By Dennis R. Jenkins
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Extra info for Boeing/BAe Harrier
The resulting Principe de Asturias is a 16,700-ton aircraft carrier equipped with a 12° ski-ramp on its bow. It was launched in 1982, performed sea trials in 1987, and was commissioned in 1988. The Spanish Harriers were wired to carry Sidewinders on the outer wing pylon, although a training round is being carried here. (British Aerospace) When Spain began to acquire more modern AV-8Bs, the Matadors were placed in a supporting role at Rota, mainly for training and indoctrination. In early 1992, a $70 million deal was signed by the Spanish to transfer seven singleseat and a pair of two-seat aircraft to the Royal Thai Navy.
WARBIRDTECH ow RIERS SEA . A. •. \. 1127's first J \ flight, engineers at Hawker had prepared a report detailing the possibilities of using a vectored-thrust V/STOL aircraft in a naval role. In this case the engineers provided data that indicated the new aircraft could operate, not just from aircraft carriers, but from frigates, merchant ships, and possibly even assault landing craft. Although no action was taken as a result of this report, the idea slowly began to take hold. The Admiralty began drafting a requirement in 1962 for an advanced V/STOL carrier-borne interceptor to replace the de Havilland Sea Vixen.
Recovery involved neutralizing the controls, setting the nozzles to aft, and the throttle to idle. Although in the end no one doubted that the AV-8 was a useful combat aircraft, and it had certainly won the affections of its pilots, the Harrier was nevertheless a rather limited performer. The AV-8A could carry 1,500 pounds of bombs on a 435-mile combat mission using a 1,200-foot takeoff run. This was about 80 miles short of the A-4's normal radius of action, and the A-4 could carry 4,000 pounds of bombs - more than double the Harrier's load.