Percival Provost T1 performance and specifications
Percival Aircraft before it became part of
the Hunting Group in 1954. A cantilever
low-wing monoplane with fixed tailwheel
landing gear and powered by an Alvis
Leonides 126 engine, it provided
side-by-side seating for instructor and
pupil. Three prototypes were built, two
powered initially by the Armstrong Siddeley
Cheetah I8, the other Cheetah-engined
prototype flying on the 24th by an Alvis
Leonides, the first February
Adopted as the
RAF's basic trainer in 1953 superseding the
Percival Prentice in Flying Training
Command, the Provost remained in service in
that role until replaced by a development of
the design, the Jet Provost, in 1961.
The Provost was selected for production
following competitive trials with the
Handley Page HPR2. The first flight took
place on 24 February 1950.
Of the 15
companies involved in the fierce competition
for design approval, Percival led the pack
because it had privately developed a mockup
trainer that anticipated many of the RAF's
requirements. Called the P.56,
the Percival entry also had the edge because
their early start made them the only firm
able to meet the time limits specified by
the RAF for delivery of a prototype. Thus,
an initial order for 200 of the aircraft was
placed with Percival in May, 1951.
First production deliveries were made to the
Central Flying School. The first Flying
Training School (FTS) to be so equipped was
No.6 FTS at Ternhill in October 1953. Other
FTSs equipped were at Syerston, Hullavington,
Feltwell and Worksop.
The Provost proved to be a popular machine
with good aerobatic qualities and 397
aircraft were delivered to the RAF.
The Provost was the last piston engined
basic trainer to be used by the RAF. The
last training unit re-equipped with a
jet-powered version of the design, called
the Jet Provost, in August 1961 but a few
Provosts lingered on until the last one was
retired in November 1969.
Engine: One 550-hp Alvis Leonides 126 radial
Weight: Empty 3,350 lbs., Max Takeoff 4,400
Wing Span: 35ft. 2in.
Length: 28ft. 8in.
Height: 12ft. 2.5in.
Maximum Speed: 200 mph
Ceiling: 22,500 ft.
Range: 648 miles
Number Still Airworthy: