The Sea Harrier Model FA.2
This is the Sea Harrier, known as the “SHAR.” It is a single-engine, single-seat Vertical, Short, Takeoff and Landing (VSTOL) fighter, designed specifically for service with the British Royal Navy and operations aboard ship.
This derivative was a modification from the GR-1/GR-3 versions of the Harrier which were in service with the Royal Air Force. The specific changes made from the GR versions for the Royal Navy were to change many of the airframe and engine components from magnesium to aluminum for more corrosion-resistance in the shipboard environment. Additionally, the cockpit was raise approximately 11 inches and given a bubble canopy for increased visibility and the addition of a Blue Fox radar and associated avionics for the Strike / Fighter missions. The weapons suite was also modified for air-to-air weapons instead of ground attack weapons. The resulting airplane was nimble, agile. and lethal – – and could land almost anywhere.
This kind of airplane was used by the British in the 1982 War with Argentina over sovereignty of the Falklands Islands. During that campaign, British Sea Harriers shot down an amazing 21 Argentine aircraft with NO air-to-air losses. An incredible 21 to nothing record!
The aircraft owned by NALLS AVIATION, Serial Number XZ-439 and registered in the United States as N94422, is the world’s first and only privately-owned and flown Harrier of any kind. It is extremely rare. Of the more than 45 different Harrier variants, there were only 76 Sea Harriers built. This one is the oldest surviving SHAR and the second one to roll off the assembly line.