Harrier Rising - BAe Harrier GR9
British Aerospace Harrier GR.9 Aviation Art Print by Aviation Artist Neil Hipkiss AGAvA
The Hawker Siddeley/ BAe Harrier must rank as one of the greatest successes ever achieved by the British aero industry as it remains the only successful VTOL fighter ever produced.
From its introduction with 1 Sqn in 1969, the aircraft was improved with the Sea Harrier proving itself a superb aircraft in the Falklands War of 1982. The original design did have limitations and McDonnell-Douglas and British Aerospace began work on a larger version, the AV-8 which would lead to the UK's GR5/GR7/GR9 family of much improved aircraft.
The aircraft shown is ZD402, originally built as a GR5 but upgraded through both GR7 and GR9 standards. It is seen here serving with 1 Squadron, based at Cottesmore and would later, upon retirement of the Harrier fleet, be containerised and sent to the USA for use as spares.