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Last flight of the RAF Harrier today

Community Veteran
Posts: 7,153
Thanks: 54
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Last flight of the RAF Harrier today

The passing of a great British design 8 years earlier than planned.
Wonder if any will go into private hands and continue in the airshow circuit.
Great as it is (and I'm a fan) it does have its problems. Fearfully expensive and tricky to operate, quite "slow" for a combat aircraft. That improvements in continued updates are almost entirely due to the American Marines participation after protracted evaluation taking to it in a big way. The aircraft in use now (including RAF) is an almost complete American redesign retaining virtually only the basic outline and the Pegasus engine. The powerplant is now seen to have reached the limit if its potential.
However, the Harrier is still capable of doing things no other aircraft -yet in service- can do.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
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randpwar
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Last flight of the RAF Harrier today

I’ve not kept up with military aircraft development but am I right in saying that VSTOL and STOL appears to have been left behind? If it has I wonder why; does it have power / speed / manoeuvrability consequences?
Community Veteran
Posts: 7,153
Thanks: 54
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Last flight of the RAF Harrier today

Yes probably, The Harrier is to be (notice I didn't say will be) replaced by the Lockheed Martin F35 VTOL multi role fighter bomber. Which is supersonic (the Harriers major disadvantage) However it is the aircraft that is supposed to equip the two new aircraft carriers if they are ever seen in RN service. The F35 is seriously behind development schedule.
Experience; is something you gain, just after you needed it most.

When faced with two choices, simply toss a coin. It works not because it settles the question for you. But because in that brief moment while the coin is in the air. You suddenly know what you are hoping for.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Last flight of the RAF Harrier today

I remember watching the Harriers leaving Kings Cross goods yard in 1969 for the Daily Mail air race:
The race was amazing, IIRC from the top of the Post Office tower to the top of the Empire State Building. All sorts of creative entries.
I managed to get a good viewpoint on a balcony in some flats overlooking the goods yard. I think some pilots parachuted or abseiled down and then had fast bikes to the yard (only a few hundred yards) and refuelled 4 times across the "pond".
Taking off was very very messy, the yard was full of coal dust and we all got covered in it!
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Last flight of the RAF Harrier today

Saw one take off from this circular pad, was the FVRDE then, many name changes  http://www.secret-bases.co.uk/eye-spy-uk-secrets3.htm
Think it might have even been a P1127 or Kestral  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawker_Siddeley_P.1127
Community Veteran
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Last flight of the RAF Harrier today

Sad day. As I pointed out in my "What have we got left?" topic, there is nothing left to inspire the nation anymore really is there. Kids need things like the harrier to keep them inspired and help them make their career choices in life.
This country has nothing 'cool' anymore. Without things like that we're a dying nation.
We only need to scrap our nuclear deterrent now and anyone can claim Britain as their territory.
I need a new signature... i'm bored of the old one!