|"JET PROVOST HEAVEN"|
|KNOWN JET PROVOST T.5 SURVIVORS|
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|BAC JET PROVOST T.5A XW289 (G-JPVA)|
|Jet Provost T.5 XW289 was the third production example built at BAC's Warton factory, and was completed in 1969. After testing by the manufacturers it was declared ready for official hand-over to the Royal Air Force.
It's first tour of service was with the Central Flying School (CFS) at RAF Little Rissington, the first unit to receive the Jet Provost T.5 where it was given the code '88'. It was then put to work helping to train the latest generation of trainee RAF pilots. In addition to its rather mundane training duties XW289 also flew with the unit's aerobatics team "The Red Pelicans" on several occasions and it received the team crest and lettering on the rear fuselage and tail fin.
In 1973 the RAF decided to update some of their fleet of Jet Provost T.5s with new avionics suites, spin strakes, and roughened leading wing edges, whilst their tip-tanks carrying capacity was withdrawn. The upgraded versions would be re-designated Jet Provost T.5A's. BAC at Warton updated 94 T.5s of the 110 delivered and XW289 was one of those airframes.
In 1989 it returned to Cranwell for a spell with 3FTS, serving as '16' with the unit until it was disbanded in 1991. XW289 then returned to 1FTS for what turned out to be its last RAF posting as '73', and two years later was permanently withdrawn from service and flown to RAF Shawbury for storage in September 1993.
Sold into private hands in 1994 XW289 was acquired, with numerous other JPs, by Global Aviation at Binbrook. It was placed on the civilian register as G-BVXT and ferried to its new home September that same year for onward sale. Late in 1994 Tim Manna, owner of Kennet Aviation at Cranfield acquired XW289 and it was flown to Kennet's Cranfield base on 2nd February 1995. It was re-registered as G-JPVA later that month.
Recently re-painted into a rather attractive 1FTS service colour scheme, XW289 remains airworthy today. Over the past six years the aeroplane has often been detached' to RNAS Yeovilton from Kennet Aviation's home at North Weald, where it has been used, thanks to sponsorship from Kennet, by the Royal Navy Historic Flight as a pilot trainer.
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