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Post WW2: Percival 'Piston' Provost

From 1953 to 1959, 461 Percival Provosts were built, and of these, 330 were used by the RAF for standard training duties (the Provost replaced the Percival Prentice, which in turn had replaced the Tiger Moth as the standard basic trainer in 1946).


The need for this aircraft arose in the late 1940's as the RAF realised that there current training sequence of Percival Prentice, then North American Harvard, was proving inadequate for preparing pilots to move onto the jet aircraft then in use by the RAF.

WW397A two-seat, side-by-side aircraft with fixed landing gear, the Provost is powered by a 550hp Leonides 126 radial engine. A cruising speed of around 110 knots is achievable, and the aircraft has an endurance of at least two hours.

The (Piston) Provost remained in RAF service until they were replaced by a major revision of the design that evolved the aircraft into the Jet Provost trainer. In 1967, this aircraft evolved into the BAC Strikemaster multi-role trainer and light attack aircraft, which was used extensively by the Royal New Zealand Air Force until the late 1990's.


The Provost in temporary Sultan of Oman Air Force colours during a New Zealand airshow.


The Provost lands, taxis and shows off its Alvis Leonides radial engine..


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