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11 Facts About The Harrier Jump Jet

UND Aerospace sponsored this story. Check out the full series here. And, if you're ready to start your aviation career, learn more about UND Aerospace.

This jet is really one-of-a-kind.

1) The Harrier's first flight was in 1967, two years before man landed on the moon.


2) The Harrier is the only widely-used VTOL (Vertical Take Off And Land) military jet in history. The F-35B will be the second. Their first flights were 41 years apart.


3) Unlike almost all other jets of the 1960s, the Harrier is subsonic, and doesn't have an afterburner.


4) While the Harrier can achieve a vertical takeoff, it can only be accomplished at less than maximum gross weight.

US Navy

5) To achieve a takeoff at max gross weight, they need to use forward speed to produce enough lift.

Battlefield Sources

6) And on many carriers, they use a ski-jump to help the aircraft get airborne.

andygibson 127s channel

7) Because the outboard gear are vulnerable to damage at conventional landing speeds, Harriers typically land in a near-vertical flight path.

8) The US Marines plan to use Harriers until 2030. They'll eventually be replaced by F-35s.

US Navy

9) Unlike most aircraft, Harriers use two types of flight control systems. Conventional control surfaces for wing-lift flight, and bleed air reaction control valves for vectored-thrust flight.

10) The jet uses bleed air through four main nozzles in the fuselage, in addition to two vents in the wingtips, to maneuver during vectored-thrust flight.


11) The Harrier was the first of its kind with VTOL capability, and 49 years after its first flight, it's still the only operational jet in the sky that can do it.


Ready to put your flying career in motion? Whether you want to start your aviation career, or you just have a few questions about learning to fly, get in touch with the UND Aerospace team today.

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

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