History of the Museum's "MARINE MACHINE" AV-8B HARRIER II
The AV-8B is an evolutionary improvement of the P-1127, Kestrel (XV-6A) and Harrier
(AV-8A). The four exhaust nozzles vector engine thrust for Vertical and Short
Take Off and Landing (VSTOL) operations. It can operate from forward sites including
roadways or grass fields. The AV-8B can carry a wide variety of ordnance on
its seven store stations. It is shown below with two AIM-9 air-to-air Sidewinder
missiles, two MK-82 and MK-83 general purpose bombs. This aircraft type
is in service with the United States Marines, The Royal Air Force and the Navies
of Spain and Italy.
- BuNo 161396
(Salty Dog #623), built as the first full-scale development test aircraft
(B1), TD support flying qualities, performance and shipboard trials.
- The United
States Marine's close air support VSTOL aircraft is built by McDonnell Douglas,
St. Louis, Missouri. British aerospace, developer of the original Harrier,
is the principal subcontractor and Rolls-Royce produces the Pegasus II Turbofan
- First Flight
- 5 Nov 1981 by Charlie Plummer, MCAIR test pilot.
- First flight
at Patuxent River - 29 April 1982.
- First military
flight - 2 June 1982 by Major Mike Nyalko, USMC.
- First shipboard
trials - April 1984 aboard USS Peliliu(LHA-5) by Lieutenant Colonel Mike Nyalko
and Major Rick Priest, USMC.
- Flown aboard
Spanish Navy ship (R-11) - November 1988.
- Last flight
- 20 September 1989 by Captain Glenn Hoppe, USMC.
- Flown in a
total of 746 flights (914 hours) including operations aboard CVA, LHA, LPH
and LPD class ships.
Presented by the Strike Aircraft AV-8B program office, November 1991.