Updated: Sep 10

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:

  1. Oldest 2-seater Harrier in existence

  2. Longest serving Harrier ever; 1969 to 2008 last flight: Staggering 40 years’ service

  3. The last fixed-wing aircraft to launch from HMS Invincible

  4. First Harrier to achieve more than 100 Ski jump ramp launches

  5. Only surviving example of a development batch two Seat V/STOL ground attack and reconnaissance fighter / trainer. Built to specification: SR(A)386.

  6. First 2 seat Harrier to fly from a Ski Jump launch ramp in August 1977

  7. Flown by great test pilots such as John Farley

  8. Only Fly-By-Wire Harrier ever

  9. Cutting edge research aircraft used for trial supporting JSF and other platforms

  10. 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

 

Updated: Sep 10

 

 

A specialist team from Jet Art Aviation loaded XV741 onto 2 lorries at their HQ in Yorkshire on Monday 1st April, with one lorry taking the fuselage and the other taking the wing, tailplane, fin and external fuel tanks. On the Morning of Tuesday 2nd April the lorries began their 200 mile journey south, arriving at the museum late afternoon. The team immediately got to work unloading the fuselage and fitting the wing, working well into the evening. The day ended with the aircraft sitting back on its undercarriage for the first time in 7 years. The team were straight back on it Wednesday morning, fitting the tailplane and the fin in front of a curious and excited crowd of museum visitors and employees alike. With the majority of the panelling carried out on Wednesday, Thursday saw work reassembling the aircraft fully completed with the final touches of attaching the air to air refuel probe, drop tanks and belly strakes bringing the aircraft’s painstaking restoration journey to a very satisfying conclusion. The Harrier was then towed out of the hangar and placed next to Concorde for a photoshoot celebrating two incredible achievements of fast Trans-Atlantic crossings by air. The exhibition of XV741 alongside the Vickers Vimy portrays a fantastic juxtaposition between old and new, illustrating the rapid developments in aviation technology with just 50 years separating the Vimy and the Harrier.

 

 

Updated: Sep 12

 

Transatlantic Air Race Harrier XV741, which famously achieved the fastest time in the London to New York leg of the 1969 Great Air Race piloted by Sqn Leader Tom Lecky-Thompson will be going on public display at Brooklands museum.

 

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first non stop Atlantic crossing in 1919 by Alcock and Brown and the 50th Anniversary of the Transatlantic Air Race, in May XV741 will be going on display alongside the 1919 Vickers Vimy replica at the museum in a special exhibition ”The First and the Fastest”.

 

 

Jet Art would like to thank the generosity of the aircraft owner who has funded the transformation of this historic aeroplane back to 1969 Air Race Spec. Harrier XV741 will be placed on loan with Brooklands Museum so the restored aircraft can be enjoyed and viewed by the public.