|"JET PROVOST HEAVEN"|
|KNOWN JET PROVOST T.3 SURVIVORS|
|[History of the JP3]||[Back to the known survivors table]|
|HUNTING JET PROVOST T.3A XM424 (G-BWDS)|
|Hunting Jet Provost XM424 was built at Luton. It was delivered to the RAF in April 1960, going initially to 27MU (Maintenance Unit) at RAF Shawbury for final preparations prior to service. A month later, XM424 was delivered to RAF Little Rissington, where it entered service with the CFS (Central Flying School) as aircraft 'R-K'.
On 16th April 1961, XM424 suffered a flying accident, sustaining Cat.3 damage in the resulting impact. A team from 71MU were later sent to repair the aircraft, with work starting a few days later.
On 20th August 1970, XM424 was transferred onto the strength of newly re-formed 6FTS (Flying Training School) at RAF Finningley. It remained in service, as aircraft 'W', with the School until April 1971, when it was moved to RAF Cranwell. Now a part of the RAFC (Royal Air Force College) Jet Provost inventory, XM424 was kept busy on training tasks as aircraft '46' for the next four years.
On 17th December 1974 XM424 was ferried to the British Aircraft Corporation's Warton factory, for conversion to T.3A specification. It was test flown in March 1975, and returned to service a month later, joining 3FTS based at RAF Leeming. This period of service only lasted 10 months, as the aircraft was ferried to RAF Kemble in February 1976, and placed in long term store with 5MU. In 1982 5MU began work to prepare the aircraft for re-entry into service, but it did not get issued to any Unit. Then in 1983, following the closure of RAF Kemble, XM424 was moved to RAF Shawbury for further hibernation.
It's return to service finally arrived on 30th August 1984. XM424 was flown out of RAF Shawbury to join 1FTS, based at Linton-on-Ouse. Flying as aircraft '30', it was kept busy continuously on training duties for the next two years. In June 1986 1FTS loaned XM424 to RAF St Athan, where it was used by the Station Flight as a ferry pilot 'taxi'. It was back in service at Linton-on-Ouse by the beginning of July.
In 1992, the aircraft was selected as the RAF Jet Provost display aircraft, and for this role it received a special colour scheme. This included the name of its pilot, Flt. Lt. Steve Howard underneath the cockpit, and the Yorkshire rose applied on the jet intake.
Sold into civilian hands, XM424 was one of a number of Jet Provosts acquired by Global Aviation. Arriving at its new home, the former RAF Binbrook, in September 1994, XM424 was placed on the civilian register as G-BWDS. It was entered into the MoD auction at Philips in July 1995, but failed to attract any bids. During the mid-1990s the aircraft was sold to a new owner and re-sprayed into a civilian blue colour scheme, similar to that once worn by the RAF Hunter team 'The Blue Diamonds'. It was operated out from North Weald airfield in Essex.
During 2008 it was acquired by the Air Atlantic Classic Flight at Coventry, for use as a trainer for their display pilots, alongside T.5A XW433. Following a period of maintenance, the aeroplane was seen at a few airshows in the UK during 2009, and it is hoped to continue during 2010.
[Return to top of page]