are standard on Mk 55 aircraft
  • All tanks in wings are interconnected.
  • System designed to permit 30 seconds of inverted flight.
  • Oil capacity 1.75 Imp gallons (8 liters).


  • Two persons side-by-side in pressurized cabin, on Martin-Baker automatic ejection seats suitable for use down to ground level and 90 knots (104 mph = 167 km/h).
  • Power-operated rearward-sliding canopy.
  • Dual controls standard in T.Mk 5.


  • Pressurization and air-conditioning system by Normalair and Tiltman Langley, differential 3 lb/sq in (0.21 kg/cm² using engine bleed air.
  • Hydraulic system, pressure 1,500 lb/in² (105 kg/cm², for landing gear, flaps, air-brakes, lift spoilers and wheel brakes.
  • Engine-driven generator provides 28V DC supply.
  • Two 25Ah batteries.
  • Two inverters supply phased AC to flight instruments and flre warning system.
  • Automatically-controlled gaseous oxygen system for each crew member.

Armament (optional):

  • The Mk 55 is fltted with GM2L reflector gun-sights, but as an alternative SFOM sights can be fitted.
  • Provision is made for a camera recorder, and two 7-62-mm FN machine-guns (with 550 rpg) are fitted in the nose of each engine air intake duct.
  • Strongpoints are provided under each wing for the carriage of external stores.
  • For the Mk 55, these include: two 75 Imp gallon (341 liter) fuel tanks; 12 × 8-cm Oerlikon 9-7 kg rockets; 18 × 8-cm Hispano-Suiza 11-9-kg rockets; 72 × 37mm SNEB rockets in four Matra launchers; four FN 7-62-mm. machine-guns in two pods (500 rounds per gun); 48 × 2-in rockets in two White & Riches launchers; 24 × 2-75-in rockets in four Matra launchers; four Aerospatiale AS.11 missiles; 6 × 3-in Mk 6 rockets with 60-1b heads or twelve with 25-1b heads; six Type T.10 rockets with 28-kg heads; four HVAR rockets with 35-1b or 52-1b heads; 28 × 68-mm SNEB rockets in four Matra launchers; two Beagle reconnaissance packs, each with one F.95 camera; eight 25-1b practice bombs; four 540-1b bombs; two 500-lb GP bombs, or eight 19-1b fragmentation bombs.

Dimensions (external):

  • Wing span (Mk 5): 35 ft 4 in (10.77 m)
  • Wing span over tip-tanks (Mk 55): 36 ft 11 in (11.25 m)
  • Wing chord at root: 7 ft 8 in (2.33 m)
  • Wing chord at tip: 4 ft 4 in (1.31 m)
  • Wing aspect ratio: 5.84
  • Length overall: 34 ft 0 in (10.36 m)
  • Height overall: 10 ft 2 in (3.10 m)
  • Tailplane span: 13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)
  • Wheel track: 10 ft 8.9 in (3.27 m)
  • Wheelbase: 9 ft 7.4 in (2.93 m)


  • Wings, gross: 213.7 ft² (19.80 m²)
  • Ailerons (total): 19.06 ft² (1.77 m²)
  • Flaps (total): 24.80 ft² (2.30 m²)


  • T-O weight - 2 crew, fuel for one hour: 6,989 lb (3,170 kg)
  • T-O weight - 2 crew, full internal fuel: 7,629 lb (3,460 kg)
  • T-O weight - 2 crew, full internal fuel and tip-tanks: 8,524 lb (3,866 kg)
  • Overload max T-O weight: 9,200 ]b (4,173 kg)

Max level speed:

  • AUW of 6,400 lb (2,900 kg) at S/L: 355 knots (409 mph; 658 km/h)
  • AUW of 6,400 lb (2,900 kg) at 25,000 ft (7,620 m): 382 knots (440 mph; 708 km/h)

Rate of climb:

  • S/L at AUW 6,900 lb (3,130 kg): 4,000 fpm (1,220 mpm)
  • S/L at AUW 7,600 lb (3,447 kg): 3,550 fpm (1,082 mpm)

Service ceiling:

  • AUW 6,900 lb (3,130 kg): 36,750 ft (11,200 m)
  • AUW 7,600 lb (3,447 kg) 34,500 ft (10,500 m)

T-O Run:

  • AUW 6,900 lb (3,130 kg): 1,070 ft (325 m)
  • AUW 7,600 lb (3,447 kg): 1,340 ft (410 m)

T-O to 50 ft (15 m):

  • AUW 6,900 lb (3,130 kg): 1,650 ft (503 m)
  • AUW 7,600 lb (3,447 kg): 2,070 ft (630 m)

Landing from 50 ft (15 m):

  • AUW 6,400 lb (2,900 kg): 2,360 ft (720 m)
  • AUW 7,200 lb (3,266 kg): 2,560 ft (780 m)

Landing run:

  • AUW 6,400 lb (2,900 kg): 1,540 ft (470 m)
  • AUW 7,200 lb (3,266 kg): 1,740 ft (530 m)

Max range: with tip-tanks, at 160 knots (184 mph; 296 km/h) EAS at 35,000 ft (10,670 m) with 288 lb (130 kg) reserve fuel:

  • 780 nm (900 miles; 1,450 km)


  1. Photos, John Shupek, Copyright © 2009 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved
  2. Wikepedia. BAC Jet Provost, 27 November 2009
  3. Taylor, John W.R. (ed.) Jane's All The World’s Aircraft 1971-72. London: Jane's Yearbooks,1971. ISBN 07-032191-4.

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