Thursday, 16 December 2010

RIP The Harrier

So RIP the Harrier jump-jet, which made its final operational sortie with the RAF yesterday (*).

The Harrier was a great British invention, one that was admirably embraced and extended by the Americans in the form of the updated Harrier II.

I have seen Harriers fly many times, both at airshows and, more spectacularly, whilst walking in the hills. The exhilaration I felt as they flew past - and on one occasion below - me through the valleys was quite something.

So perhaps it is fitting to show a Harrier taking a final bow.

My heart wishes for these planes to be kept flying. My head tells me that the writing was on the wall after the retirement of the Sea Harrier in 2006. They shall be missed.

(*) Absent from the news reports was that the fact that the Harrier is still operated by other countries - for instance Italy, India and Spain.

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