Harrier: The World’s First V/STOL Jet Combat Aircraft

Author(s): Philip Birtles 

ISBN: 9781781559123
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A comprehensive record of the iconic Harrier: its design, development and service, including combat operations in the Falklands, Kosovo and both Gulf Wars.
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**PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 2024**
(Please refer to the Terms and Conditions of Pre-Order below)

  • Describes in detail the development of the V/STOL system from the tentative hovering of the Hawker P1127 in 1960 to the incomparable agility of the GR.9

  • An appropriate time to publish as the Harrier, now serving only with the US Marine Corps and the air forces of Spain and Italy, approaches retirement across the world

  • Illustrated with over 400 images, many previously unpublished


    Harrier tells the story of the unique development of a practical V/STOL combat concept into an extremely versatile ground-attack aircraft able to deliver multiple precision weapons in close support of ground troops, as well as air defence of naval assets.

    When first flown, the Harrier could barely carry enough fuel for more than a few minutes of hovering, but its potential was indisputable, and proved by the later US Marine Corps AV-8B Plus and RAF GR.9, which could both deliver over two tons of ordnance with great accuracy, day and night, in all weather conditions.

    The story of this aircraft, which introduced a whole new concept to air combat, covers the development of the V/STOL system into a practical asset as well as the Harrier’s operational service in regional conflicts in Europe and the Middle East with both the USMC and RAF, and in the Falklands Campaign with the RAF and FAA.


    BOOK ISBN 9781781559123
    FORMAT 248 x 172 mm
    BINDING Hardback
    PAGES 352 pages
    PUBLICATION DATE June 2024
    TERRITORY World
    ILLUSTRATIONS 400+ black-and-white and colour photographs
    TERMS & CONDITIONS OF PRE-ORDER

    1. Pre-orders are charged at time of order and the order will be processed and posted to you as soon as the book becomes available.

    2. Current publication month for this title is JUNE 2024. Publication date can change and you may be be informed via e-mail for any such changes or delays. Please subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media. The book will be shipped via DPD in the UK, Channel Islands and Republic of Ireland, and, DHL internationally. For security reasons, DHL cannot deliver to post boxes.

    3. Current format specifications including page extent and number of images could change and you will be informed via e-mail for any such changes.

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    Philip Birtles started work as an engineering apprentice at the de Havilland Aircraft Company in September 1957. Following the completion of his training, he was appointed as PA to John Cunningham—the famous Second World War night-fighter ace. Philip held a number of marketing positions over the remainder of his career in the aerospace industry, taking early retirement when Hatfield Aerodrome finally closed at the end of 1993. He spent over forty years as a trustee of the de Havilland Aircraft Museum, and he has written over thirty-five books.

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