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AV8B Harrier Bio

An AV8B Harrier preforms at the 2009 Cleveland National Air ShowThe Harrier Jump Jet, often referred to as just "Harrier" or "the Jump Jet", is a British designed military jet aircraft capable of Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing (V/STOL) via thrust vectoring. The Harrier family is the only truly successful design of this type from the many that arose in the 1960s.

There are four main versions of the Harrier family Hawker Siddeley Harrier, British Aerospace Sea Harrier, Boeing/BAE Systems AV-8B Harrier II, and BAE Systems/Boeing Harrier II. The Hawker Siddeley Harrier is the first generation version and is also known as the AV-8A Harrier. The Sea Harrier is a Maritime strike/air defence fighter. The AV-8B is the second generation Harrier and the BAE Harrier II is the British variant.

Following an approach by the Bristol Engine Company in 1957 that they were planning a directed thrust engine, Hawker Aircraft came up with a design for an aeroplane that could meet the NATO specification for a "Light Tactical Support Fighter". There was no financial support for the development from HM Treasury, but aid was found through the Mutual Weapon Development Project (MWAn AV8B Harrier returns to Nellis Air Force Base during Red Flag 10-3DP) of NATO.

The P.1127 was ordered as a prototype and flew in 1960. NATO developed a specification (NBMR-3) for a VTOL aircraft, but one that was expected to have the performance of an aircraft like the F-4 Phantom. Hawker drafted a supersonic version of the P.1127, the P.1150, and also the Hawker P.1154 which would meet NBMR-3. The latter was a winner of the NATO competition and development continued until cancelled at the point of prototype construction in 1965.

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