British Aerospace Harrier II GR.5

A picture of the British Aerospace Harrier II GR.5

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.

Service History:

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.

Wingspan

30 ft 4 in.

Length

46 ft 4 in.

Height

11 ft 8 in.

Weight

18,950 lbs (loaded)

Maximum Speed

662 MPH

Service Ceiling

50,000 ft

Range

300 miles

Engine

One Rolls-Royce Pegasus 11 Mk. 105 turbofan with 21,750 pounds of thrust

Crew

1

Manufacturer
British Aerospace 

Markings
Royal Air Force, 233 Operational Conversion Unit, RAF Wittering, 1991

Designation
GR.5

Serial Number
ZD353

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