Harrier at Miramar MCAS 2009

Photo Gallery

Miramar did not one, but two seperate AV-8B Harrier demonstrations on Saturday. The AV-8B is flown by the Marines only - they are not used by the Air Force, or Navy. It's claim to fame is the ability to have very short take off and landings, and even do a vertical take off and landing.
- Bernard Zee

Afternoon Show

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! :-)

Twilight Show

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.

BZ Miramar 2009 Gallery Index