BAe Harrier GR.7 - 20 Squadron
One of the greatest achievements of the British aerospace industry, the mechanics behind the worlds only successful VTOL aircraft were designed by Frenchman Michel Wibault
With the earlier versions of the aircraft proving themselves during the Falkland Conflict it was deemed necessary by the Royal Air Force and United States Marine Corps to update and redesign the aircraft to allow a new generation of Harrier to serve into the 21st Century. In this they were very successful with the first of the new generation being the GR.Mk.7, as shown here and the type reaching its zenith with the GR.Mk.9.
The type has since seen action in Iraq and Afghanistan but was one of the victims of the defence review of 2011, the remaining RAF aircraft being sold to the United States. From 1992, 20(R) Squadron was utilised as the Harrier Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) and it is from this unit that the aircraft in the picture comes