Percival Prentice prototype RAF TV163
The Percival Prentice prototype TV163 with the initial Proctor-style fin and rudder.
Designed by the Percival Aircraft Company at Luton Airport, the Percival Prentice was an all-metal low wing monoplane, on which the most characteristic feature of the design was the unusually large, glazed cockpit enclosure. The Prentice required several modifications during its development to achieve predictable spinning characteristics. These included an increase in rudder area, a large cut-out in the elevator, anti-spinning strakes ahead of the tailplane and turned-up wing tips.
Percival Prentice G-APJB
G-APJB is one of four Prentice civil conversions that remain active in the UK.
The first prototype Prentice (TV163) was flown for the first time by Leonard Carruthers at Luton on 31st March 1946, the type being designed against RAF specification T.23/43 to replace the de Havilland DH82 Tiger Moth in Flying Training Command. By comparison to the much simpler Tiger Moth, the Prentice had a variable-pitch propeller, significantly more power, flaps and a radio. In all, five prototypes were built.
Full scale production followed the end of service trials with six pre-production aircraft (VN684, 687, 691, 701 and 702). Percival Aircraft built 124 aircraft with serials between VR189 and VR324. Since the Percival  factory was concentrating on production of the Percival Proctor and the Merganser light transport aircraft, production was sub-contracted to the Blackburn Aircraft Company who were tasked with building 225 aircraft at Brough, in two batches.
The Blackburn Aircraft Company orders were later cut back to just 125 aircraft in batch one (from an original order for 180) and 100 aircraft in batch two (from an original order for 140). Total production for the RAF was therefore 349 aircraft, plus eleven prototypes and pre-production aircraft.
The type was also sold to Argentina (100 aircraft) and three ex-RAF aircraft were operated in the Lebanon. Additionally, 42 of the more powerful Prentice T.3 variant were built under licence by Hindustan Aircraft Ltd in India for the Indian Air Force.
Percival Prentice G-AOLK
Prentice G-AOLK is one of those converted for civil use by Aviation Traders Ltd.
As the type was withdrawn from RAF service in 1956, Aviation Traders Ltd acquired 252 Percival Prentices for conversion to a five-seat civil aircraft. Twenty-eight of these were eventually sold and were added the UK civil register.
Percival Prentice G-AOLP N1041P
Percival Prentice G-AOLP (VS385) photographed at Exeter in the 1970s prior to its export to the USA to become N1041P


Feature Specification
One 250 hp DH Gipsy Queen 30-2
46 ft 0 in
Maximum Weight
4,350 lb
Two or three seats (military); five seats (civil)
Maximum Speed
167 mph
Cruising Sped
127 - 150 mph
396 miles

Variants & Numbers built

Variant Description and number built
RAF production
Prentice T.1: Five prototypes, six pre-production aircraft, and production batches of 124, 125 and 100 (total 360 aircraft)
Prentice T.3 (345 hp Gipsy Queen 70-2), 42 were built under licence by Hindustan Aircraft in India
Ordered 100 Prentice T.1 in 1948
Total production
Approximately 500 aircraft


Variant Location
Prentice T.1
Airworthy with private owner at Biggin Hill Airport in London
Prentice T.1
Brenzett Aeronautical Museum, Ivychurch Road, Brenzett, Romney Marsh, Kent
Prentice T.1
Newark Air Museum in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire
Prentice T.1
Aero Legends (Headcorn) ,The Carriage House, Mill Street Maidstone, Kent
Prentice T.1
Prentice T.1 National Transport and Toy Museum in Wanaka, Otago, New Zealand
Prentice T.1
(VS609 /G-AOPL)
Under restoration with David Bird in Hailsham, East Sussex
Prentice T.1
(VS610 / G-AOKL)
Neil Butler, Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire
Prentice T.1
(VS618 /G-AOLK)
RAF Museum, Hendon, London
Prentice T.1
South Yorkshire Aircraft Museum in Doncaster, South Yorkshire
Prentice T.1
Midland Air Museum in Baginton, Warwickshire
Prentice T.1
(VS385 / G-AOLP / N1041P)
Van Nuys Airport, Los Angeles, California



In 2020, four aircraft appeared on the British civil register.

12 Default Profile Image
BAE Systems
The information shown is based on that available at the time of the content creation. If you have any additions or corrections then please contact us via email - All images BAE Systems / Ron Smith copyright unless otherwise shown.