Move your mouse over the picture to see what the various elements of a Harrier GR7 are and what they do.
Cockpit. The pilot sits in a large cockpit with a bubble canopy and single-piece windshield which gives excellent all-round vision. The cockpit itself has a number of multi-screen display where the pilot obtains all the information he needs on navigation, speed, fuel and weapons etc. He is seated on a Martin Baker ejection seat and the canopy roof is lined by an explosive cord to shatter the perspex before the pilot and seat are ejected.
Air-to-air refueling probe. The Harrier can be fitted with an extendable probe to allow aerial refueling The PROBE (1) extends well clear of the fuselage to minimise the disturbance of the drogue and basket from the tanker aircraft and retracts into an AERODYNAMIC FAIRING (2) when not in use. Air-to-air refueling greatly increases the aircraft's range and removes the need for the aircraft to land and refuel.
Engine air intake. Two large INTAKES (1) straddle either side of the fuselage. Positioned behind the main intake are a series of AUXILIARY AIR INTAKES (2). Closed during normal flight, they increase the airflow into the engine during slow-speed flight and hovering for more thrust.
Nosewheel. The Harrier has a fully steerable nosewheel for manoeuvring on the ground. This is particularly useful around the bare, deployed sites the Harrier can operate from. Mounted on the undercarriage leg is a LIGHT (1).
External fuel tank. Capable of adding 250 gallons (1,136 litres) of fuel to the basic internal fuel load to extend the range of the aircraft. If required the tank can be jettisoned in flight.
Maverick anti-armour missile. Fitted with an Imaging Infrared (IIR) seeker head, which allows the missile to be employed both by day and by night and in poor atmospheric conditions. It is a fire-and-forget weapon, which sends a picture from the IIR seeker head to the Multi-Purpose Colour Display (MPCD) in the cockpit. The pilot identifies the target, locks the missile onto it and fires the missile once the target is in range.
Undercarriage outrigger. Because of the unique position of the Harrier's engine exhausts, small wheels mounted about two-thirds of the way along the wings retract and extend along with the mainwheels to stabilize the aircraft on the ground.
Under-fuselage stations. The underside of the Harrier is dominated by two large AERODYNAMIC FAIRINGS (1). Shaped like the underbelly gun pods that can be fitted, these fairings assist with the vertical landing and take-offs by forming an air dam under the aircraft to provide a cushion of air. Just visible is a CENTRELINE PYLON (2) where an external reconnaissance pod can be fitted. A Thermal-Imaging Airborne Laser Designator (TIALD) pod for targeting laser-guided bombs can be fitted in place of one of the underbelly fairings.
Engine exhausts (front visible). To achieve its unique ability to hover, the Harrier uses moveable nozzles to deflect the thrust vertically to move from wing-borne to thrust-borne flight. There are two nozzles on each side, the forward pair deflect cold air from the engine and the rear pair, hot.
The three images below show the forward nozzles in different positions; the left image has the nozzles set for normal flight; the middle image has nozzles set at approximately 45°; the third image is the nozzles pointing down for vertical flight. The nozzles can move a few degrees past the vertical for limited backwards flight.
Main undercarriage and airbrake. The single twin-wheeled MAIN UNDERCARRIAGE (1) sits on the centreline of the under fuselage. The positioning of the engine nozzles on the Harrier preclude the more usual layout of other aircraft of mainwheels on either side of the fuselage as the exhaust jets would b damage the tyres and supporting legs. Behind this is the AIRBRAKE (2) which, as it extends, slows the aircraft down.
Outer wing. The very extreme of the Harrier's wing has a SMALL FAIRING (1) which contains tiny jets which eject air upwards and downwards to control the aircraft whilst in the hover. Inboard of that is an empty STORES PYLON (2) which can be fitted with a number of weapons and equipment.
Rear fuselage. Two large HORIZONTAL TAILPLANES (1) control the pitch and roll of the aircraft. A small aerodynamic VENTRAL FAIRING (2) sits under the tailfin, mounted on the rear of which are two small sensors for the aircraft's defensive systems. The end of the EXTENDED REAR FUSELAGE (3) houses two small control jets which eject air left and right to manoeuvre the aircraft in the hover.
Date Last Updated : Friday, April 23, 2004 8:51 PM
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