54 Years ago today a British Icon leapt into being. There was nothing else like it anywhere in the world, British born and bred, with a lineage stretching back to the end of the First World War.
That icon was the Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the first operation Vertical Take-off or Landing (VTOL) jet, which flew for the first time on 21st October 1963.
The Harrier owes its existence to the initial work of the Bristol Engine Company, which combined two of its jet engines, the Olympus and Orpheus, to create a directed turbofan engine which would eventually be called Pegasus. Once they informed Sydney Camm, the noted Hawker aircraft engineer and designer of the Hurricane and the Hunter, about the development he set to work on an aircraft to utilise the engine, which spawned the prototype Harrier the P.1127.
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