ROOM FOR TWO

INTERMEDIATE BUILD

Chris Jones dives into the new 1/48 two-seat Harrier from Kinetic

TAV-8A HARRIER

One of the first tasks was to fill and sand the ejector pin release marks inside the cockpit.
The two-place ‘office’ came with high quality moulded features, with excellent instrument panel and side console detail, notably on the throttle quadrants.

The unique vertical/short takeoff and landing characteristics of the Harrier imposed equally challenging demands on the pilots selected to fly it. By combining fast jet performance with rotary-wing style vertical manoeuvres, a two-seat trainer was a virtual necessity to ensure trainees stood a reasonable chance of becoming front-line Harrier pilots. The resulting design must surely rate as one of the most unusual looking aeroplanes of the modern age, with its bulbous raked canopy, extended nose, and lengthened tail boom. The type seemed to look both bloated and extremely stretched all at once. Beyond RAF service, the ‘T-Bird’ provided valuable flying training for all the major users of first-generation singleseat Harriers, including eight TAV-8As manufactured for the US Marine Corps (USMC). Of course, second-generation Harriers also spawned a new breed of trainers, but that’s another story…

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