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Vertical Dreams

The Hawker Harrier At 50

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(Matt Hale)
"Although I had spent many years as a photographer staring at countless Harriers," writes Tim McLelland in his new book Harrier, "the aircraft takes on a rather different appearance when one is about to go flying in it. Up close, the Harrier isn't quite as sleek and slippery as it looks when it races past the crowds at an air show. In fact, the Harrier is quite a portly aircraft—essentially a pair of huge, gaping air intakes accompanied by a sharply downward-raked wing and a strangely-contoured fuselage featuring all manner of ugly bumps and protuberances."

In his new book, McLelland takes a look at the Hawker Harrier, one of the most advanced and versatile airplanes of the post-war era.

In this photo: The Fleet Air Arm's Harrier T8 fleet adopted the RAF's all-black "high visibility" paint scheme, although national insignia were applied to a "toned down" red and blue style. Click on the images above to see more photographs from the book.

Adapted from Harrier, by Tim McLelland (Ian Allan Publishing, 2011). Text and images reprinted with the publisher's permission.

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