The Hawker Siddeley Harrier “Jump Jetˮ is a British V/STOL aeroplane developed in the 1960s. The initial version, the Harrier GR.1, was based on the pre-production P.1127 (RAF) fighter, of which a batch of 60 was ordered for the RAF in 1967. A similar model – designated Mk.50, with simplified navigational/attack system, was exported to the United States as the AV-8A, for use by the Marine Corps and a total of 102 aircraft were delivered during the early 1970s. Some 60 aircraft were upgraded as the AV-8Cs by mid 1980s.
The Harrier GR.1/AV-8 was a single-seat fixed-wing all-metal monoplane powered by a R-R Pegasus turbojet (US designation F402), used for ground-attack, close air support, reconnaissance and fighter roles. It was fitted with two air intakes and four vectoring nozzles for directing the thrust generated by the engine. It had a tandem undercarriage and two outrigger landing gear units. External store hard points were installed for carrying a variety of weapons and external fuel tanks: two under each wing and one under the fuselage, while two Aden cannon gun pods could also be fitted beneath the fuselage.
The Harrier GR.1 is also known to have won the Daily Mail Transatlantic Air Race between London and New York in May 1969, commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the first transatlantic crossing.
Colour schemes included in the kit:
1) Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR Mk.1, XV741, White XV741, Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment (A&AEE), MoD/RAF, Boscombe Down Air Base, Wiltshire, U.K., flown by Flt.Lt. T. Lecky-Thompson during the Daily Mail Transatlantic Air Race, May 1969
2) Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR Mk.1, XV759, No.233 OCU (Operational Conversion Unit), RAF, Wittering Air Base, Cambridgeshire, U.K., 1971
3) AV-8A Harrier (Hawker Siddeley Harrier Mk.50), BuNo 158707/WH12, White 12/Black WH, VMA-542 (Marine Attack Squadron 542) ‘Tigers’, US Marine Corps, MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina (detachment MCAS Yuma, Arizona), U.S.A., 1974
4) AV-8C Harrier (Hawker Siddeley Harrier Mk.50), BuNo 159374/KD14, White 14/KD, VMAT-203 (Marine Attack Training Squadron 203) ‘Hawks’, US Marine Corps, MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, U.S.A., mid-1980s