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Harrier GR.7 "Exercise Snow Falcon" ZG531, No1. Sqn., RAF, Norway 2004
General Background
The Harrier is the first operational V/STOL (Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing) aircraft. By directing the engines exhaust through movable nozzles the force could be used to propel the aircraft along a runway or lift it vertically and then into a forward motion. Because of this ability to lift off vertically the Harriers began to be referred to as “jump jets”. These aircraft were continuously being refined and improved over the years with many new variants being produced.
The Aircraft
The Harrier GR.7 made its maiden flight in 1990. In 2004 seven Harriers from 1 Squadron and 4 Squadron were given a temporary arctic white and grey winter camouflage paint scheme so they could participate in “Exercise Snow Falcon” beginning on January 23 and taking place at Bardufoss, Norway. One of the aircraft from 1 Squadron was ZG531, built in 1991 C/N P85. This aircraft was in service until 2010 and eventually made its way to the bone yard at Davis-Monthan AFB in 2018.
Specifications :
Crew: 1
Length: 46 ft 4 in (14.12 m)
Height: 11 ft 8 in (3.56 m)
Wingspan: 30 ft 4 in (9.25 m)
Wing area 343 ft² (22.6 m²)
Empty: 12,500 lb (5,700 kg)
Loaded: 15,703 lb (7,123 kg)
Maximum Takeoff : VTO 18,950 lb (8,595 kg)
STO 31,000 lb (14,016 kg
Engines: 1× Rolls-Royce Pegasus Mk. 105 turbofan with four thrust vectored exhaust nozzles, 21,750 lb (96.7 kN)
Maximum speed: 662 mph (1,065 km/h)
Combat radius: 300 nmi (556 km)
Ferry range: 2,015 mi ( 3,242.8 km )
Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m)
Rate of climb: 14,715 ft/min (74.8 m/s)
Guns 2 × 30 mm (1.18 in) ADEN cannon pods under the fuselage
Hardpoints 8× under-wing pylon stations holding up to 8,000 lb (3,650 kg) of payload