By John Dibbs, Tony Holmes
An operational heritage of the Harrier "jump-jet" warplane. either previous and new models of the airplane are featured together with the hot AV-8B Harrier, blooded in strive against for the 1st time throughout the Gulf struggle.
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Extra resources for Harrier: the V STOL warrior
I was free and I did quite a bit of work at home. I was studying books on all fields, anything technical interested me, particularly aviation. With Germany and Austria at war in 1917, Edgar was not conscripted as he was already working as a mechanic in the Austro-Hungarian Flying Service. With the German surrender the following year, he returned to his family and began work on his home-built sports biplane to be powered by a three-cylinder Belgian-made Anzani engine. The terms of the Versailles Treaty at the end of the war required the return of any property taken when Germany occupied other countries.
Little wonder there was no room on the table for North American’s P-51. Of all the aircraft discussed by the Army Pursuit Board that October, only the Northrop P-61 Black Widow night fighter would ever see combat. Crucially for Army planners, they had only two pursuit/ fighter types then in quantity production for the service, the Bell P-39D Airacobra and the Curtiss-Wright P-40E Warhawk, neither of which was capable of the kind of performance they needed. Their best hope for a successful high-altitude air-superiority fighter lay in the twin-engined, turbo-supercharged Lockheed P-38 Lightning and the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, should one or both live up to their touted capabilities.
Performance testing of the Merlin-engined Mustangs proved the brilliance of Ronnie Harker’s idea. The fabulous fighter had a top speed of 441 mph, more than 50 mph faster than the Allison-powered Mustang, with greatly improved performance in virtually all other categories as well. And by late December 1943, the RAF Air Fighting Development Unit had tested the new, improved P-51B Mustang and was impressed. They described it as: “. . delightfully easy to handle . . a much cleaner aircraft than the Spitfire Mk IX and twenty to thirty mph faster at all heights, with a range between fifty to seventy-five percent better.