The SBAC show at Farnborough in 1970 provided the FAP with an opportunity to test-fly the Jet Provost’s ground-attack descendant, the BAC Strikemaster, a pair of which was displayed at the show in the colours of the Singapore Air Defence Command. Portuguese pilot Capt Cardoso test-flew G-AYHS/“314”, furthest from camera.
The aircraft was given the FAP serial “5803”.
The sole Jet Provost T.2B, G-AOUS, was put into Forca Aerea Portuguesa (FAP) national insignia and training bands and flown to Portugal for trials in October 1959.
The T.2 incorporated a number of significant modifications to the T.1, including the replacement of the latter’s spindly long-stroke undercarriage with much shorter hydraulically-operated units...
... and a more powerful engine, the Bristol Siddeley Viper 8 was fitted, although the sole T.2B, G-AOUS, which became “5308” during the FAP’s trials, had a Viper 11 installed, as declared on the aircraft’s nose.
The three FAP pilots tasked with testing the Jet Provost, from left: Lt Conceigao e Silva, Capt Belo and 2nd Lt Braga Gongalves.
Trials pilots Belo (right-hand seat) and Goncalves in the cockpit of the Jet Provost at Sintra during its FAP tests. The air arm ultimately chose the Cessna T-37C which, perhaps significantly, incorporated wing hardpoints which could carry ground-attack stores. The Jet Provost was strictly a trainer until the development of the BAC Strikemaster.
Oops! There were red faces all round for the aircraft’s pilots when it came to rest on the grass beside the runway at Sintra after the lowering of the undercarriage was left too late during a test-flight landing. Fortunately, the damage was minimal and quickly repaired.
A mobile crane removes the Jet Provost from the grass at Sintra after its mishap. Only four T.2s were built, G-AOUS later coming to grief when it crashed near Biggleswade during diving trials, killing Hunting test pilot Lt-Cdr J.R.S. Overbury, on November 16, 1960.