Developed in Great Britain by Hawker Siddeley (later part of British Aerospace) the Harrier is one of only two vertical/short takeoff and landing jets to go into full production. First placed in service by the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy the Harrier first saw combat in the 1982 Falklands War between Britain and Argentina.
The Harrier II is a radically upgraded version of the original Harrier developed as a joint venture between British Aerospace and McDonnell-Douglas. The aircraft featured numerous changes to enhance its capabilities. These include a lighter weight construction using composite materials, a larger wing, and increased payload. Externally it is nearly identical to the AV-8B used by the United States Marine Corps. There are, however, many internal differences. The first British version of the Harrier II, the GR.5, entered RAF service in 1987 with the first squadron declared operational in 1989. Most of the forty-one GR.5s built were eventually upgraded to GR.7 status with improved night and all-weather combat capabilities. The Harrier II was retired from British service in 2010.
Produced by British Aerospace and delivered to the Royal Air Force on November 11, 1988.
November 1988 To No. 1 Squadron, RAF Wittering.
Ca. 1990 To 233 Operational Conversion Unit, RAF Wittering.
July 1991 Badly damaged in an inflight fire that resulted in an emergency landing at RAF Wittering. The aircraft was considered too badly damaged to be fully repaired. The remains were used as a ground instructional airframe at RAF Brough.
2012 Sold as surplus after the retirement of the Harrier from British service.
2017 Restored by Everett Aero and sold to Pima Air & Space Museum for static display.
Royal Air Force, 233 Operational Conversion Unit, RAF Wittering, 1991
Pima Air & Space Museum
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