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Nanchang CJ6

The British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) Jet Provost Mark 5a (JP5a)

The JET PROVOST Mk 5 has a lengthy development path, being the latest variant of the Jet Provost, which is in turn a development of the Percival (later Hunting) Provost. The P.56 Provost prototype, powered by an Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah XVIII engine first flew in 1950. The type was accepted by the RAF as a basic trainer, entering service in 1953. By this stage thought was being given to an all through jet trainer and Percival looked to replace the Alvis Leonides 126 radial powerplant of the Provost with a turbojet.

Our JP5a (XW362) shown here with a RAAF F-111

The new design retained the wing and tail structures of the original Provost, but mounted the Bristol Siddeley (later Rolls Royce) Viper powerplant in a new fuselage and added a tricycle undercarriage. Although developed as a private venture, Percival succeeded in gaining an RAF order for 10 of the aircraft. By the time the first aircraft flew on June 16, 1954, Percival had been taken over by Hunting. The P.84 aircraft was therefore designated the Hunting Jet Provost T.Mk.1.

After trials, the RAF accepted the Jet Provost as a basic trainer in 1955. It became the standard basic trainer for three decades, being phased out in favour of the Shorts Tucano from 1989.

Production amounted to 386 aircraft, and many were refurbished for export. In the meantime Hunting created the H.145 as another private venture. This was redesignated the BAC.145 when Hunting was absorbed into British Aerospace.

The new version Jet Provost T.Mk.5 featured a longer nose for avionics, a pressurised cockpit, and strengthened wings to carry more weapons and fuel. The prototype was flown on February 28, 1967, and 110 were produced. An armed version was produced for the export market, and the BAC.167 extended this concept. The prototype (G-127-8) was first flown on October 27, 1967. Powered by the uprated RR Viper 535 the wing was redesigned for up to 8 hardpoints carrying 1361kg (3000lb) of stores, and the aircraft featured improved brakes, and armour.

For more detailed information on the Jet Provost go to


The Czechoslovakian L-39 was built as the successor to their earlier trainer, the L-29 Delfin. Design work began in 1966, and the first prototype made its initial flight on 4 November 1968. The idea of the design was to marry an efficient, powerful turbofan engine to a sleek, streamlined fuselage, resulting in a strong, economical performer which would become the next standard jet trainer for the Warsaw Pact. Full-scale production was delayed until late 1972 due to apparent problems with the design of the air intakes, but these difficulties were overcome and the type went on to be a great success with the Soviet, Czech and East German air forces, among others.

L-39 features:

  • Excellent handling characteristics within the whole flight envelope

  • Operation capability on grass strips and semi-prepared airstrips

  • Excellent visibility from both cockpits

  • Easy to maintain and service

  • Low operational cost

  • High reliability

  • The practical suitability of L-39 aircraft for training tasks is demonstrated daily in military service of more than 30 Air Forces in Europe, Asia, Africa and America. The entire L-39 fleet, covering more than 2,800 delivered L-39 aircraft worldwide, has accumulated over 4,000,000 flying hours.


  • Engine: One 3,792-lb thrust Ivchenko AI-25-TL

  • Weight: Empty 7,340 lbs., Max Takeoff 11,618 lbs. (L-39ZO with four rocket pods)

  • Wing Span: 31ft. 0.5in. Length: 40ft. 5in. Height: 15ft. 5.5in.

  • Performance:

  1. oMaximum Speed at 19,600 ft: 485 mph (Trainer version, clean)

  2. oMaximum Speed at Sea Level: 435 mph

  3. oCeiling: 37,730 ft. (Trainer, clean)

  4. oRange: 528 miles with internal fuel; 995 miles with external tanks

  • Armament (L-39ZO): Up to 2,425 pounds of weapons on four underwing hardpoints, including bombs, 57- or 130-mm rocket pods, gun pods, a five-camera reconnaissance pod, or two fuel drop-tanks. Centerline point carried a pod-mounted 23-mm twin-barrel GSh-23 cannon with 180 rounds.

Number Built: 2800+

For more info on the L39 series go to

The CJ6a “Nanchang” is an initial military training aircraft of the Chinese Air Force (Peoples Liberation Army). Student pilots learn the fundamentals of military aviation and aerobatics in the CJ6 before moving on to fast jets.

The CJ6a has a powerful 285 horse power, 9 cylinder, radial engine giving it plenty of grunt to perform advanced aerobatics. The radial engine also gives the Nanchang the feel and sound of a classic warbird. Capable of speeds of over 350kph, the Nanchang can pull up to 6 G’s and will give you one of the best warbird experiences available.