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Sea Harrier at Falklands Anniversary

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Sea Harrier at Falklands Anniversary

Old 24th Mar 2007, 19:07
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Sea Harrier at Falklands Anniversary

As I've mentioned elswhere on PPRuNe, & it's been suggested worth a mention here;

The only flyable ex-RN Sea Harrier, XZ 439 ( a Dunsfold development jet which did the first European AMRAAM firings at Eglin ) now owned by ex-US Marines & AV-8B Test pilot Art Nalls, has been unofficially asked to come over for the Falklands 25th Anniversary display, but despite backing from THE TOP Harrier man, is having trouble with officialdom ( sponsorship too but not such a big-hitting snag).

Excuses go as far as lack of glide range over London for a single engine jet ! I happen to have photographed the 50th Anniversary Battle of Britain flypast by a formation of Merlin & Griffon Spitfires, among many others - how does the engine reliability there compare to a Pegasus, I ask you with a lot more knowledge than I ?!

Apparently the Red Arrows Hawks are acceptable, as they glide better ( I know the glide ratio of a Harrier is interesting ! ) but still seems a poor place to be gliding, with maybe Hyde Park or the Surpentine as options...

This seems shameful to me, how can one have a Falklands Anniversary without a Seajet ?

Maybe sour grapes from the Navy as they didn't have the brains to keep one for the Historic Flight, ( I know there's an FA2 in storage ) and the only example of a pretend FRS1 on show at Yeovilton is a bodged-up GR3...
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Old 24th Mar 2007, 19:26
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Although I am an engineer and not a pilot I do seem to remember, many moons ago, a Harrier landing in a building site in the centre of London. Have the rules changed since then?
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Old 24th Mar 2007, 19:33
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Absolutely spot on . That was Tom Leckey- Thompson in a GR1 in the late 60's by St.Pancras Station during the Trans Atlantic Air Races.
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Old 24th Mar 2007, 19:36
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Tom Leckey- Thompson in the late 60's
'elf 'n safety has come on a bit since the 60s, don't forget. The insurance claim for a crash in central London could be huge.
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Old 24th Mar 2007, 19:46
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Reminds me of the old N.I. joke.
"Centre of Belfast Nuked- 70,000 pounds worth of damage done."
Good point though.
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Old 24th Mar 2007, 19:46
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Harrier over London

I'm not a pilot either, trained as a fitter before going tech' photographer for Experimental Instrumentation at Dunsfold - might sound grand but among the great people I worked with there was the odd complete git !

I think the Harrier take-off you're referring to was from St Pancras railway station at the beginning of the trans-atlantic racein 1969 or so.

By taking off & landing at the city centres ( London & New York ) the Harriers beat the Phantoms !

I have a copy of the photo at St Pancras if you should like it.
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Old 24th Mar 2007, 20:35
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It was the old St Pancras goods yard where the British Library now stands.
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Old 24th Mar 2007, 20:42
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I don't see that the comparative reliabilities of the engines is really a consideration, it's what you do if the engine packs up that's the important bit! IMHO the only way you'll see a Seajet in central London is a static display! The only flying Harrier I in the UK is the Qinetiq VAAC however, it doesn't look much like an FA2!


Even if you won the single engine, glide like a brick, it'll be alright over London, argument. I don't see how you would find a pilot that could be authorised to fly one. The airframe and engine are now not supported by an engineering authority either. I can't see an answer to this one in the next 2.5 months! Given the exceptional amount of work still left to do on the Vulcan it'll be a miracle if that is ready either, but fingers crossed!
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Old 24th Mar 2007, 20:49
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Hmmmm

'wot about the one that "was" sitting in a hangar at Cottesmore 9 months ago??
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Old 24th Mar 2007, 21:11
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None of the ones at Witt/Cott would be any good because of the engines. The best ones are the Culdrose Handling School jets because they have been kept in taxying condition.
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Old 24th Mar 2007, 21:31
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Maybe someone should ask the guy who took a few of them away from here, St.Athan, a couple of years ago. He swore blind he was going to fly one (He loaded a frame with a fairly low hours engine on the back of a 40 footer).

God help us
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Old 24th Mar 2007, 23:06
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Smile Harrier reliability

In 14 years at Dunsfold, never knew a 'modern' Harrier to have an actual engine failure, except the rare fingers & thumbs swithchology snag & maybe pop surges in the hover ( recovered by Test Pilots without much effort or brown trousers )- I presume it wouldn't be nodding to Her Majesty, though that would be a nice idea & fitting salute.

Both Art Nalls & primarlily John Farley among others have glided them rather well - though starting off at 2,000 feet seems a bit challlenging !

As for Health & Safety, as Tim Brooke-Taylor once mentioned, " as long as you've got your elf !"
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Old 25th Mar 2007, 09:31
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Why can't we just ask the Indian Navy ( nicely ) to lend us one?

or arrange a hospitality visit for their carrier ( ex - Hermes )
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Old 25th Mar 2007, 11:25
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Indian FRS 51

I was waiting for someone to mention them ! At least they're Mk 1's so decent looking & more representative - but I should think the 'Sun' etc would have a field day, rightly so for a change if the RN can't get it's act together...
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Old 25th Mar 2007, 13:35
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There is also an unofficial Sea Harrier reunion planned for 4 May details here:

An annual Sea Harrier Bash is envisioned. This will comprise an informal RV at a suitable inner London boozer on the Friday before the Army-Navy Rugby game each year. In 2007 this means that all ex-Sea Harrier pilots, Air Engineers, Freddies and Sqn Staff Officers are invited to saunter along on Friday 4th May from 1800 onward for beer, dits and similar. For the chosen location and more details please PM me or email [email protected] See you there.

Spon
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Old 25th Mar 2007, 15:33
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I was waiting for someone to mention them ! At least they're Mk 1's so decent looking & more representative - but I should think the 'Sun' etc would have a field day, rightly so for a change if the RN can't get it's act together...



Perhaps we wouldn't be in this situation if the Sun etc had paid more attention to the decommisioning decision. Some of us did try (with the Sea Jet thread and other means) to get the media to pay attention, but they were more interested in Z list celebs.
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Old 25th Mar 2007, 16:10
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SeaJet

Yes, I did chip in on the SeaJet thread, as well as www.harrier.org.uk
on the messages board & a wonderful contribution on the history section - 'Harrier Testing' where if nothing else there are some of my shots ( Loch Ness standard compared to modern digital stuff ) of FRS1's & 51's.

I still maintain - if you'll pardon the pun - that the FA2's could have had another update / refit at what in military terms is peanuts.

I photographed the illustrations & cockpit rig of the hoped -for original standard of the FRS2 - as then - with single piece blown bulged canopy, large Lithium wing, wingtip missile rails, glass cockpit, JTIDS etc - if only !

At least a sensible compromise, for commonality with the RAF, would have been a few Harrier 2+'s - I was told by a Navy Test Pilot they could keep up with a Bear at altitude ( though slower lower down than a SHAR ).

Once photographed a trial fit on a 2+ with 6 Amraams all on BOL countermeasures rails; the 2+ is built like a tank too, to avoid the acoustic fatigue on the aft fuselage - though the radar wasn't as good as Blue Vixen & bringing back that stores weight to a carrier was dubious.

The Navy is playing a dangerous game assuming no-one will be impolite enough to attack, bearing in mind the woefully lacking SIX type 45's ( if they don't get flogged to Saudi ) and the inevitable delays to the JSF Dave.

As related in recent books by Falklands veteran pilots, the very second hostilities are over it's back on with the cummerbunds & the Navy becomes a motor-yacht club again...

Have also tried mentioning this anniversary issue on 'RumRation' though I don't think too much of it as a website, & no luck as yet.

Maybe the 'Sun' is worth a try after all - something I never thought I'd say !
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Old 25th Mar 2007, 16:51
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Just wait until the new CinC come to power at the end of next week- things may change...

SMT
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Old 25th Mar 2007, 18:07
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There was a Harrier 16-ship in the BofB 50 flypast so the rules must have been changed since then (or relaxed for that event).

But surely, there wouldn't be much point in having a Sea Harrier FA2 in a Falklands flypast would there?

Anyone heard of anything else scheduled for the flypast? I believe there will be a C130K and a C130J, and the Vulcan if it flies in time (and somebody pays for it!)
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Old 25th Mar 2007, 19:28
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Surely the most important aircraft to have in the flypast would be the Victor K2 without which nothing else would have made it much past Lands End! Oh we haven't any of those flying either - perhaps we should just learn to live with the reality that aircraft go out of Service.
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