|"JET PROVOST HEAVEN"|
|THE JET PROVOST T.3|
|[History of the JP3]||[Known survivors]|
|After the JP T.1's very impressive trial with 2FTS at Hullavington, and the improvements made by Hunting-Percival which were produced in the T.2, the RAF formally adopted the Jet Provost in 1957.
The existing T.1 design was developed and Hunting Percival made several improvements to the airframe. Internally the Armstrong-Siddeley Viper 5 engine had been replaced with the more powerful Viper 8 (Viper 102), capable of 1750lbs ofthrust which was employed in the T.2 version. The Canopy had been re-designed allowing the instructor and pupil better all-round vision from the cockpit, and the design was fitted with two Martin-Baker ejection seats for the first time. The wings were also strengthened allowing two tip fuel tanks to be carried on either wing, and three shortened undercarriage units tested on the T.2 replaced the "long-legged" units employed on the production T.1.
The first aircraft off the production line (XM346) took its maiden flight on 22nd June 1958.
Three further examples were delivered in the latter part of 1958, with 37 following in 1959.
As more and more aircraft came onto strength in 1959-60, Squadrons were beginning to re-equip with Jet Provosts, and others were created. The Central Flying School (CFS) based at RAF Little Rissington and the Royal Air Force College (RAFC) based at RAF Cranwell were the two first units to trade in their Piston Provosts for the Jet variety in 1959.
Of 201 T.3 Jet Provosts ordered, all were built and delivered to the RAF between 1958 and 1962. When the last T.3's were coming off the production line Hunting-Percival began development work for a new improved variant, hoping that the RAF would make a further order.
The Jet Provost T.3A remained in use with the RAF's pilot training syllabus for the following 30 years. Some 70 examples were subject to various avionics upgrades by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) in the 1970's, and were officially re-classified T.3A's.
Two long-term users of the type were firstly 1FTS based at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, and 3FTS, initially based RAF Leeming but later had periods based at RAF Scampton and Cranwell where it absorbed the Royal Air Force College's aircraft.
The Jet Provost T.3 was exported to three countries, and classified as the Jet Provost T.51. Ceylon ordered 12 aircraft, Sudan received 4 examples and lastly Kuwait bought six aircraft.
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