View Full Version : Jet Provosts

Troy Tempest
21st Jul 2002, 18:11
Hi there

I'm researching the history of the Jet Provost for (hopefully) a few articles and other projects and I'm looking for anecdotes, stories and information from pilots who flew them as I'd like to get more than just the technical facts across. I'd also like to get a bit of info on the lesser known JP activities such as the TWU work at Brawdy and the ATC support at CATCS at Shawbury as well as info about the display teams. If anyone was connected with these or can offer help I'd be extremely grateful!


21st Jul 2002, 20:24
'TWU' work was actually carried out by JFACTSU - 'Joint Forward Air Controller Training and Standardisation Unit'. In 1976 they had 3 JP4s, one of which (at least) was re-painted in camouflage colours. They were used to train FACs - often near Templeton aerodrome. Low level attack profiles were flown at half-Hunter speeds (210 KIAS) to get the army chaps ready for the later part of the course. I went for trips in both XP547 and XP564 in July 1976 after finishing my TWU course on the Hunter.

I understand that the JP4s ran out of fatigue not long afterwards and were then replaced with JP3As (the worst model ever - all the lack of performance of the JP3 and 150 lb heavier!). I don't think that the JP3As were ever camo'd; their JFACTSU role was taken over by the Hawk not long afterwards.

22nd Jul 2002, 01:52
The JP3 had a canopy that was wound shut using a handle connected to a cog & chain system. On one of my early solo flights - from an airfield somewhere in Lincolnshire - I was taxying out on a very warm day and decided to leave the canopy open a little longer to help reduce the ambient temperature a little. I finally lined up and wound the monster up to full noise, and then noticed that it was getting a bit windy, so had to take my hand off the noise handle and wind quickly to shut the canopy . The adrenalin must have kicked in at this stage, and the handle came off in my hand.
At about 90kt, I decided I had too much information to deal with and aborted the take-off. Things were quiet until I cleared the runway, and was then asked by the duty instructor as to why I had abandoned the take-off.

'uuuum. Delta 76 has just broken off the canopy winding handle...'

A ghostly voice immediately came over the ether
'ooooooo, you big strong boy, you ......'

23rd Jul 2002, 21:54
I flew in a camouflaged JP4 @ Gutersloh in 1980. Captain was a Flt Lt Thomas who I think parked one not long afterwards in a lake!!

1) believed in response to an emergency, not a cock up &

2) Apologies if it was not him with his hands on the stick &

3) He was a top bloke, distinct lack of fighter pilot ego making him appear human.


1st Sep 2005, 22:40
As I used to work on them at Brawdy, thought I would add few more bits of info:

We had 4 JP's in total (numbered Tail Codes 03, 04, 05, and 06) which fitted in nicely with the Meatbox tailcodes of 01 for Winston and 02 for Clemetine....
2 of the Jp's were cammo painted (03 and 04) until we lost the original 04 in a lake in 1982. Pilot was Dave McKintyre - and we presented him with the actual throttle quadrant from the wreckage as a souvenir (he still has it!!). Cause of crash was wrongly routed throttle cable on student's side during previous servicing.
Once retired, they all lived on in civvy existence. Look out for the Jet Provost Club at Sandoft airfield - that's ex-Brawdy JP 05 in it's new colours...lol
2 are in the USA, and I've lost track of one at the moment... 04 was replaced at some point, leaving Brawdy with 3 red & white Jp's and only 1 in cammo, but that was rectified in the late 80's (I have been sent a photo of 2 in cammo from after the crash year)..

2nd Sep 2005, 07:53
JP 4 also had the manual winding canopy and was easily the "hottest" JP - and for curious reasons the only JP type I ever flew. (Fleet running out of fatigue - Syerston running down - brilliant connect by a bean-counter).

It was also cleared to fly (with some limitations) with canopy open. Was bashing the circuit on a hot day with QFI Ken Tait - subsequently Red 10 then later sadly lost in the Bucc that broke its main spar - when he decides we should do a coupla circuits with the canopy open.

Absolutely brilliant! And made even better by ATC enquiry:

"C/S .. is your canopy open??"

quick as a flash came KT's response.

"Standby tower ..... we'll check and call you back!"

2nd Sep 2005, 08:14
Flew a TP assessment in Jet Provost GAOBU in July 1955 when the RAAF had an interest. I think the RAAF subsequently tried out 2 production models for a while. They may even have been allocated RAAF tail numbers.

It was probably the prototype and had long spindly legs which seemed to flex when the wheel brakes were applied. I think the airfield, which seemed to be on the side of a hill, belonged to Hunting/Percival.

Does anyone know what happened to GAOBU and what was the airfield? How many were produced?

2nd Sep 2005, 09:12
I think the airfield, which seemed to be on the side of a hill, belonged to Hunting/Percival.

Luton Airport. This (http://www.jetprovosts.com/jpt1/jpt1history.html) should help.

2nd Sep 2005, 09:17
'OBU still exists and was owned, I think by the Shuttleworth Collection, but is now with Tim Manna complete with a current C of A.

Here's a pic (http://www.caa.co.uk/applicationmodules/ginfo/ginfo_photo.aspx?regmark=G-AOBU&imgname=G-AOBU001&imgtype=jpg) courtesy of CAA's G-INFO site.

Looks odd with the long legs, DNA from the Piston Provost!

2nd Sep 2005, 11:22
I read in Air Clues once of a JP QFI and his stude taxying for a sortie. The student was a nervous type and to put him at ease the QFI casally asked "what is the longest piece of metal in a JP?"

The stude begins to panic and suggests the main spar, fuselage longerons, etc, etc. At this point they reach the hold and the QFI tells the stude to forget his question and get clearance for take off. This is given and the stude enters the runway. He applies full power and is mystified when the aircraft doesn't move.
He closes the throttle, looks around the cockpit with increasing despair and opens the throttle again. The aircraft still doesn't move. In desperation he turns to the QFI and says "I'm terribly sorry Sir, I don't know what's wrong".

The QFI says, "The reason we're not moving son, is that I have my feet on the brakes. I have my feet on the brakes because I fail to understand why we have six thousand feet of runway behind us and 75 feet in front of us."

The moral of the tale was don't add distractions to a student's already overloaded brain, if not strictly necessary.

The answer to the question is the winding on the commutator of the generator

2nd Sep 2005, 11:50
Check out Jet Provost heaven (http://www.jetprovosts.com/), for a bit of blurb on the JP.

JP T.2 G-AOHD still survives in Australia, I was quite surprised when I found that out.

2nd Sep 2005, 12:24
The answer to the question is the winding on the commutator of the generator

Damn, there's me thinking it was 85 feet of Graviner fire wire! ;)

3rd Sep 2005, 01:28
Found the following on the RAAF Museum website.

Just one Jet Provost served in the RAAF, that being a T2 model which was chartered to enable the service to evaluate "all through" jet training. The aircraft, serial A99-1, was used by No 35 Pilot Training Course at 1 Basic Flying Training School, Point Cook, and two students were selected to be trained on the "JP" while the remainder of the course learned to fly on the Winjeel. At the end of the six month course the aircraft was presented to the Sydney Technical College as an instructional airframe. The Jet Provost was not ordered by the RAAF; instead the service continued to use the Vampire until it was replaced by the Macchi MB-326 in 1967.

12th Sep 2005, 11:33
hunter xf382 - you had more than 2 camo jets!...


Taken at typically dank Brawdy airshow, 1986
A year or 2 later there were a couple of ex CATCS machines on strength.

Cant recall T3s ever being used there though?.....

19th Sep 2005, 19:14
I was lucky enough to have a go in one on my FAC course from RAF Guetersloh back in 84 or 85. Dead easy to fly as I subsequently found out when the pilot lifted off and said "you have control" Best 1:20 hrs I'd had in ages. I took us over the Moehne dam which he'd never seen before and he was dead chuffed...so was I, biggles at last :cool:


PS: Love to have another go!

29th Sep 2005, 08:31
You may also be interested in the use of XS230 with the Empire Test Pilots' School at Boscombe Down. This was the first prototype of the Mk 5, and was actually a converted Mk 4. (Some people used to call it a Mk 4). This was used at ETPS for various things like introducing FTEs to the fast jet environment, test techniques demonstrations and for spinning teaching. I have very fond memories of this aircraft, as it was my first fast jet experience. I believe it went out of service in 1993, I presume at about the same time as the other remnants left in the RAF. I saw it an airshow the other week, and was very pleased that it is still flying (and in pretty much it's original colour).

29th Sep 2005, 20:00
I think the last sighting of XS230 was yesterday doing stall turns, loops, 1/2 cuban 8s, barrel rolls etc over Woodbridge before it landed at Wattisham.

When the French mirages that were also operating over Woodbridge at about the same time saw what they were up against, they beat a hasty retreat!!