Wednesday, 30 July 2014

AV-8B Harrier II

Seen here is a McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II of the Spanish Navy at Farnborough Airshow in July 2014. It had just completed a short takeoff manoeuvre. The exhaust nozzles can be seen angled slightly downwards in their transition upwards into the forward flight position.

The AV-8B Harrier II is a second generation variant of the Harrier Jump Jet family. It uses a single Rolls-Royce Pegasus turbofan engine, which has two intakes and four synchronized vectorable nozzles which enables the thrust from the engine to be vectored. This allows it to take off and land vertically, as well as hover.

In a short takeoff manoeuvre the thrust isn't vectored completely downwards, but slightly backwards as well. This gives the aircraft some forward movement allowing the wings to start generating lift, which is more efficient than relying completely on the engine to provide lift in a purely vertical takeoff.

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