Harrier Jump Jet

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Harrier Jump Jet
Spanish EAV-8B Harrier II+ "Cobra" (27448607244) (cropped).jpg
A Harrier II in hover with downward jet exhaust
Role V/STOL strike aircraft
National originUnited Kingdom
Manufacturer Hawker Siddeley
British Aerospace / McDonnell Douglas
Boeing / BAE Systems
First flight28 December 1967
StatusIn service
Primary users United States Marine Corps
Royal Air Force (retired)
Royal Navy (retired)
Indian Navy (retired)
Developed from Hawker P.1127
Variants Hawker Siddeley Harrier
British Aerospace Sea Harrier
McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II
British Aerospace Harrier II

The Harrier, informally referred to as the Harrier Jump Jet, is a family of jet-powered attack aircraft capable of vertical/short takeoff and landing operations (V/STOL). Named after a bird of prey, [1] it was originally developed by British manufacturer Hawker Siddeley in the 1960s. The Harrier emerged as the only truly successful V/STOL design of the many attempted during that era, despite being a subsonic aircraft, unlike most of its competitors. It was conceived to operate from improvised bases, such as car parks or forest clearings, without requiring large and vulnerable air bases. Later, the design was adapted for use from aircraft carriers.

Attack aircraft Tactical military aircraft that have a primary role of attacking targets on the ground or sea

An attack aircraft, strike aircraft, or attack bomber, is a tactical military aircraft that has a primary role of carrying out airstrikes with greater precision than bombers, and is prepared to encounter strong low-level air defenses while pressing the attack. This class of aircraft is designed mostly for close air support and naval air-to-surface missions, overlapping the tactical bomber mission. Designs dedicated to non-naval roles are often known as ground-attack aircraft.

Harrier (bird) subfamily of birds of prey

A harrier is any of the several species of diurnal hawks sometimes placed in the Circinae sub-family of the Accipitridae family of birds of prey. Harriers characteristically hunt by flying low over open ground, feeding on small mammals, reptiles, or birds. The young of the species are sometimes referred to as ring-tail harriers. They are distinctive with long wings, a long narrow tail, the slow and low flight over grasslands and skull peculiarities. The harriers are thought to have diversified with the expansion of grasslands and the emergence of C4 grasses about 6 to 8 million years ago during the Late Miocene and Pliocene.

British people citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, British Overseas Territories, Crown Dependencies, and their descendants

The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Overseas Territories, and the Crown dependencies. British nationality law governs modern British citizenship and nationality, which can be acquired, for instance, by descent from British nationals. When used in a historical context, "British" or "Britons" can refer to the Celtic Britons, the indigenous inhabitants of Great Britain and Brittany, whose surviving members are the modern Welsh people, Cornish people, and Bretons. It may also refer to citizens of the former British Empire.


There are two generations and four main variants of the Harrier family, developed by both UK and US manufacturers:

Hawker Siddeley Harrier Ground attack aircraft series by Hawker Siddeley, later British Aerospace

The Hawker Siddeley Harrier is the first of the Harrier Jump Jet series of aircraft. It was developed in the 1960s as the first operational close-support and reconnaissance fighter aircraft with vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) capabilities and the only truly successful V/STOL design of the many that arose in that era. The Harrier was developed directly from the Hawker Siddeley Kestrel prototype aircraft, following the cancellation of a more advanced supersonic aircraft, the Hawker Siddeley P.1154. The British Royal Air Force (RAF) ordered the Harrier GR.1 and GR.3 variants in the late 1960s. It was exported to the United States as the AV-8A, for use by the US Marine Corps (USMC), in the 1970s.

British Aerospace Sea Harrier fighter aircraft series by British Aerospace

The British Aerospace Sea Harrier is a naval short take-off and vertical landing/vertical take-off and landing jet fighter, reconnaissance and attack aircraft; the second member of the Harrier Jump Jet family developed. It first entered service with the Royal Navy in April 1980 as the Sea Harrier FRS1 and became informally known as the "Shar". Unusual in an era in which most naval and land-based air superiority fighters were large and supersonic, the principal role of the subsonic Sea Harrier was to provide air defence for Royal Navy task groups centred around the aircraft carriers.

McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II Anglo-American second-generation VSTOL ground-attack aircraft

The McDonnell DouglasAV-8B Harrier II is a single-engine ground-attack aircraft that constitutes the second generation of the Harrier Jump Jet family. Capable of vertical or short takeoff and landing (V/STOL), the aircraft was designed in the late 1970s as an Anglo-American development of the British Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the first operational V/STOL aircraft. The aircraft is primarily employed on light attack or multi-role missions, ranging from close air support of ground troops to armed reconnaissance. The AV-8B is used by the United States Marine Corps (USMC), the Spanish Navy, and the Italian Navy. A variant of the AV-8B, the British Aerospace Harrier II, was developed for the British military, while another, the TAV-8B, is a dedicated two-seat trainer.

The Hawker Siddeley Harrier is the first generation-version and is also known as the AV-8A Harrier; it was used by multiple air forces, including the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Marine Corps (USMC). The Sea Harrier is a naval strike/air defence fighter derived from the Hawker Siddeley Harrier; it was operated by both the Royal Navy and the Indian Navy. During the 1980s, a second generation Harrier emerged; manufactured in the United States as the AV-8B and in Britain as the British Aerospace Harrier II respectively. By the start of the 21st century, the majority of the first generation Harriers had been withdrawn, many operators having chosen to procure the second generation as a replacement. In the long term, several operators have announced their intention to supplement or replace their Harrier fleets with the STOVL variant of the F-35 Lightning II, designated as the F-35B.

Royal Air Force Aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain.

United States Marine Corps Amphibious warfare branch of the United States Armed Forces

The United States Marine Corps (USMC), also referred to as the United States Marines, is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for conducting expeditionary and amphibious operations with the United States Navy as well as the Army and Air Force. The U.S. Marine Corps is one of the four armed service branches in the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States.

Naval aviation air warfare conducted by forces under naval authority, or in direct support of naval operations

Naval aviation is the application of military air power by navies, whether from warships that embark aircraft, or land bases.



Throughout the 1950s, particularly in the years following the Korean War, a number of aircraft companies in both Europe and America separately decided to investigate the prospective capabilities and viability of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, which would eliminate the requirement for vulnerable runways by taking off and landing vertically as opposed to the conventional horizontal approach. [2] In addition to military applications, the prospect of applying such technology to commercial airliners was also viewed with considerable interest by the mid 1950s, thus the value of developing viable vertical take-off systems was judged to be substantial. However, during this era, few companies envisioned that a VTOL aircraft could also be compatible with the characteristics of high performance military aircraft. [2]

Korean War 1950–1953 war between North Korea and South Korea

The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.

VTOL Aircraft takeoff and landing done vertically

A vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft is one that can hover, take off, and land vertically. This classification can include a variety of types of aircraft including fixed-wing aircraft as well as helicopters and other aircraft with powered rotors, such as cyclogyros/cyclocopters and tiltrotors. Some VTOL aircraft can operate in other modes as well, such as CTOL, STOL, and/or STOVL. Others, such as some helicopters, can only operate by VTOL, due to the aircraft lacking landing gear that can handle horizontal motion. VTOL is a subset of V/STOL. Some lighter-than-air aircraft also qualify as VTOL aircraft, as they can hover, takeoff, and land with vertical approach/departure profiles.

Underside view of the first prototype P.1127. The rotating jet nozzles were a key design element of its VTOL capability Hawker P.1127 'XP831' (19253036156).jpg
Underside view of the first prototype P.1127. The rotating jet nozzles were a key design element of its VTOL capability

During 1957, following an approach by the British aero engine manufacturer Bristol Engine Company, who were designing an innovative vectored thrust engine, British aviation conglomerate Hawker Aircraft developed their design for an aeroplane that could meet an existing NATO specification calling for a "Light Tactical Support Fighter". [2] Bristol's projected vectored thrust engine, which received the name Pegasus, [N 1] harnessed rotatable cold jets which were positioned on either side of the compressor along with a 'hot' jet which was directed via a conventional central tailpipe; this concept had originated from Michel Wibault, a French aviation consultant. Throughout much of the early development work, there was no financial support for the project from HM Treasury; however, support for the engine development portion of the effort was sourced via NATO's Mutual Weapon Development Program (MWDP). [3] [2] [4]

Hawker Aircraft Limited was a British aircraft manufacturer responsible for some of the most famous products in British aviation history.

NATO Intergovernmental military alliance of Western states

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.

Gas turbine engine compressors

As the name suggests, gas turbine engine compressors provide the compression part of the gas turbine engine thermodynamic cycle. There are three basic categories of gas turbine engine compressor: axial compressor, centrifugal compressor and mixed flow compressor. A fourth, unusual, type is the free-piston gas generator, which combines the functions of compressor and combustion chamber in one unit.

Senior project engineer Ralph Hooper at Hawker promptly set about establishing an initial layout for a theoretical aircraft to take advantage of the Pegasus engine, using data provided by Bristol. [2] During March 1959, the newly merged Hawker Siddeley decided to privately fund a pair of prototypes of the design, which had received the internal company designation of P.1127, to demonstrate the design's capabilities. [5] During the 1960s, the P.1127 attracted the attention of the RAF; this would eventually result in the development and issuing of Requirement ASR 384, which sought a V/STOL aircraft for ground attack operations. [6] During late 1965, the RAF placed an order for six pre-production P.1127 (RAF) aircraft. [7]

Ralph Spenser Hooper OBE FREng FRAeS is an English aeronautical engineer, recognised mostly for his work on the Hawker Siddeley Harrier, specifically in relation to the marriage between the Pegasus engine and the layout of the aircraft, allowing it to safely hover with margins of stability.

Hawker Siddeley P.1127 1960 experimental aircraft

The Hawker P.1127 and the Hawker Siddeley Kestrel FGA.1 are the experimental and development aircraft that led to the Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the first vertical and/or short take-off and landing (V/STOL) jet fighter-bomber. P.1127 development began in 1957, taking advantage of the Bristol Engine Company's choice to invest in the creation of the Pegasus vectored-thrust engine. Testing began in July 1960 and by the end of the year the aircraft had achieved both vertical take-off and horizontal flight. The test program also explored the possibility of use upon aircraft carriers, landing on HMS Ark Royal in 1963. The first three aircraft crashed during testing, one at the 1963 Paris Air Show.

Requirements and emergence

Hawker Siddeley XV-6A Kestrel in later USAF markings Hawker Siddeley XV-6A Kestrel USAF.jpg
Hawker Siddeley XV-6A Kestrel in later USAF markings

Around the same time as the RAF's interest in the concept, NATO proceeded to develop their own specification, NBMR-3, which called for a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft; specific requirements included the expectation for the performance of such an aircraft to be equivalent to the conventional McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II fighter. Specifications called for a supersonic V/STOL strike fighter with a combat radius of 460 kilometres (250 nmi), a cruise speed of Mach 0.92, and a dash speed of Mach 1.5. [8] During the early 1960s, Hawker commenced work upon developing a supersonic version of the P.1127, designated as the P.1150, culminating in the abortive Hawker P.1154. NBMR.3 also attracted ten other contenders, among which was P.1154's principal competitor, the Dassault Mirage IIIV. The P.1154 was ultimately selected to meet NBMR-3; however, this did not lead to orders being placed. [9]

On 6 December 1961, prior to the design being submitted to NATO, it was decided that the P.1154 would be developed with the requirements for use by both the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Royal Navy (RN). [10] Following the cancellation of the NBMR-3 requirement, HSA focused all its attention on the British joint requirement. [9] Accordingly, development of the type continued for some time; however, by October 1963, the Ministry of Aviation was concerned with the project's progress, and noted that the effort to combine a strike aircraft and a fighter in a single aircraft, and trying to fit that same airframe to both of the services, was "unsound". [11] On 2 February 1965, work on the P.1154 was cancelled by the new British government on grounds of cost at the point of prototype construction. [12]

Irrespective of work on the P.1154 programme, development had continued on the subsonic P.1127 evaluation aircraft. [7] A total of nine aircraft, known as the Hawker Siddeley Kestrel, was ordered and manufactured for testing. [13] During 1964, the first of these had commenced flight operations; the Kestrel was assessed by the multinational "Tri-partite Evaluation Squadron", which consisted of British, US and German pilots, to determine how VTOL aircraft could be operated; the evaluations were finalised in November 1965. [14] During 1966, following the cancellation of the P.1154, the RAF opted to proceed with ordering a modified derivative of the P.1127/Kestrel for service, which was designated as the Harrier GR.1. [7] [15]

First-generation Harriers

Hawker Siddeley Harrier, in Spanish service
SeaHarrier (cropped).jpg
British Aerospace Sea Harrier, in Royal Navy service

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 prototype and the Kestrel evaluation aircraft. On 18 April 1969, the Harrier GR.1 officially entered service with the RAF when the Harrier Conversion Unit at RAF Wittering received its first aircraft. [16] The United States Marine Corps (USMC) also chose to procure the type, receiving 102 AV-8A and 8 TAV-8A Harriers between 1971 and 1976. [17]

The British Aerospace Sea Harrier is a naval V/STOL jet fighter, reconnaissance and attack aircraft; it was a navalised development of the Hawker Siddeley Harrier. The first version entered service with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm in April 1980 as the Sea Harrier FRS.1, and was informally known as the Shar. [18] Sea Harriers played a high-profile role in the Falklands War of 1982, flying from the aircraft carriers HMS Invincible and HMS Hermes. [19] [20] Wartime experiences led to the production of an improved model in the form of the upgraded Sea Harrier FA2; this version entered operational service on 2 April 1993. [21] [22] The Sea Harrier was also procured by the Indian Navy, where the first Indian Sea Harriers entered squadron service during December 1983. [23]

Second-generation Harriers

Harrier AV-8B banking left, revealing under-fuselage section.jpg
McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II, in United States Marine Corps service
British Aerospace Harrier GR5, UK - Air Force AN0964385.jpg
British Aerospace Harrier II, in Royal Air Force service

As early as 1973, Hawker Siddeley and American aviation manufacturer McDonnell Douglas were jointly working on development of a more capable version of the Harrier. Early efforts concentrated on the development of an improved Pegasus engine, designated the Pegasus 15, which was being tested by Bristol Siddeley. [24] During August 1981, the program received a boost when British Aerospace (BAe) and McDonnell Douglas signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), marking the UK's re-entry into the program. [24] The Harrier was extensively redeveloped by McDonnell Douglas, and later joined by BAe (now parts of Boeing and BAE Systems, respectively), leading to the family of second-generation V/STOL jet multi-role aircraft. The American designation for this was the AV-8B Harrier II . [25]

On 12 December 1983, the first production AV-8B was delivered to the USMC. The AV-8B is primarily used for attack or multi-role tasks, typically operated from small aircraft carriers. [26] [27] The RAF also chose to procure the second generation of the British Aerospace-built (with McDonnell Douglas as subcontractor) Harrier II GR5/GR7/GR9, which entered service in the mid-1980s. [28] This model was also operated by several different NATO countries, including Spain and Italy. In December 1989, the first RAF squadron to be equipped with the Harrier II was declared operational. [29] The British Harrier II was used by the RAF and later by the Royal Navy up to 2010, at which point the Harrier II and the Joint Force Harrier operational unit was disbanded as a cost-saving measure. [30] [31]

Between 1969 and 2003, 824 Harrier variants were delivered. While the manufacture of new Harriers concluded in 1997, the last remanufactured aircraft (Harrier II Plus configuration) was delivered in December 2003, ending the Harrier production line. [32]


Rolls-Royce Pegasus engine on display, sections have been cut out to provide an internal view Aircraft engine RR Pegasus cut-out RH.jpg
Rolls-Royce Pegasus engine on display, sections have been cut out to provide an internal view
Locations of the four nozzles at the sides of the Pegasus engine. Pegasus-engine-diagram.svg
Locations of the four nozzles at the sides of the Pegasus engine.

The Harrier Jump Jet, capable of taking off vertically, can only do so at less than its maximum loaded weight. In most cases, a short take off is performed, using forward speed to achieve aerodynamic lift, which uses fuel more economically than a vertical take off. On aircraft carriers, a ski-jump ramp is employed at the bow of the carrier to assist the aircraft in becoming airborne. Landings are typically performed very differently. Although a conventional landing is possible, the range of speeds at which this can be done is narrow due to relatively vulnerable outrigger undercarriage. Operationally, a near-vertical landing with some forward speed is preferred. Rotating the vectored thrust nozzles into a forward-facing position during normal flight is called vectoring in forward flight, or "VIFFing". This is a dog-fighting tactic, allowing for more sudden braking and higher turn rates. Braking could cause a chasing aircraft to overshoot and present itself as a target for the Harrier it was chasing, a combat technique formally developed by the USMC for the Harrier in the early 1970s. [33] [34]

The wind direction is a critical factor in VTOL manoeuvres. The procedure for vertical takeoff involves facing the aircraft into the wind. The thrust vector is set to 90° and the throttle is brought up to maximum, at which point the aircraft leaves the ground. The throttle is trimmed until a hover state is achieved at the desired altitude. [35] The short-takeoff procedure involves proceeding with normal takeoff and then applying a thrust vector (less than 90°) at a runway speed below normal takeoff speed; usually the point of application is around 65 knots (120 km/h). For lower takeoff speeds the thrust vector is greater. [36] The reaction control system involves thrusters at key points in the aircraft's fuselage and nose, also the wingtips. Thrust from the engine can be temporarily syphoned to control and correct the aircraft's pitch and roll during vertical flight. [37]

The Harrier has been described by pilots as "unforgiving" to fly. [38] The aircraft is capable of both forward flight (where it behaves in the manner of a typical fixed-wing aircraft above its stall speed), as well as VTOL and STOL manoeuvres (where the traditional lift and control surfaces are useless) requiring skills and technical knowledge usually associated with helicopters. Most services demand great aptitude and extensive training for Harrier pilots, as well as experience in piloting both types of aircraft. Trainee pilots are often drawn from highly experienced and skilled helicopter pilots. [N 2] [39] In addition to normal flight controls, the Harrier has a lever for controlling the direction of the four vectoring nozzles. It is viewed by senior RAF officers as a significant design success, that to enable and control the aircraft's vertical flight required only a single lever added in the cockpit. [36] For horizontal flight, the nozzles are directed rearwards by shifting the lever to the forward position; for short or vertical takeoffs and landings, the lever is pulled back to point the nozzles downwards. [40] [41]


As of June 2015, the STOVL variant of the F-35 Lightning II (formerly the Joint Strike Fighter), designated as the F-35B, is intended to replace the AV-8B Harrier II in service with the US Marine Corps [42] [43] while the RAF and Royal Navy are scheduled to introduce the F-35B in 2016 with their first F35 unit, 617 Squadron. [44] [45] [46]

During 2010, it was announced that the RAF and RN would retire their remaining Harriers by 2011, [47] and in December 2010 the RAF's Harrier GR9s made their last operational flights. [48] In June 2011, the MoD denied press reports that the aircraft were to be sold to the US Marine Corps for spares to support their AV-8B fleet. [49] [50] However, at the end of November 2011, the Defence Minister Peter Luff announced the sale of the final 72 Harriers to the US Marine Corps. [51] As many as possible of the 72 Harrier GR9s will be converted to match AV-8B Night Attack configuration to augment the total AV-8B end strength (this will allow the USMC to retire some high-flight-hour F/A-18D aircraft), while the remaining aircraft will be used as spare parts sources for the airworthy fleet.[ citation needed ]

During the first half of 2016, the Indian Navy retired the last of their remaining 11 Sea Harriers, which had been operating from INS Viraat (formerly HMS Hermes), in favour of the conventional Mikoyan MiG-29K. [52]


Hawker P.1127
Kestrel FGA.1
Harrier GR.1/1A/3/3A
(from 1966)
Harrier T.2/2A/4/4A/8/52/60
(from 1970)
AV-8A/C/S Harrier Mk.50/53/55/Matador
TAV-8A/S Harrier Mk.54/Matador
Sea Harrier FRS.1/FRS.51/F(A).2
(from 1978)
AV-8B Harrier II/EAV-8B Matador II/AV-8B Harrier II Night Attack/AV-8B Harrier II Plus
(from 1983)
TAV-8B Harrier II/ETAV-8B Matador II/
Harrier GR.5/5A/7/7A/9/9A
(from 1985)
Harrier T.10/12


Operators of the Harrier (all variants) Harrier operators.png
Operators of the Harrier (all variants)
A Spanish Navy AV-8S Matador aircraft DN-ST-87-06219.JPEG
A Spanish Navy AV-8S Matador aircraft
United States Marine Corps AV-8A of VMA-231 in 1980 AV8A-159240-0247.jpg
United States Marine Corps AV-8A of VMA-231 in 1980
Flag of India.svg  India
Flag of Italy.svg  Italy
Flag of Spain.svg  Spain
Flag of Thailand.svg  Thailand
Flag of the United Kingdom.svg  United Kingdom
Flag of the United States.svg  United States


An unusual feature of the Harrier family of aircraft is their use of two types of flight control to provide pitch, roll and yaw control: conventional control surfaces for wingborne flight, and a system of reaction control valves directing jets of bleed air from the high-pressure compressor of the engine out through the extremities of the nose, tail, and at the wingtips during vectored thrust–borne flight and hover modes. The two systems are fully interlinked but air is not supplied to the reaction control valves during conventional wingborne flight. [55]

Kestrel FGA.1Harrier GR3/AV-8ASea Harrier FA2Harrier GR9AV-8B+ Harrier
CrewOne (Two for trainer versions)
Length42  ft 6  in (13.0  m )47 ft 2 in (14.4 m)46 ft 6 in (14.2 m)46 ft 4 in (14.1 m)47 ft 8 in (14.5 m)
Wingspan22 ft 11 in (6.98 m)25 ft 3 in (7.70 m)25 ft 3 in (7.70 m)30 ft 4 in (9.25 m)30 ft 4 in (9.25 m)
Height10 ft 9 in (3.28 m)11 ft 4 in (3.45 m)12 ft 4 in (3.76 m)11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)
Empty Weight10,000  lb (4,540  kg )12,200 lb (5,530 kg)14,052 lb (6,370 kg)12,500 lb (5,670 kg)?13,968 lb (6,340 kg)
Maximum take-off weight
(short takeoff)
17,000 lb (7,710 kg)26,000 lb (11,800 kg)26,200 lb (11,900 kg)31,000 lb (14,100 kg)31,000 lb (14,100 kg)
Max speed545 mph (877.1 km/h)731 mph (1,176 km/h)735 mph (1,183 km/h)662 mph (1,065 km/h)662 mph (1,065 km/h)
Combat radius200 nmi (370 km)300 nmi (556 km)300 nmi (556 km)
Engine Pegasus 6 Pegasus 11 Mk 101Pegasus 11 Mk 106Pegasus 11 Mk 107Pegasus 11 Mk 105
Thrust15,000  lbf (66.7  kN )21,800 lbf (97.0 kN)21,800 lbf (97.0 kN)24,750 lbf (110 kN)23,500 lbf (105 kN)
RadarNoneNone Blue Fox / Blue Vixen None AN/APG-65
Sources: Nordeen [56]

See also

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists

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STOVL Aircraft takeoff and landing class capable of taking off from a short runway and landing vertically without a runway

A short take-off and vertical landing aircraft is a fixed-wing aircraft that is able to take off from a short runway and land vertically. The formal NATO definition is:

A Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing aircraft is a fixed-wing aircraft capable of clearing a 15 m obstacle within 450 m of commencing take-off run, and capable of landing vertically.

V/STOL Aircraft takeoff and landing using either a short runway or vertically

A vertical and/or short take-off and landing (V/STOL) aircraft is an airplane able to take-off or land vertically or on short runways. Vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft are a subset of V/STOL craft that do not require runways at all. Generally, a V/STOL aircraft needs to be able to hover. Helicopters are not considered under the V/STOL classification as the classification is only used for airplanes, aircraft that achieve lift (force) in forward flight by planing the air, thereby achieving speed and fuel efficiency that is typically greater than the capability of helicopters.

Rolls-Royce Pegasus

The Rolls-Royce Pegasus, formerly the Bristol Siddeley Pegasus, is a turbofan engine originally designed by Bristol Siddeley. It was manufactured by Rolls-Royce plc. The engine is not only able to power a jet aircraft forward, but also to direct thrust downwards via swivelling nozzles. Lightly loaded aircraft equipped with this engine can manoeuvre like a helicopter. In particular, they can perform vertical takeoffs and landings. In US service, the engine is designated F402.

British Aerospace Harrier II multirole combat aircraft series by British Aerospace

The British Aerospace Harrier II is a second-generation vertical/short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) jet aircraft used previously by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and, between 2006 and 2010, the Royal Navy (RN). The aircraft was the latest development of the Harrier Jump Jet family, and was derived from the McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II. Initial deliveries of the Harrier II were designated in service as Harrier GR5; subsequently upgraded airframes were redesignated accordingly as GR7 and GR9.

Bell X-14 Experimental vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) jet aircraft

The Bell X-14 is an experimental VTOL aircraft flown in the United States in the 1950s. The main objective of the project was to demonstrate vectored thrust horizontal and vertical takeoff, hover, transition to forward flight, and vertical landing.

The Hawker Siddeley P.1154 was a planned supersonic vertical/short take-off and landing (V/STOL) fighter aircraft designed by Hawker Siddeley Aviation (HSA).

Yakovlev Yak-43

The Yakovlev Yak-43 was a Soviet VTOL fighter designed as the ground-based version of the ill-fated Yakovlev Yak-141, which failed to reach production. Like the Yak-141, the Yak-43 did not reach production. The Yak-43 would have been the third-generation VTOL/STOL fighter, to follow and eventually replace the Yak-141.

British Aerospace P.1216

The British Aerospace (BAe) P.1216 was a planned Advanced Short Take Off/Vertical Landing (ASTOVL) supersonic aircraft from the 1980s. It was designed by the former Hawker design team at Kingston upon Thames, Surrey, England that created the Harrier Jump Jet family of aircraft.

NBMR-3 NATO specification

NBMR-3 or NATO Basic Military Requirement 3 was a document produced by a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) committee in the early 1960s detailing the specification of future combat aircraft designs. The requirement was for aircraft in two performance groups, supersonic fighter aircraft (NBMR-3a) and subsonic fighter-bomber aircraft (NBMR-3b). Both requirements specifically stated the need for V/STOL performance as the contemporary fear was that airfields could be overrun or disabled through Eastern Bloc hostile actions and that dispersed operating bases would be needed. Germany was planning replacements for the Fiat G.91, and Lockheed F-104G Starfighter using the new aircraft types.



  1. The name "Pegasus" for the engine was in keeping with Bristol's tradition of naming engines after figures from classical mythology.
  2. In preparation for flying the Kestrel, pilots of the Tripartite Evaluation Squadron were provided with several hours of helicopter piloting tuition, all of whom agreed on the effort being highly worthwhile preparation. [39]


  1. Searle, Adrian (29 June 2010). "Fiona Banner's toys for boys are a turn-on at Tate Britain". The Guardian . Archived from the original on 22 October 2013. Retrieved 21 October 2013. the Harrier is in any case named after a bird of prey.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Mason 1967, p. 3.
  3. Hay Stevens, James (20 May 1965), "VTOL Aircraft 1965", Flight, 87 (2932), pp. 769–770
  4. Jefford 2006, pp. 21–22.
  5. Spick and Gunston 2000, p. 358.
  6. Jefford 2006, p. 13.
  7. 1 2 3 Jenkins 1998, p. 21.
  8. Wood 1975, p. 215.
  9. 1 2 Wood 1975, p. 216.
  10. Buttler 2000, pp. 118–119.
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Further reading