AV8B Harrier

The Harrier is always a crowd pleaser. Although it is no longer is active service with the British armed forces, it is still used by the Airforce and Navy of other countries. The two that were used for display at the Farnborough International Airshow are in service with the Spanish Navy.

The Harrier is a VSTOL aircraft – Vertical, Short, Take off, Landing, and this means that it can adjust its exhaust (vector) nozzles so that it can take off vertically or with an increased trajectory so that it doesn’t need to roll down a long runway. These are especially useful for landing in areas where there is no runway or a shorter runway is in use, such as on an aircraft carrier or in a jungle.

Adjusting the vectoring  nozzles whilst in flight gives the Harrier some unique aerial skills and maneuverability. These were an important contributing factor during the Falklands war.

Please click on any photo to see a full size image.

A photo of an AV8B Harrier at the Farnborough International Airshow
The undercarriage is being raised, time for some aerobatics, lets see what this bird can do.
A photo of an AV8B Harrier at the Farnborough International Airshow
The Harrier is powered by a single Rolls Royce Pegasus engine. It is so noisy when hovering. It’s pointless talking to friends or family at this point because you cannot hear anything other the power and whistle of this amazing engine.
A photo of an AV8B Harrier at the Farnborough International Airshow
The undercarriage is only lowered for take off and landing. Having it down all of the time would create drag and reduce maneuverability, which is of course true for all aircraft.
A photo of an AV8B Harrier at the Farnborough International Airshow
Here the vectoring nozzles are in the third position, vertical, and this gives the Harrier the ability to take off vertically and also to hover.
A photo of an AV8B Harrier at the Farnborough International Airshow
In this photo you can see the vectoring nozzles in the second position, diagonal, and this provides for smooth forward lift.
A photo of an AV8B Harrier at the Farnborough International Airshow
Many people go to an airshow because of the Harrier, the Red arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial flight.
A photo of an AV8B Harrier at the Farnborough International Airshow
Thrust vectoring is possible because the Harrier has two adjustable exhaust nozzles on either side of the fuselage. You can see one of these to the rear of the circular Spanish colours, with the other a few feet further back.
A photo of an AV8B Harrier at the Farnborough International Airshow
The spindley daisy wheels provide support to the wings whilst the Harrier is on the ground.
A photo of an AV8B Harrier at the Farnborough International Airshow
The vector nozzles are facing down which means that the aircraft can hover. Whilst hovering it can point its nose up or down and also move along the horizontal as well as vertical plane.
The Harrier is always a crowd pleaser. Although it is no longer is active service with the British armed forces, it is still used by the Airforce and Navy of other countries. The two that were used for display at the Farnborough International airshow were in service with the Spanish Navy.
A photo of an AV8B Harrier at the Farnborough International Airshow
The pilot waves to the crowd at the end of his display.

 

6 Replies to “AV8B Harrier”

  1. I like this post Richard. The Harriers were based just down the road from me at RAF Cottesmore, my cousin’s son is in the RAF as a mechanic and was based at Cottesmore so I had the opportunity to go around the workshops and see them closeup. The also used to do a lot of flying around here. Lovely machines!

    Liked by 1 person

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