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The Boeing AV-8B Harrier II is a second Generation V/STOL ( vertical/short takeoff or landing) attack aircraft; a Joint Hawker Siddely/McDonnell Douglas project.

Development and History[]

McDonnell Douglas started developing the AV-8 "Harrier II“ in the end of the 1970s. The United States Marine Corps wanted it to have a larger arsenal of weapons and better survivability in aerial combat, as well as general improvements in performance, particulary in the operational range and more modern avionics. The first prototypes, built by McDonnell Douglas, had the designation AV-16 "Advanced Harrier“. Later two AV-8A were rebuilt with a new, larger, carbon fibre suoercritical wing. Designated YAV-8B, these began flying on 9th November 1978, followed on 5 November 1981 by the first FSD (Full Scale Development) AV-8B.[1] Since service entry, the aircraft has proven itself to be a capable platform, carrying a wide array of bombs, missiles, and a 30mm cannon pod.

800px-United States Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier II hovering


  1. World Aircraft Information Files Aviation Partwork. Midsummer Books Ltd. File 198 Sheet 3 (World Military Aircraft:McDonnell Douglas/BAe Harrier II - Development)