Percival Provost

The Percival P.56 Provost is a basic trainer aircraft.

The Provost entered service with the RAF during 1953 and quickly proved to be more capable than the preceding Prentice.

It was a relatively successful aircraft, being exported for multiple overseas operators.

Various models were developed, both armed and unarmed, to meet with customer demands.

The Provost later adapted to make use of a turbojet engine, producing the BAC Jet Provost.

During the 1960s, the type was withdrawn from RAF service in favour of its jet-powered successor.

It continued to be used for decades with various export customers.


Percival P.56 Mark 1

Two prototypes with Armstrong-Siddeley Cheetah engines for evaluation, both later fitted with Leonides engines.

Percival P.56 Mark 2

One Alvis Leonides engined prototype for evaluation.

Provost T.Mk 1

Two-seat, Leonides powered basic trainer for the Royal Air Force.

Provost T.51

Unarmed export version for the Irish Air Corps.

Provost Mk 52

Armed export version for the Rhodesian Air Force and Sultanate of Oman.

Provost Mk 53

Armed export version for Burma, Iraq, Ireland and Sudan.





28 ft 6 in (8.69 m)


35 ft 0 in (10.67 m)


12 ft 0 in (3.66 m)

Wing area

214 sq ft (19.9 m2)

Empty weight

3,350 lb (1,520 kg)

Gross weight

4,399 lb (1,995 kg)


1 × Alvis Leonides 126 9-cylinder air-cooled radial piston engine, 550 hp (410 kW)


3-bladed constant-speed propeller


Maximum speed

200 mph (320 km/h, 170 kn) at sea level


650 mi (1,050 km, 560 nmi)


4 hours

Service ceiling

25,000 ft (7,600 m)

Rate of climb

2,200 ft/min (11 m/s)

Time to altitude

10,000 ft (3,048 m) in 3 minutes 16 seconds

Wing loading

20.6 lb/sq ft (101 kg/m2)


0.276 hp/lb (0.454 kW/kg)


T.52 & T.53 

2 x 7.62mm machine guns, 500lbs of bombs or rockets.

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