This book covers the complete and long overdue history of the Hunting/BAC Jet Provost and Strikemaster, which for thirty-eight years trained generations of pilots and pioneered the RAF’s all-through flying training programme. Originally designed and built in 1951 as a private venture by Percival Aircraft in Luton, the Jet Provost became the primary jet-powered training aircraft for the RAF following a series of experimental courses at RAF Hullavington in 1955. By 1957, there was a contract for the production order of 100 Jet Provost T Mk. 3s. The Jet Provost even had a display flying team between 1958 and 1976 but was eventually withdrawn from RAF service in July 1993.
The development of the BAC 167 Strikemaster in the 1960s saw a light-attack aircraft designed for counter-insurgency operations and predominantly used by overseas air forces. Adopted by thirteen air forces, both types have seen an array of action – from the Dhofar War to operating as close support and counter-insurgency against well-armed, communist-back guerrillas. Despite some 723 Jet Provost and Strikemaster airframes produced between 1954 and 1983, these aircraft have been overlooked in contrast to other jet types in the same period until now.
David Watkins has produced an extensive look at these aircraft after years of painstaking research assisted by veterans and historians. Having accessed the archives of the Warton Collection, he has amassed a range of rare photography to accompany the extraordinary history of these jets. From Jet Provost to Strikemaster is a work of narrative and technical detail which will satisfy the most avid aviation fans.
Additionally, Airfix have recently released a Jet Provost model, increasing interest in this long neglected aircraft.