It may have been unceremoniously dumped from the armouries of the Royal Navy and the RAF. But at the Fleet Air Arm Museum the Hawker Harrier is going from strength to strength.
The Yeovilton Museum has just taken delivery of a rare two-seater Harrier T8 training aircraft, adding to a historic collection of VSTOL (vertical, short take-off and landing) aircraft which includes the prototype Hawker P.1127, two Sea Harriers the FRS1 and FA2 and a Harrier GR9.
© Courtesy Fleet Air Arm Museum
Originally developed during the 1960s, various versions of the Hawker Harrier and Sea Harrier saw service in a period of more than 30 years with the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force before being decommissioned in 2011.
Two of the aircraft in the collection at Yeovilton took part in the Falklands War in 1982. One saw action in Afghanistan in 2010.
In addition to the five Harrier variants, the museum holds two engines: the Pegasus and a rare Bristol Siddeley 100 ‘Super Harrier’ engine which was not put into service.
The history of the development of VSTOL aircraft is displayed on interactive screens containing archive footage of the early ‘Flying bedstead’, which proved the viability of vertical take-off and landing during the 1950s.
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