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Harrier Jump Jet

Harrier Jump Jet

Overview

The Harrier, informally referred to as the Jump Jet, is a family of British-designed military jet aircraft
Jet aircraft
A jet aircraft is an aircraft propelled by jet engines. Jet aircraft generally fly much faster than propeller-powered aircraft and at higher altitudes – as high as . At these altitudes, jet engines achieve maximum efficiency over long distances. The engines in propeller-powered aircraft...

 capable of vertical/short takeoff and landing
V/STOL
Vertical and/or short take-off and landing is a term used to describe aircraft that are able to take-off or land vertically or on short runways. Vertical takeoff and landing describes craft which do not require runways at all...

 (V/STOL) operations. The Harrier family is the only truly successful design of this type from the many that arose in the 1960s.

There are four main versions of the Harrier family: Hawker Siddeley Harrier, British Aerospace Sea Harrier, Boeing/BAE Systems AV-8B Harrier II, and BAE Systems/Boeing Harrier II.
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The Harrier, informally referred to as the Jump Jet, is a family of British-designed military jet aircraft
Jet aircraft
A jet aircraft is an aircraft propelled by jet engines. Jet aircraft generally fly much faster than propeller-powered aircraft and at higher altitudes – as high as . At these altitudes, jet engines achieve maximum efficiency over long distances. The engines in propeller-powered aircraft...

 capable of vertical/short takeoff and landing
V/STOL
Vertical and/or short take-off and landing is a term used to describe aircraft that are able to take-off or land vertically or on short runways. Vertical takeoff and landing describes craft which do not require runways at all...

 (V/STOL) operations. The Harrier family is the only truly successful design of this type from the many that arose in the 1960s.

There are four main versions of the Harrier family: Hawker Siddeley Harrier, British Aerospace Sea Harrier, Boeing/BAE Systems AV-8B Harrier II, and BAE Systems/Boeing Harrier II. The Hawker Siddeley Harrier is the first generation-version and is also known as the AV-8A Harrier. The Sea Harrier is a naval
Naval aviation
Naval aviation is the application of manned military air power by navies, including ships that embark fixed-wing aircraft or helicopters. In contrast, maritime aviation is the operation of aircraft in a maritime role under the command of non-naval forces such as the former RAF Coastal Command or a...

 strike/air defence fighter. The AV-8B and BAE Harrier II are the US and British variants respectively of the second generation Harrier aircraft.

Historically the Harrier was developed to operate from ad-hoc facilities such as car parks or forest clearings, avoiding the need for large air bases vulnerable to tactical nuclear weapon
Tactical nuclear weapon
A tactical nuclear weapon refers to a nuclear weapon which is designed to be used on a battlefield in military situations. This is as opposed to strategic nuclear weapons which are designed to menace large populations, to damage the enemy's ability to wage war, or for general deterrence...

s. Later the design was adapted for use from aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

s.

Background


Following an approach by the Bristol Engine Company in 1957 that they were planning a directed thrust engine, Hawker Aircraft
Hawker Aircraft
Hawker Aircraft Limited was a British aircraft manufacturer responsible for some of the most famous products in British aviation history.-History:...

 came up with a design for an aeroplane that could meet the NATO specification for a "Light Tactical Support Fighter". There was no financial support for the development from HM Treasury
HM Treasury
HM Treasury, in full Her Majesty's Treasury, informally The Treasury, is the United Kingdom government department responsible for developing and executing the British government's public finance policy and economic policy...

, but aid was found through the Mutual Weapon Development Project (MWDP) of NATO.

The P.1127 was ordered as a prototype and flew in 1960. NATO developed a specification (NBMR-3) for a VTOL aircraft, but one that was expected to have the performance of an aircraft like the F-4 Phantom II
F-4 Phantom II
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. Proving highly adaptable,...

. Hawker drafted a supersonic version of the P.1127, the P.1150, and also the Hawker P.1154
Hawker Siddeley P.1154
The Hawker Siddeley P.1154 was a planned supersonic vertical/short take-off and landing fighter aircraft designed by Hawker Siddeley Aviation . Developed alongside the subsonic and smaller Hawker Siddeley P.1127/Kestrel, the P.1154 was derived from the P.1150. The P.1150 proposal did not meet NATO...

 which would meet NBMR-3. The latter was a winner of the NATO competition and development continued until cancelled at the point of prototype construction in 1965.

Work on the P.1127 continued with 9 evaluation aircraft, the Hawker Siddeley Kestrel, ordered. These started flying in 1964 and were assessed by the "Tri-partite Evaluation Squadron" which consisted of British, US and German pilots. With the cancellation of the P.1154, the RAF ordered a modified P.1127/Kestrel as the Harrier GR.1 in 1966.

First-generation Harriers


The Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR.1/GR.3 and the AV-8A Harrier were the first generation of the Harrier series, the first operational close-support and reconnaissance attack aircraft with vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) capabilities. These were developed directly from the Hawker P.1127
Hawker P.1127
The Hawker P.1127 and the Hawker Siddeley Kestrel FGA.1 were the experimental and development aircraft that led to the Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the first vertical and/or short take-off and landing jet fighter-bomber...

 prototype and the Kestrel evaluation aircraft.

The British Aerospace Sea Harrier
BAE Sea Harrier
The British Aerospace Sea Harrier is a naval VTOL/STOVL jet fighter, reconnaissance and attack aircraft, a development of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier. It first entered service with the Royal Navy in April 1980 as the Sea Harrier FRS1 and became informally known as the "Shar"...

 is a naval V/STOL jet fighter, reconnaissance and attack aircraft, a development of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier. The first version entered service with the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

's Fleet Air Arm
Fleet Air Arm
The Fleet Air Arm is the branch of the British Royal Navy responsible for the operation of naval aircraft. The Fleet Air Arm currently operates the AgustaWestland Merlin, Westland Sea King and Westland Lynx helicopters...

 in April 1980 as the Sea Harrier FRS.1, and was informally known as the Shar. The upgraded Sea Harrier FA2 entered service in 1993. It was withdrawn from Royal Navy service in March 2006. The Sea Harrier FRS Mk.51 is in active service with the Indian Navy
Indian Navy
The Indian Navy is the naval branch of the armed forces of India. The President of India serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Navy. The Chief of Naval Staff , usually a four-star officer in the rank of Admiral, commands the Navy...

, which operates the jet from its aircraft carrier INS Viraat
INS Viraat
INS Viraat is a Centaur class aircraft carrier currently in service with the Indian Navy. INS Viraat is the flagship of the Indian Navy, the oldest carrier in service and one of two aircraft carriers in the Indian Ocean Region.The Viraat was completed and commissioned in 1959 as the Royal Navy's...

.

Second-generation Harriers


The Harrier was extensively redeveloped by McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas
McDonnell Douglas was a major American aerospace manufacturer and defense contractor, producing a number of famous commercial and military aircraft. It formed from a merger of McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft in 1967. McDonnell Douglas was based at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport...

 and British Aerospace
British Aerospace
British Aerospace plc was a UK aircraft, munitions and defence-systems manufacturer. Its head office was in the Warwick House in the Farnborough Aerospace Centre in Farnborough, Hampshire...

 (now parts of Boeing
Boeing
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 and BAE Systems
BAE Systems
BAE Systems plc is a British multinational defence, security and aerospace company headquartered in London, United Kingdom, that has global interests, particularly in North America through its subsidiary BAE Systems Inc. BAE is among the world's largest military contractors; in 2009 it was the...

 respectively), leading to the
the Boeing/BAE Systems AV-8B Harrier II
AV-8B Harrier II
The McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II is a second-generation vertical/short takeoff and landing ground-attack aircraft. An Anglo-American development of the British Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the Harrier II is the final member of the Harrier family that started with the Hawker Siddeley P.1127 in...

. This is a family of second-generation V/STOL jet multi-role aircraft, including the British Aerospace
British Aerospace
British Aerospace plc was a UK aircraft, munitions and defence-systems manufacturer. Its head office was in the Warwick House in the Farnborough Aerospace Centre in Farnborough, Hampshire...

-built Harrier GR5/GR7/GR9, which entered service in the mid-1980s. The AV-8B is primarily used for light attack or multi-role tasks, typically operated from small aircraft carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

s. Versions are used by several NATO countries, including Spain, Italy, and the United States. The BAE Systems/Boeing Harrier II is a modified version of the AV-8B Harrier II that was used by the Royal Air Force
Royal Air Force
The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world...

 (RAF) and the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

 until 2010.

Between 1969 and 2003, 824 Harrier variants were delivered. While manufacture of new Harriers concluded in 1997, the last remanufactured aircraft (Harrier II Plus configuration) was delivered in December 2003 which ended the Harrier production line.

Operation


The Harrier Jump Jet, capable of taking off vertically, can only do so at less than its maximum weight. In most cases the aircraft does a short take off
V/STOL
Vertical and/or short take-off and landing is a term used to describe aircraft that are able to take-off or land vertically or on short runways. Vertical takeoff and landing describes craft which do not require runways at all...

 where it gains forward speed and thus aerodynamic lift, saving fuel.

On aircraft carriers a ramp is frequently employed at the end of the carrier which allows the aircraft to accelerate along the carrier and then use a lower amount of fuel to take to the air.

Landings are also typically performed very differently. Although a conventional landing is possible, the range of speeds that this can be done over is narrow (due to relatively vulnerable outrigger undercarriage). Operationally the aircraft therefore usually does a near vertical landing with some forward speed.

Replacement


, the F-35B STOVL
STOVL
STOVL is an acronym for short take off and vertical landing.This is the ability of some aircraft to take off from a short runway or take off vertically if it does not have a very heavy payload and land vertically...

 variant of the F-35 Lightning II
F-35 Lightning II
The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is a family of single-seat, single-engine, fifth generation multirole fighters under development to perform ground attack, reconnaissance, and air defense missions with stealth capability...

 (formerly the Joint Strike Fighter) is intended to replace the AV-8B Harrier II in service with the US Marine Corps  and the Italian Navy
Italian Navy
Italian Navy may refer to:* Pre-unitarian navies of the Italian states* Regia Marina, the Royal Navy of the Kingdom of Italy * Italian Navy , the navy of the Italian Republic...

 from 2014 onwards. The RAF and Royal Navy are scheduled to introduce the CATOBAR
CATOBAR
CATOBAR is a system used for the launch and recovery of aircraft from the deck of an aircraft carrier...

 F-35C variant around 2020, after retiring their Harriers in 2011. In December 2010 the RAF's Harrier IIs made their last operational flights. In June 2011, the MoD denied press reports that the aircraft are to be sold to the US Marine Corps for spares to support their AV-8B fleet, but options for disposal are still being considered. At the end of November 2011, Defence Minister Peter Luff
Peter Luff
Peter James Luff MP is a British Conservative Party politician. He has been the Member of Parliament for Mid Worcestershire since the 1997 general election, and was MP Worcester from 1992 until 1997...

 announced the sale of the final 72 Harrier Aircraft Frames to the US Marine Corps.

Pre-Harrier prototype and evaluation aircraft





  • Hawker P.1127 (1960)
  • Hawker Siddeley Kestrel FGA.1 (1964)

RAF Harriers


  • Single-seat combat aircraft
    • Harrier GR.1 (1966)
    • Harrier GR.1/1A (1969)
    • Harrier GR.3/3A

  • Two-seat training aircraft
    • Harrier T.2/2A (1970)
    • Harrier T.4/4A
    • Harrier T.4N
    • Harrier T.8 (1994)
    • Harrier Mk.52 (two-seat company demonstrator)
    • Harrier T.Mk 60

AV-8A Harrier (US, Spain, Thailand)


  • AV-8A Harrier/Harrier Mk.50 (USMC version, 1970)
  • TAV-8A Harrier/Harrier Mk.54
  • AV-8C Harrier

  • AV-8S Matador/Harrier Mk.53 (for Spain, later Thailand
    Thailand
    Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

    )
  • AV-8S Matador/Harrier Mk.55 (second batch of AV-8S for Spain, later Thailand
    Thailand
    Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

    )
  • TAV-8S Matador/Harrier T.54 (for Spain, later Thailand
    Thailand
    Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

    )

British Aerospace Sea Harrier


  • Sea Harrier FRS.1 (1978)
  • Sea Harrier FA2 (1988)
  • Sea Harrier FRS.51 (1983)

McDonnell Douglas/Boeing-BAe/BAE Systems AV-8B Harrier II



  • AV-8B Harrier II (1983)
  • EAV-8B Matador II (for Spain)
  • AV-8B Harrier II Night Attack (1987)
  • AV-8B Harrier II Plus (1992) (USMC, Spain, Italy)

BAe/BAE Systems-McDonnell Douglas/Boeing Harrier II


  • Harrier GR5/5A (1985)
  • Harrier GR7/7A (1992)
  • Harrier GR9/9A (2002)
  • Harrier T10
  • Harrier T12

Specifications

Kestrel FGA.1 Harrier GR3/AV-8A Sea Harrier FA2 Harrier GR9 AV-8B+ Harrier
Crew One (Two for trainer versions)
Length 42 inch 47 inch 46 inch 46 inch 47 inch
Wingspan 22 inch 25 inch 25 inch 30 inch 30 inch
Height 10 inch 11 inch 12 inch 11 inch 11 inch
Empty Weight 10000 pounds (4,535.9 kg) 12200 pounds (5,533.8 kg) 14052 pounds (6,373.9 kg) 12500 pounds (5,669.9 kg)? 13968 pounds (6,335.8 kg)
Maximum take-off weight
(short takeoff)
17000 pounds (7,711.1 kg) 26000 pounds (11,793.4 kg) 26200 pounds (11,884.1 kg) 31000 pounds (14,061.4 kg) 31000 pounds (14,061.4 kg)
Max speed 545 mph (877.1 km/h) 731 mph (1,176.4 km/h) 735 mph (1,182.9 km/h) 662 mph (1,065.4 km/h) 662 mph (1,065.4 km/h)
Combat radius 200 nautical miles (370.4 km) 300 nautical miles (555.6 km) 300 nautical miles (555.6 km)
Engine Pegasus 6
Rolls-Royce Pegasus
The Rolls-Royce Pegasus is a turbofan engine originally designed by Bristol Siddeley, and now manufactured by Rolls-Royce plc. This engine is able to direct thrust downwards which can then be swivelled to power a jet aircraft forward. Lightly loaded, it can also manoeuvre like a helicopter,...

 
Pegasus 11 Mk 101 Pegasus 11 Mk 106 Pegasus 11 Mk 107 Pegasus 11 Mk 105
Thrust 15000 lbf (66.7 kN) 21800 lbf (97 kN) 21800 lbf (97 kN) 24750 lbf (110.1 kN) 23500 lbf (104.5 kN)
Radar None None Blue Vixen None AN/APG-65
Sources: Norden

See also



External links