"JET PROVOST HEAVEN"


THE JET PROVOST T.2
[History of the JP2] [Known survivors]

Using the last batch of Jet Provost T.1s, Hunting Percival decided to carry out a project to design a T.2 version.
This would eliminate any problems that had shown up in the previous T.1's and make some improvements on the design. XD694, the last production T.1, was selected as the first development aircraft, and work began on converting it into the prototype T.2.

Firstly, trial hydraulic undercarriage units were fitted replacing the long legs employed on the T.1. These were found to wobble on occasions when taxiing, making the aircraft unstable on the ground. A bigger engine was also fitted, the Viper 8 capable of 1750lbs of thrust. Radio and electrical equipment was housed in the nose cone area, and the tail section was re-designed which made the jet-pipe more accessible to ground-crews. Plans to add hard points for light weapons were also made.

XD694 took its first flight as a T.2 on September 1st 1955, and accumulated over 400 flying hours during its flying career, with a large proportion being spent with 2FTS at Hullavington alongside the other T.1's. Three other T.2s were built by Hunting-Percival, two were registered to the company, G-AOUS and G-AOHD. G-AOUS was the company demonstrator and was fitted with the more powerful Armstrong Siddeley Viper 11 capable of 2500lbs of thrust.
The last of the four aircraft built was not given a military or civilian registration, but a 'B' class identity G-23-1.

As the T.2's got more time under their belts the reputation of the Jet Provost began to increase still further, and the RAF was beginning to take notice of this newly updated type in addition to the results of the T.1 trials at Hullavington.
Hopes were high at Luton of a big follow-on order from the RAF.

During the late 1950s, the Portuguese Air Force were looking to replace their Lockheed T-33 trainers and were starting to evaluate different types. It first evaluated a french Morane-Saulnier MS760 Paris aircraft, but it didn't impress and was written off in an accident.
The next candidate was the Jet Provost, and T.2 demonstrator G-AOUS was issued with the military serial 5803.
The aircraft was a unique series T.2B, similar to the T.2 series but, as mentioned earlier fitted with a bigger Viper 11 engine. It lacked the ejection seats of the T.3 and later marks. G-AOUS arrived in Portugal from Luton in early 1959 and was tested throughout the rest of the year. Unfortunately, no order was placed and the aeroplane returned to the UK by sea early in 1960.

Sadly three of the four T.2s built no longer survive.
XD694 when its flying days were over, spent time with Armstrong Siddeley on engine development work before finally being scrapped in 1960.

G-23-1 and G-AOUS were more fortunate. G-23-1 was later given the military serial XN117, and used as the converted prototype TMk3 in ground attack trials in Aden in 1958, but was scrapped in the 1960s. G-AOUS, on its return from Portugal, was employed as a development aircraft in the T.Mk.4 Jet Provost project, but it crashed near Biggleswade on 16th November 1960.

The other T.2 G-AOHD was sent to Australia for trials with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to enable the service to evaluate "all through" jet training. The aircraft was used by the Basic Flying Training School at Point Cook Airfield, and two students were selected to be trained on the aircraft, with the remainder learned to fly on the CAC Winjeel.
This took place over a six month period, and the aircraft was presented to the Sydney Technical College as a instructional airframe on completion of the course.

The T.2 Jet Provost never made it into production, with only 4 prototype/test examples ever being constructed, but it made an immense contribution in the Jet Provost's development. This was emphasised in 1957 when the RAF formerly adopted the Hunting-Percival Jet Provost and made arrangements for further orders.

 

The information displayed within this page and produced with considerable assistance from Adrian Balch, John Luke, and the "Military Airshows in the UK" web-site run by Dave Key.

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