BRITISH AIRCRAFT 
BAE Systems Hawk          H.S. Nimrod

HAWKER SIDDELEY HARRIER

The Harrier was designed and developed by Hawker Siddeley in the 1960's and was the first operational close-support and reconnaissance fighter aircraft with Vertical/short takeoff and Landing (V/STOL) capability.

The Harrier was based around a Rolls Royce Pegasus 6 turbofan with four vectoring nozzles for directing the thrust in the desired direction.

To maintain stability of the aircraft during vertical flight, several smaller reaction nozzles were fitted in the nose, tail and wingtips.

Thrust vectoring nozzle - Sea Harrier (Wikipedia)
Thrust vectoring nozzle - Sea Harrier Wikipedia

The main landing gear is housed in the fuselage and two outrigger landing gear are on the wing tips.

The VTOL abilities of the Harrier enabled it to be deployed from small clearings and helipads as welll as conventional airfields. This gave the Harrier the advantage of being able to function even if its base had been knocked out.

The STOL ability of the Harrier was also extremely attractive as it provided better fuel ecconomy and allowed the aircraft to carry more ordinance.

The Harrier GR.1 began its service life in the RAF with No.1 Squadron at RAF Wittering in April of 1969. Two further Squadrons were formed in 1970 at RAF Wildenrath in Germany, and another there two years later.

During the Falklands war in 1982, No.1 Squadron operated 10 GR.3 Harriers from aircraft carrier HMS Hermes.

The Harrier GR.3 provided close-air support to the ground forces with priotity given to elliminating enemy artillery.

Sea Harriers were also deployed during the war generally providing fleet air defence combat air patrols.

During the conflict four Harrier GR.3's and six Sea Harriers were lost to ground fire, accidents or mechanical failures.

The USMC were interested in the Harrier from its initial service with the RAF and after further development it entered service with the Marine Corps in 1971 with the designation AV-8A.

The AV-8As air-to-air combat ability was tested by the Marine Corps in mock dog fights with the F-4 Phantom II and they proved to be successful.

From 1979 the USMC began to upgrade their AV-8A's to AV-8C's which had improved VTOL performance and better service life.

By 1987 the AV-8A's and AV-8C's were replaced by the AV-8B's, designated Harrier II.

The AV-8B is currently planned to be replaced by a more modern V/STOL aircraft, namely the Lockheed Martin F-35B.

Specifications (GR.3): -
Crew:1
Length:46ft 10in (14.27m)
Wingspan:25ft 3in (7.70m)
Height:11ft 11in (3.63m)
Empty Weight:13,535lb (6140kg)
Max. Weight:25,200lb (11430kg)
Engine:R.R. Pegasus 103
producing 21,500 lbf.
Max. Speed:730 mph (1176 km/h)
Range:2,129 miles (3425km)
Armament: - (Fitments vary)
Cannon:2 x 30mm ADEN
Hardpoints:4 x underwing
1 x under fuselage
Rockets:4 x Matra Pods
Missiles:2 x AIM-9 Sidewinders
Bombs:Various unguided,
BL755 Cluster bombs,
or Laser guided bombs.
Variants: -

GR.1, GR.1A, GR.3
Single-seat version for the Royal Air Force.

AV-8A, AV-8C Harrier
Single-seat versions for the US Marine Corps.

AV-8S Matador
Export version of the AV-8A Harrier for the Spanish Navy.

T.2, T.2A, T.4, T.4A
Two-seat training versions for the Royal Air Force.

T.4N, T.8, T.60
Two-seat training versions for the Royal Navy and Indian Navy.

TAV-8A
Two-seat training version for the US Marine Corps.

TAV-8S Matador
Two-seat training version for the Spanish Navy.

FRS.1
British Aerospace Sea Harrier.

FRS.51
British Aerospace Sea Harrier.

FA.2
British Aerospace Sea Harrier.

HAWKER SIDDELEY HARRIER
BAE Systems Hawk          H.S. Nimrod
AVIATION TOP 100 - www.avitop.com Avitop.com
Hawker Siddeley Harrier
©Dave Key BAe Sea Harrier FA.2 (R.I.A.T. 2005)

The Hawker Siddeley Harrier, know as the 'Harrier Jump Jet' was the first operational close-support and reconnaissance fighter which had vertical/ short takeoff and landing (V/STOL).

The Royal Air Force ordered the GR.1 and the GR.3 variants in the 1960's and it was exported to the United States designated AV-8A for service with the USMC in the 1970's.

Sea Harrier FA.2 photographed above at R.I.A.T. , Fairford in 2005.
Photographs © Nigel Key, Click thumbnail to enlarge.
Hawker Siddeley Harrier  (R.I.A.T. 2009) Hawker Siddeley Harrier  (R.I.A.T. 2006) Hawker Siddeley Harrier  (R.I.A.T. 2006)
R.I.A.T. 2009
R.I.A.T. 2006
R.I.A.T. 2006
Hawker Siddeley Harrier  (R.I.A.T. 2006) Hawker Siddeley Harrier  (R.I.A.T. 2006) Hawker Siddeley Harrier  (R.I.A.T. 2006)
R.I.A.T. 2006
R.I.A.T. 2006
R.I.A.T. 2006
BAe Sea Harrier FA.2 (R.I.A.T. 2006) BAe Sea Harrier FA.2 (R.I.A.T. 2005) BAe Sea Harrier FA.2 (R.I.A.T. 2005)
R.I.A.T. 2006
R.I.A.T. 2005
R.I.A.T. 2005
BAe Sea Harrier FA.2 (R.I.A.T. 2005) BAe Sea Harrier FA.2 (R.I.A.T. 2005) BAe Sea Harrier FA.2 (R.I.A.T. 2005)
R.I.A.T. 2005
R.I.A.T. 2005
R.I.A.T. 2005

Related Links: -

F-4 Phantom (www.militaryplanes.co.uk)

R.I.A.T. (www.militaryplanes.co.uk)

Air Britain - GR.1 (www.abpic.co.uk)

Airshow Calendar (www.militaryairshows.co.uk)