Aviation -- and in the United States a modified version of the British Harrier "jump-jet" fighter plane has flow for the firs time.
Aviation -- and in the United States a modified version of the British Harrier "jump-jet" fighter plane has flow for the firs time. On November the ninth test pilot Charles A. Plummer took off in the McDonnell Douglas YAV - 8B at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and hovered at about one hundred and thirty feet (35 metres) above the ground for most of the flight.
SYNOPSIS: Developed originally by the British firm Hawker Siddeley, the Harrier is the world's only successful vertical take-off aeroplane. But in 1975 Britain bowed out of the possibility of co-operation with the United States on an advanced version. Since then McDonnell Douglas has been primarily involved in the development of Harriers designed to meet the needs of the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
Modifications on the latest version include a new wing structure giving increased area, and a second row of air intakes. The Rolls Royce Pegaus Eleven engines have also been improved. Development to production standards is due to start in January and -- if approved -- full scale production will begin in 1983. The United States Marine Corps are already flying a McDonnell Douglas version of the Harrier -- the Av-8A.
The Chinese are also interested in the Harrier. Following the recent visit to Britain of Vice-Premier Wang Chen, the British government has begun consultations with its allies on the possible sale of the fighter to China. It may eventually be deployed along China's border with the Soviet Union.