Tag Archives: Harrier Jump Jet

Rare video of Marines AV-8B Harrier no nose gear vertical landing on amphibious assault ship

One of the few (if not the only) video showing a Harrier Jump Jet (nose) gear up landing on USS Bataan.

Here’s something you don’t see every day.

On Jun. 7, 2014, U.S. Marine Corps Capt. William Mahoney, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 263 (Reinforced), 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), had to perform Vertical Landing on USS Bataan, after his AV-8B Harrier aircraft experienced a front landing gear malfunction.

USS Bataan was operating in the U.S. 6th Fleet area of operations to augment U.S. Crisis Response forces in the region when Mahoney took off from the amphibious assault ship.

As he was climbing away from the deck he suddenly realized he had a gear malfunction. He immediately slowed down in order not to overspeed the landing gear, returned above the ship at 2,000 feet and started talking to “Paddles” (LSO – Landing Signal Officers), a pilot in the control tower who could provide assistance by radio.

Harrier no nose gear down

The Harrier flew the approach at 300 ft so that the LSO could see the landing gear and give some guidance to put the nose on a tool the ship has for this kind of issues: a sort-of stool.

Since there’s no way to train to land in this kind of situation, the pilot had to fly a perfect vertical landing, using the ship lighting system and the help of LSO on his first attempt.

Luckily, he stabilized at 20 feet and managed to land in the proper spot as shown in the video (that, weirdly, was removed by the Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa/U.S. 6th Fleet feed that had published it; luckily, we found it again and reuploaded it since it is unclassified and released as you can see in the first frames of the footage).

 

Low level flying and bombing run from the Harrier Jump Jet cockpit

About three years ago a fleet of about 50 perfectly working Harrier GR9 aircraft belonging to the RAF Joint Force Harrier were retired as a consequence of a spending review.

Some of them were sold to the U.S. Marine Corps to serve as spares for a similar version of the “Jump Jet”, the AV-8B Harrier until the latter is replaced by the F-35B Lightning II, the STOVL version of the JSF (Joint Strike Fighter).

This footage will bring you back to the time when the British Harriers flew at high speed and ultra low level to train for CAS (Close Air Support) missions across the world.

 

H/T to AFM for publishing the link to this video on their FB page

 

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[Photo] Man-carrying, under-wing pods capable of being fitted to fighter jets and helicopters

It’s almost impossible to imagine the self discipline required to be stuck inside one of those for long periods of time but, believe it or not, Exint pods, man-carrying pods designed to be carried by fast jets and choppers exist.

They were conceived as an alternate method of inserting and extracting special forces (or wounded soldiers) and were developted by AVPRO UK Ltd in the late 1990s. They were reportedly tested on the Harrier jump jet, the AH-64 Apache and, according to some sources, were as still are certified for use on the Israeli AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters.

Bjørn Broten, a reader of The Aviationist has found a couple of images of the Exint pods on a militaryphotos.net forum thread.

Exint 1

According to several sources, a similar pod, dubbed GRIER (Ground Rescue Insertion Extraction Resupply) was designed by the McDonnell Douglas for the AV-8B Harrier, but it was never used (or, at least, there is no evidence of it being used) most probably because of the proximity of the pylon used to carry the pod to the noisy rotating jet nozzles of the Rolls-Royce Pegasus engine.

More recently, Special Forces have been carried on the weapon-carrying stub wings attack helicopters: the image below shows an Italian Army A-129 Mangusta chopper carrying two soldiers hanging from the helicopter’s landing gear legs.

Mangusta special forces

Image credit: Militaryphotos.net & The Aviationist’s Giovanni Maduli

H/T to Bjørn Broten for the heads-up

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[Photo] Man-carrying, under-wing pods capable of being fitted to fighter jets and helicopters

It’s almost impossible to imagine the self discipline required to be stuck inside one of those for long periods of time but, believe it or not, Exint pods, man-carrying pods designed to be carried by fast jets and choppers exist.

They were conceived as an alternate method of inserting and extracting special forces (or wounded soldiers) and were developted by AVPRO UK Ltd in the late 1990s. They were reportedly tested on the Harrier jump jet, the AH-64 Apache and, according to some sources, were as still are certified for use on the Israeli AH-1 Cobra attack helicopters.

Bjørn Broten, a reader of The Aviationist has found a couple of images of the Exint pods on a militaryphotos.net forum thread.

Exint 1

According to several sources, a similar pod, dubbed GRIER (Ground Rescue Insertion Extraction Resupply) was designed by the McDonnell Douglas for the AV-8B Harrier, but it was never used (or, at least, there is no evidence of it being used) most probably because of the proximity of the pylon used to carry the pod to the noisy rotating jet nozzles of the Rolls-Royce Pegasus engine.

More recently, Special Forces have been carried on the weapon-carrying stub wings attack helicopters: the image below shows an Italian Army A-129 Mangusta chopper carrying two soldiers hanging from the helicopter’s landing gear legs.

Mangusta special forces

Image credit: Militaryphotos.net & The Aviationist’s Giovanni Maduli

H/T to Bjørn Broten for the heads-up

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You won't believe it: UK considered bringing back one aircraft carrier and the Harrier for Libya

Can you remember the famous possible, reportedly imminent, UK’s U-turn on the F-35 version that we already discussed here?

It looks like another resounding decision could have been reversed during last year’s Libya operations, when London considered bringing back to operative service the aircraft carriers and Harrier “jump jets” axed by the much criticised Strategic Defense and Spending Review.

Such admission suggests the David Cameron Cabinet has not clear ideas about the future of the UK military.

In November 2011, 72 former RAF’s Harrier jets were sold to the USMC for a mere 180 million USD.

They will not be used for spare parts: the Marines plan to equip at least two squadrons with some of the UK’s Harrier GR9 models with plenty of upgrades and lot of experience in Afghanistan…..

Harrier GR9

Image credit: Jez B/Flickr