Harrier Going Out of Service

The Harrier, the famous British Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) jet that has defended the UK and pleased crowds at countless air shows since it entered service with the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1969 has made its last operational flight from RAF Cottesmore in Rutland on 15 December.

As the Harrier is retiring, the desire to keep one unit of the jet flying to commemorate the success story is becoming stronger.

This could be possible, as another iconic British jet that went out of service quite a while ago, the Vulcan, was kept flying (one example) by Vulcan to the Sky trust. Chief executive officer Dr Robert Pleming would love to also save a Harrier but this is a real challenge.

There are three areas of concern; technical, certification and money,” he explains. “We have successfully addressed the first two with the Vulcan, but raising money to keep her flying is still an ongoing challenge. Even with our growing commercial income, we are still dependent on donations and corporate sponsorship.

The trust's technical director, Andrew Edmonson believes that the technical issues could be solved, with the aircraft being maintained at a decent technical level.

We have to maintain the Vulcan to the same high standards as today’s military aircraft and we achieve reliability that is at least as good. With a highly professional team, many of whom are ex-RAF, this is achievable. But we receive no government funding. I welcome any initiative to keep the Harrier flying for the British people, but even if certification could be agreed, the commercial challenge will be considerable," Pleming concluded.
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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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