VERTICAL LEARNING CURVE

ROYAL AIR FORCE HARRIER

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Harrier entering RAF service, Roy Gamblin describes learning to fly the legendary type

Two-seat Harriers were vital assets for any trainee learning to fly the type. This is an early T.2, exemplified by the long nose-mounted pitot probe. All but the very early T.4s sported the ‘Snoopy’ nose, as seen on the single-seat GR.3.

In the spring of 1981 I was enjoying a few days’ leave with my wife June at our home on Anglesey, North Wales, when the telephone rang unexpectedly. On the line was an old friend from my first squadron tour at Tengah in Singapore, in the mid-1960s. I knew he was working at the RAF Officer Personnel Centre, and was the postings specialist dealing with aircrew wing commanders.

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