Just as one very special and historic Harrier left our custody with the delivery of Trans-Atlantic Air Race Harrier XV741 to Brooklands Museum last month, it’s time to welcome another suitably special airframe to the Jet Art Aviation stable.
Earlier this year Jet Art Aviation acquired XW175, also known as the VAAC Harrier. For any AV geek this aircraft needs no introduction. For those of you needing some VSTOL education here is a brief resumé. This aircraft is a significant, benchmark airframe with the following claims to fame:
Oldest 2-seater Harrier in existence
Longest serving Harrier ever; 1969 to 2008 last flight: Staggering 40 years’ service
The last fixed-wing aircraft to launch from HMS Invincible
First Harrier to achieve more than 100 Ski jump ramp launches
Only surviving example of a development batch two Seat V/STOL ground attack and reconnaissance fighter / trainer. Built to specification: SR(A)386.
First 2 seat Harrier to fly from a Ski Jump launch ramp in August 1977
Flown by great test pilots such as John Farley
Only Fly-By-Wire Harrier ever
Cutting edge research aircraft used for trial supporting JSF and other platforms
In July 2019 it will be 50 years old
Jet Art Aviation will be loaning the aircraft to the RAF Cosford Airshow this year for a final public appearance at Cosford on the 9th June. The aircraft will be on static display alongside other Harriers in a special 50th Anniversary celebratory line up. Negotiations are currently underway with several other airshows to get the aircraft into other static line ups throughout the UK airshow season to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Harrier, prior to road movement to Jet Art Aviation’s site.
NB: All sensitive trials equipment has been removed from the aircraft, as well as items of US origin. This has reverted the aircraft back to all British spec designated as Harrier T4A.
Historic photograph of XW175 in 1977 during Ski jump launch trials at RAE Bedford. Photo by Peter Hudson