Type Description

Following the Hawker (later British Aerospace) Kestrel operational trials (#19), the first of six production-designed Harrier developmental aircraft flew on 31 August 1966. The production GR1 Harrier entered service with the UK Royal Air Force on 1 April 1969 powered by the 19,000 lb Bristol (later Rolls-Royce) Pegasus Mk 101. US Marine Corps AV-8As were purchased in 1969, powered by the 21,500 lb thrust Pegasus 11.

A navalized version, the FRS1 Sea Harrier, entered service with the Royal Navy in 1980. McDonnell Douglas (later with British Aerospace) began developing the AV-8B GR5 Harrier II in 1974, and began flight testing in 1981.

With a more powerful engine, a larger, composite supercritical wing, optimized Lift Improvement Devices (LIDs) and other improvements, the Harrier II was able to double the payload and range when making short takeoffs. The F402-RR-408 Pegasus 11-61 reached 23,800 lb thrust. In addition to the USMC, the UK RAF and RN, the Harrier has also been operated by Spain, Italy, India and Thailand.

Family Tree

Milestones Associated with the Hawker Harrier

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