Model Airplane News

Model Airplane News Cover for November,1962 by Jo Kotula Hawker-Siddley Gr.3 Harrier

Hawker-Siddley Gr.3 "Harrier"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for November,1962
by Jo Kotula
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The Harrier family was started with the Hawker P.1127. Rather than using rotors or a direct jet thrust the P.1127 had an innovative vectored thrust turbofan engine and the first vertical take-off was on October 21, 1960. Six prototypes were built in total, one of which was lost at an air display.

 The Hawker-Siddley Gr.3 Harrier

Hawker-Siddley Gr.3 "Harrier"
Click to Enlarge

The first major combat experience for the Harrier in British service was during the Falklands War where both the BAE Sea Harrier FRS.1 and Harrier GR.3 were used. The Sea Harrier, developed from the GR.3, was important to the naval activities. Twenty Sea Harriers were operated from the carriers HMS Hermes and Invincible mainly for fleet air defence. Although they destroyed 21 Argentine aircraft in air combat (in part due to using the American-supplied latest variant of the Sidewinder missile and the Argentine aircraft operating at extreme range) they couldn't establish complete air superiority and prevent Argentine attacks during day or night nor stop the daily flights of C-130 Hercules transports to the islands.

Harrier GR.3s were operated by the RAF from Hermes, and provided close support to the ground forces and attacked Argentine positions. However, they were unable to destroy the Stanley runway. If most of the Sea Harriers had been lost, the GR.3s would have replaced them in air patrol duties. Four Harriers GR.3s were lost to ground fire, accidents, or mechanical failure. The RAF Harriers would not see further combat, as the Hawker Siddeley airframes were replaced by the larger Harrier II developed jointly by McDonnell Douglas and British Aerospace.

Here is a video of the Hawker-Siddley Gr.3 "Harrier" in action:

Click Here for more information about the Hawker-Siddley Gr.3 "Harrier".

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