The AV-8B Harrier II is a 2nd generation Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing VSTOL aircraft. The Harrier can be seen here in hover mode. A bit of smoke can be seen venting from the front of the jet nozzle - which is pointed downwards.
The Harrier II serves as a ground attack aircraft for the Marines - though it can be a formidable fighter as well. Recall the British use of Harriers against Agentinia's aircraft during the Faulkland Wars. The Harrier of originally a British design, and have been in use there since the mid 60's.
Pilots have to be careful when doing vertical take offs/landings, as the hot exhaust gases have a tendency to melt the asphalt!
With a combat load, the Harrier is more likely to do a rolling takeoff, as it uses a lot of fuel to do a vertical take off (and it may not actually generate enough lift as well)!
A Harrier in hover is insanely loud. Usually I like loud, but the type of noise the Harrier makes is just obnoxious! :-)
Here's the AV-8B taking of after a very short roll for the Twilight show.
Coming in for a vertical landing after hovering.
Back in the air again in the beautiful light of the setting sun.
Blasting away with the aid of water injection to the engines - which causes the black smoke.