View Full Version : 2 FTS Syerston Jet Provost colourschemes

24th Mar 2008, 22:02

One of my acquaintances has recently purchased a Jet Provost T.3, and is hoping to complete it in the colours it wore with 2 FTS at Syerston in the early 1960s.
The aircraft in question, XM478, was coded 21, and was almost certainly finished in the silver grey colourscheme with yellow areas on the nose, tail section and outer wings. There are a variety of images available on the net, but none which show XM478.
Also required is a colour image of the 2 FTS badge, the dimensions of said badge, and advise on how to accurately position the badge on the nose of the aircraft.
If anyone can come up with something other than what intensive web searches can provide, my colleague would be extremely grateful.



24th Mar 2008, 22:13
I assume you have seen this one as 33 of 1FTS ? Keith.


24th Mar 2008, 23:45
On the line at Syerston in 1961. Coded 43. No yellow on the nose but a band on the fin (not crossing onto the rudder).


The Syerston badge should be on the net somewhere - try the RAF Marham site.

Hope this helps.


25th Mar 2008, 13:28
I trained (?) at Syerston in '65-'66. No yellow aircraft then, all silver and dayglo. PM me with an email address and I'll try and get some pics to you, including the crest.

25th Mar 2008, 21:53
Bee, that`s a Mk4 anyway,and I don`t recall the jets having red flashes in `63, but `Oldtimers` is creeping in... Anyway, flew `XDL/478 in `98/99.
See `www.jetprovostheaven.com

26th Mar 2008, 00:09
Yes, I know it's a T.4 but the original question was about the Syerston JP colour scheme in the early '60s. Pic shows a Syerston JP in the early '60s therefore is apt. Don't know about '63 as I was, by then, in RAFG waiting for the Russians to roll across the plains.


26th Mar 2008, 10:59
Hello everyone

Thanks very much for these replies, and particularly the photos showing the red bands. My Italian friend was just about to pick up a yellow paint pot. Now he is busy revisiting his research. It seems that the RAF are quite strict in their criteria for the granting of approvals to carry an ex-military scheme: the colourscheme must be accurate, and it must reflect the service history of the aircraft.

Anyway, he is extremely grateful, and very surprised by the level of interest shown in his project.


27th Mar 2008, 12:12
Hello...I'm back...

Given the variety of colourschemes now potentially available for XM478, is it possible to tie down the periods during which the colourschemes mutated ?

Thanks to everyone again for their invaluable assistance.


27th Mar 2008, 15:16
Hi again HB. Since the RAF are particular about the colour scheme, perhaps the Air Historical Branch could help? They are a part of the RAF after all. Failing that, try either the RAF Museum at Hendon or the Imperial War Museum. As I said earlier, I know the colour scheme I sent you was valid May '65 to May '66. Whether 478 was there at that time I can't say.

27th Mar 2008, 16:42
The IWM would refer you straight to the AHB.

Just a thought; when you have the best approximation of what the machine would have looked like at that time, why not send a picture of the proposal to the Air Force for approval. If they say that it doesn't match their records they may be amenable to sharing them so that it can be right

Dick Whittingham
27th Mar 2008, 19:09
I flew XN557 a lot in '61. It was a CFS aircraft, but I can't recall any difference from the Mk 3s I flew at Syerston in '60.

XN557 colour scheme was: Tip tanks - dayglo. Wing outer panel, not ailerons, from the centerline of the roundel outward, top and bottom - dayglo. Ailerons, top and bottom - silver. Flaps, top and bottom - dayglo. Inner wing - silver (with black walk strip on root top). Rear fuselage, aft of point where fin merged with fuselage, but not including any fin or the tailcone - dayglo.Remainder of fuselage, not nosecone -silver. Nosecone, swept back and under to a point between the air intakes- dayglo. Tail - silver. Tailcone - metal. Don't forget the black anti-glare on the nose.


27th Mar 2008, 19:22
Beeayeate's picture is spot on for the early sixties, it matters not that the picture is of a T4, T3's were in the same scheme. The picture does not convey the exact shade of fluorescent dayglo red/orange, however. But change the code letters to 21, and everything else would be right, down to the small yellow band on the fin.

I stand to be corrected, but as far as I know the JP3's never wore yellow; for certain the vast majority were delivered with dayglo - the markings of the old Airfix Jet Provost kit , showing it with yellow bands, may have perpetuated the yellow bands myth.

Paint dayglo gave way to dayglo strips, not such an attractive colour scheme, in the early to mid sixties. The first JP in the red and whire colours appeared in 1968, in the following years those that were not retired were repainted.

As for getting the colour scheme exactly right, I'd suggest looking at aircraft modelling sources, things like Decal sheets sold by Hannants .

If your friend does choose the dayglo scheme, he will have made a a very rare and eye-catching choice, I can't think of anything flying in those colours, not in the UK anyway.

27th Mar 2008, 21:07

Please check your PMs

28th Mar 2008, 12:10
As I recall, only the Mk 4's had the fleet number on a yellow background. One "Hoss" Innes used to demonstrate 36 to great effect.

A FTC contest for the then new paint scheme for the Command, was won by Terry Hall, a QFI at Syerston.

Dick Whittingham
28th Mar 2008, 15:34
I've found a photo of us in an early publicity shot - winter of 60/61 I would guess. XN465, 548 and 550 and XM346. All look brand new, and are in the colour scheme I gave above. No CFS crest yet, and no fleet numbers, but 465 is coded RU and 346 as RR.


And there were one or two pre-production Mk 3s at CFS in 59/60, with LERX that were returned to the factory. Did they have yellow bands on silver?

2nd Apr 2008, 20:55
Back again

Please can we examine what has been established so far - this includes PMs.

It is becoming highly likely that XM478 was not, in fact, a Syerston machine, so the title of this thread is incorrect. It is probable that this was initial confusion engendered by the XM378/478 situation.

The available research material places XM478 with:
'17'/1 FTS, 1970
'104'/7 FTS, RAF Church Fenton, 1983
'33'/1 FTS, RAF Linton-on-Ouse, 1984-1989

It would appear highly unlikely that the aircraft was ever yellow/aluminium.
My colleague is therefore left with two choices of red highlighting: the dayglow red areas initially painted on various areas, or the dayglow bands applied by dayglow tape. I would like confirmation that the dayglow paint highlighting was replaced by the dayglow taped bands.

My colleague is very grateful for the response. He is pursuing a similar line of inquiry for his former French military CAP-10. HIs other aircraft, being Italian, are easier for him to research.

Thanks again


8th Apr 2008, 19:06
Bit off the JP thread but I hoped someone with Syerston Connections might be able to throw a little light on a dark days happenings. Time mid fifties, ambling back from the outside bogs at my infant school eyes clapped on the sky as usual ( We lived at the end of RR Hucknall runway so there was always something flying) I know not why but I swung to the west and looked high to see a growing fireball developing with 'smoke' trails falling off in all directions. At the age of 7 I only exibited a mild curiosity. Many years later I tripped across a report of 2 x Vampire T11's destroyed over Nottinghamshire in a mid air and suffered one of those ha ha! moments. Were they from Syerston? Flew many times from Syerston with 644 643? GS can't remember the No exactly as we traipsed between the two schools for years.

9th Apr 2008, 17:50
Prangster, there was a Vulcan accident in 1958, it's on the military site. Don't know how to post a link, but a search for "Vulcan" and Syerston" will bring it up. (Sorry for thread creep, but I felt it was worth an answer)

Dick Whittingham
10th Apr 2008, 09:38
Vampire collision - 1958. Not Syerston, possibly Swinderby. Upset my wife, who saw shock horror headlines. I was miles away at Thorney Is flying Vampire NF10s.

Vulcan - rolling g overstress in display, wing skin began to strip.


Dan Winterland
10th Apr 2008, 10:03
The Vulcan was the RR Conway test bed. It was overstressed as Dick mentioned, at an open day in front of a large crowd. There's a famous picture of it breaking up. I found a piece of it just embedded in the ground on the airfield in about 1985.

10th Apr 2008, 10:43
There is doubt about both the alleged overspeed and overstress - the 'Syerston' Vulcan had very probably already been substantially damaged by the aerobatics it had suffered at the hands of RAF pilots who had flown it at Hucknall.

When Avro's pilots flew aeros in the Vulcan, it was always given a thorough inspection afterwards. But this wasn't done at Hucknall in the same way - and the aircraft was enormously overpowered compared to the versions displayed at Farnborough.

One RAF pilot had previously looped the 'Syerston' Vulcan - no doubt seriously overstressing it as a result. Hardly surprising that the aircraft later disintegrated as it conducted the flypast at Syerston.

Dan Winterland
10th Apr 2008, 11:01
IIRC, the Syerston Vulcan was one of the Mk 1 prototypes which had been aerobatted frequently. The SBAC shows in the early 50's had both the Victor and the Vulcan doing improbable things for a 4 engined aircraft in front of the ministers in charge of the cheque books. You have to remeber it in context that it was considered only one aircraft would get the order.

Both the Victor and Vulcan prototypes crashed - metal fatigue?

Tim McLelland
10th Apr 2008, 17:04
I would think that if you're aiming for a 1960's scheme, you'd be confined to High Speed Silver with dayglow orange nose, tail and wings trim. I've seen quite a few shots of Syerston aircraft later in the 1960's and they all seem to have swapped to the later Light Aircraft Grey scheme with dayglow orange "Fabglow" patches applied.

The silver/yellow scheme was very short lived and only applied to a few very early JP's. Daygow is the way to go but the problem is that either paint or "fabglow" fades quite quickly, so you'll have a busy time keeping it looking tidy! I just hope the serial fonts are correct - not the ghastly transfers that are used on so many warbirds and museum aircraft these days!

Have you thought about doing the "Vipers" aerobatic team markings applied to some Syertson aircraft? very colourful!

Tim McLelland
10th Apr 2008, 17:08
Re- the famous Vulcan incident at Syerston, the cause was simple - the pilot exceeded the permitted speed and overstressed the aircraft when he started to manoeuvre, causing the wing to break up. Looping and rolling was pretty common with the Woodford test pilots by all accounts. They knew how to do it properly (keeping a bit of g on all the way around the manoeuvre) but I was told by former Avro people that Jimmy Harrison was asked to stop rolling/looping the aircraft as service pilots were trying to do the same manoeuvre - badly! I belive his last roll was during a visit to Finningley and by the time he got back to Woodford, he'd been asked not to do it again. Spoilsports!

10th Apr 2008, 17:35
I was there boys I was there. Big impression on a little fellah.

Amos Keeto
10th Apr 2008, 19:56
XM478/G-BDXL currently wears a silver scheme with yellow training bands, but no JPs wore this scheme in service. About a dozen JPT3s were painted in that scheme before delivery, but the RAF changed their mind and adopted the solid-dayglo paint scheme as per the attached photo of a formation of 2 FTS JPs just after delivery in 1960. Unfortunately, the old Airfix Jet Provost kit never caught up with reality and never got changed, making model-makers think that JPs entered service with yellow trainer bands, which is wrong. The solid-dayglo paint scheme lasted until 1965 when it was replaced with the dayglo Fablon paper stripes, as it was easier to replace the strips of dayglo paper than keep repainting the dayglo when it faded.


Tim McLelland
10th Apr 2008, 22:28
I never established whether the "fabglow" strips were any more practical than paint. Photographic evidence suggests that they faded just as quickly, but I would imagine removing plastic strips was more hassle than removing paint! Either way, it was a shame that the colourful dayglow period ended and the mundane red/white/grey scheme took over. I guess the only consolation is that if the JP's were still in service, they'd be black now - eugh!

If the owner of the JP is going for a Syerston scheme, I'd definitely suggest the Vipers aerobatic team colours - definitely the most attractive option.

Dan Winterland
11th Apr 2008, 04:37
I think the black scheme looks cool!

I was at Scampton in the early 90s when one of our Tucanos was painted dark blue for the display season. It was often the only aircraft you saw when airborne! This prompted the new colour scheme as it stood out so well.

BEagle had the Brize flying club aircraft painted dark blue with gold stripes at about the same time. One of the best colour schemes I've seen on a light aircraft.

Dick Whittingham
11th Apr 2008, 14:47
At the end of my time in FT the scientific mob came up with two startling bits of research. One was that patches of this and patches of that worked as dazzle camouflage and that a solid colour gave a quick "shape" recognition of an aircraft. Black followed shortly thereafter.

The other was that years of assessment had shown that the only two factors that gave a predictable increase in the possibility of surviving RAF flying training were youth and previous flying experience.



Ref the pic. I have all three in my log book. 3 (XM368) was, understandably, an early delivery, arriving at Syerston in late '59. 18 and 21 came in early '60

12th Apr 2008, 18:37
Thanks for the Vampire Info I'd kinda forgotton Swinders was a FTS. The Vulcan Crew have a memorial plaque in the Rolls Royce Hucknall Museum. I worked there before the company went under in 1971.

12th Apr 2008, 20:45
Interesting, but a quick look at pictures that I have of 6 FTS Acklington in 63/64 seem to show that we had dayglo strips, and not painted on colours.

Tim McLelland
12th Apr 2008, 23:36
I guess black is as good a colour as any other for high visibility but it's just the latest fashion in a long line of colour schemes that come and go. Obviously, there is no ideal colour scheme, so it'd just a case of whatever the right people think is "cool" at the time. Hopefully, the fashion will die before too long and we can look at something a little more attractive. I mean, black Dominies? Eugh!

Anyway, Jet Provosts should be grey with dayglow stripes - that's what a "proper" JP should look like!;)

13th Apr 2008, 14:22
Reference Prangster's Post 17:

A couple of JPs collided in the climb-out lane of Syerston's RW25 26 May 1966

Jet Provost T4 Serial No. XP631, No. 2 Flying Training School, The aircraft was a write-off but the pilot was uninjured.

Jet Provost T3 Serial No. XM384, 2 FTS. The aircraft was a write-off but both pilots were uninjured.

Jet Provost T4 Serial No. XP617, recovered to SJ with CAT2 damage.

Excellent account can be found here http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/woodboroughheritage/PlaneCrash/PlaneCrash.html

Regarding the gliding in latter years...
Pre Oct 1992 it would have been 644, post could have been either!

7th May 2008, 10:36
Dear Sir,

I'm Renzo catellani and I'm the present owner of JP XM478/G-BXDL.

Iwant to thank you all for your precious and very appreciate support.

With these informations, Ill be able to replace the actual silver/yellow livery with an original one silver/dayglo.

Thank to your interest, Ive received several emails with different informations and I've stated that XM478 flew with 1FTS (28/09/1960 to 22/10/1974, coded "17") then, after having had the upgrade to "A" standard at BAC Warton (23/10/1974 to 27/01/1975), still with 1FTS.
From 22/12/1980 it was assigned to 7FTS (coded "104") up to 30/09/1984). From 01/10/1984 it was sent to 1FTS again (but coded "33") up to her retirement on 02/09/1994.

However, in this very interesting and precious topic I haven't understood if 1FTS adopted, in the early sixties, RED or ORANGE dayglow scheme.

Can you help me?

Very soon I'll be able to present a picture with the first view af the new colour scheme.

Thank you for your patience :ok: (and soory for my poor english!!!:bored:).

Best regards,

Renzo Catellani

Dan Winterland
8th May 2008, 01:30
Syerston is indeed a dangerous airfield. That's where I met Mrs Winterland!

10th May 2008, 00:38

It's great to hear that you will be going with the Dayglo colour scheme on your Jet Provost. As to whether it's red or orange, the picture that Amos Keeto has posted is an excellent guide; more orange than red, I would say.

You have also been advised correctly that XM478 served with 1 FTS at Linton on Ouse, and was never at Syerston.

Now you need a 1 FTS badge, not difficult I would imagine as they are still around, and still at Linton on Ouse...

Good luck with your project

11th May 2008, 18:31
Ah yes, the 'Strikemouse'.....

The aviation press luvvies made the long trek to RAF Brawdy in the Summer of '76 to take piccies of the 25th Anniversary of the Hunter. So 4 of us in F Mk 6As were authorised to take off to escort Neville Duke in a T Mk 7 from Dusnfold back to Brawdy.

All went as planned (although I was a bit shabby on the break!). But then all the unwashed journo rat pack did was to take piccies of the 'Strikemouse' and Winston, the Meteor F Mk 8, parked on the VASF pan by the tower......:hmm:

We never did get into the news - something about the Spams landing a probe on Mars took priority!

Have to admit, though, that the 'Strikemouse' looked much better in green-and-grey than it had in horrid Learning Command ice cream van colours :yuk:!

Amos Keeto
12th May 2008, 14:26
Yes indeed, there are two basic colours of 'dayglo orange' The USAF mainly used a colour called 'Blaze', whilst the RAF used 'Fire Orange', which was more red but still an 'orange' colour'. I had a roll of this RAF dayglo colour and may still have some pieces. Actually, I'm sure the RAF still use it for various things other than on aircraft.

12th May 2008, 14:54
Used on Shadow boards in Tool Stores.

12th May 2008, 20:18
I'm with Tim on this one, our JP4 (XS186) is returning to her original grey with dayglo this year (College of Air Warfare badges too, now that's a unique scheme!).
We have tried some original fablon dayglo, horrible to apply nicely though , so although more original, we are painting our dayglo on, having found a perfect match from a German company with a non fade 10 year guarantee, that's German goods for you .....

Tim McLelland
8th Jan 2009, 12:29
Any news (or photos) of these aircraft yet? I'd be fascinated to see the results - and hopeful that they're not too far removed from their original style!:)

8th Jan 2009, 14:44
When the dayglo stripes were applied they were sealed around the edges with a clear sealant to stop the airflow lifting them. Can any engineers/paintshop people confirm this ?

8th Jan 2009, 15:46
a German company with a non-fade 10 year guarantee, that's German goods for you .....

I thought they were supposed to last "For a thousand years!"

OK, OK, I'll get my coat.......

Senior Pilot
8th Jan 2009, 19:58
Wasn't one of the keys to a good Dayglo paint job the matt white base prior to the dayglo application? ISTR that was a major PITA for 'touching up' faded dayglo, having to get all the way back to creating a good white base. And if it wasn't a matt finish, the dayglo would just slide off on the first flight :p

3rd May 2009, 18:17
I was interested to read of the Vampire m/a/c at Swinderby. There was another at Oakington in 1959. Any idea of the names of the team members?

Tim McLelland
3rd May 2009, 22:21
Wasn't one of the keys to a good Dayglo paint job the matt white base prior to the dayglo application?

Guess that rather depends on whether the JP was painted in the silver/dayglow scheme or if it's from the later (and longer) period when they were painted silver (and subsequently Light Aircraft Grey) with fablon dayglow patches (aka "Fabglow"). I've always thought that the later stick-on dayglow schemes looked more attractive.

It kinda saddens me that the RAF churn-out a couple of specially-painted Hawks (and Tucanos) every year and they're always the same variation on a tired old (black) theme apart from the "Spitfire" scheme last year of course. Wouldn't it be brilliant to see a Hawk in Light Aircraft Grey with dayglow patches - just to see what it would have looked like?!