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British Aerospace
Sea Harrier FRS.Mk1

STOVL Multirole Fighter

Royal Navy
Royal Navy
899 Naval Air Squadron
HMS Hermes
"Operation Corporate"
(Falklands Campaign)
September 1982


This model added to on April 12, 2000

Combat proven in the Falklands War, Britain's Sea Harrier earned the nickname "Black Death" by the Argentine pilots that faced it. Sea Harriers destroyed at least 23 and possibly 27 Argentine aircraft without a single air combat loss.
Sea Harriers were hastily painted overall Dark Sea Grey with toned down markings and type B (red/blue) roundels during the voyage to the South Atlantic. HMS Hermes lacked modern air-conditioning so the aircraft had to be laboriously painted by hand (I can't wait to explain that anyone who finds a flaw in my paint job!). This aircraft XZ457 or "14" appears to have been the highest scoring aircraft aboard HMS Hermes with 3 kills - 2 Mirages and an A-4 Skyhawk.
Sea Harriers went into battle carrying the newest and latest AAM, the AIM-9L which had never previously been used by the Royal Navy.
The Sea Harrier's Rolls-Royce Pegasus 104 vectored thrust turbofan provides 21,000lb (9,752kg) of thrust giving the aircraft a maximum level flight speed of 740mph. (1,191km/h).
Visual differences between the Sea Harrier and the Harrier GR.Mk3 are almost all in the forward part of the aircraft. The sharper pointed nose is a result of adding the Ferranti Blue Fox radar and the raised cockpit (with greatly improved visibility) is a result of needing 11" of space below the cockpit for a new avionics fit.
The twin 30mm Aden gunpods at station 3 and 5 (under the fuselage) carry 150 rounds each. The yellowish colored square under the cockpit is Doppler radar.

The Conflict
28 Sea Harriers made 1,100 Caps and 90 offensive support sorties in the course of 2,376 flights, 2,088 deck landings and 2,675 hours of airborne time. Flying rate was up to 3-4 sorties per pilot/day.

Sea Harriers destroyed (confirmed) 23 Argentine aircraft (Nine AAA daggers, 8 McDonnell Douglas Skyhawks, 2 Dassault-Breguet Mirage IIIs, an English Electric Canberra and a Lockheed Hercules without a a single air to air combat loss. Aircraft availability was over 95% percent despite cramped conditions on the hangar deck, foul weather and battle damage. Only 1 percent of planned missions had to be abandoned because of aircraft unserviceability.

Confirmed Sea Harrier Kills
Aircraft AIM-9L Guns Total
Mirage 11 0 11
A-4 Skyhawk 6 2 8
Canberra 1 0 1
Pucará 0 1 1
C-130 Hercules .5 .5 1
Total 18.5 3.5 23

Behind the Scenes Photos
The hazards of outdoor photography.
My 3 year is old helping me look for the ill-fated pitot tube that became a part the wilderness after the wind hurled my kit to the ground.
Here's a look at the interior before it got "buttoned up". I spiced the cockpit up with an Airwaves resin seat and HUD, then added various "gadgets" with wire, plastic and other scrap material.
This shot is the only one with the proper lighting to show off ESCI's nice turbine blade detail.
Here's a shot just before a nice thick coat of Future floorwax was applied. (I've heard it works on floors also)
Here it is nearly complete. After adding the yaw vane, IFF aerial, pitot, etc., I "dusted" the whole kit with a touch of Testors dullcoat to tone the gloss down a little.

Esci Sea Harrier FRS MK 1
Kit: ESCI Ertl #9030
Scale: 1/72
Decals: Model Decal Set Number 66 mixed with kit provided decals.
After Market Parts: Airwaves Resin Martin Baker Mk10H "bang seat". Airwaves metal etched HUD.
Cost / Value: I paid a mere $2.99 at Toy Liquidators in Springfield Missouri, 1996. An unbelievable value for this great little kit!
Comments: The kit went together very well with no real surprises. A few rough spots on the wing-to-fuselage joint needed filling and sanding but nothing major. The forward fuselage is a separate assembly and careful sanding was needed where it attached to the rest of the aircraft.
Although the plastic was a bit soft, the recessed panel lines were clean and crisp. Detail was especially well done on the engine fan blades and weapons pylons.
Customizations: I cut away the top and side auxiliary air intake vents and created "drooping" doors to more accurately represent a Harrier at rest. I replaced the AIM-9B missiles in the kit with better shaped AIM-9L missiles from an Italeri kit. I cut various pieces of Evergreen sheet plastic to create "cockpit goodies". In order to fit the resin Martin Baker in place, I had to trim away the rear bulkhead and move it back far enough to clear the launch rails making the cockpit look a bit more accurate in the process.
Modern Fighting Aircraft, Volume 5, "Harrier" Arco Publishing.
The Worlds Greatest Interceptor Aircraft Gallery Books.
Modern Air Combat Crescent.

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