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Percival P40 Prentice T1 Military Trainer Aircraft

The Percival Prentice was designed and manufactured shortly after the end of WW2 to meet Air Ministry Specification T.23/43 for a modern side-by-side dual control monoplane to replace the RAF's remaining de Havilland Tiger Moth biplanes. The Prentice was Percival's first all all-metal aircraft and made it's first flight in March 1946 and a total of 370 were purchased for the RAF between 1947 and 1949.

Percival P40 Prentice T1 Military Trainer Plane


The RAF initially received the Percival Prentice with enthusiasm but soon realised as a trainer it had faults, in particular it had poor spin recovery and performed badly at high temperatures. The main fault was with the original specification so the Air Ministry raised Specification T.16/48 for a more suitable replacement, and when in 1953 it was able to acquire the Percival Provost designed and built to this new and revised Specification the Percival Prentice was rapidly disposed of.

It is of note that although the Percival Prentice had the Instructor and student pilot side by side with dual controls a single seat was fitted behind them for another potential student pilot candidate to sit and observe the training procedure, the aircraft was also fitted with folding amber screens as seen in the picture on this page to simulate night flying during normal daylight hours.

Percival Prentice T.1 Specifications:

  • Crew: Instructor, pupil and a rear seated air experience candidate
  • Length: 31 ft 3 in (9.52 m)
  • Wingspan: 46 ft 0 in (14.0 m)
  • Height: 12 ft 10 in (3.91 m)
  • Wing area: 305 ft (28.4 m)
  • Empty weight: 3,232 lb (1,466 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 4,200 lb (1,905 kg)
  • Engine: Single 251 hp (187 kW) de Havilland Gipsy Queen 32 6-cylinder inline air-cooled engine
  • Maximum speed: 124 knots (143 mph, 230 km/h) at 5,000 ft (1,500 m)
  • Cruise speed: 118 knots (136 mph)
  • Range: 344 nm (396 mi, 637 km)
  • Service ceiling: 18,000 ft (m)

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