This year’s ground displays at the RAF Cosford Air Show will be joined for the first time by a Royal Navy Sea Harrier.
The Sea Harrier FA2 arrived by road earlier this week after being transported across the country and was delivered safely to RAF Cosford engineers who are now working hard to piece it back together in time for the Air Show. On loan from RNAS Culdrose in Cornwall, this Sea Harrier ZH796 was built in 1996 and has flown approximately 1300 flying hours. It was retired from service in 2006 and was the last of its type to fly from HMS Illustrious before it was decommissioned. It is now housed at the School of Flight Deck Operations at RNAS Culdrose where it is used in support of naval groundcrew training.
This aircraft joins three other Harriers on display at this year’s Air Show, a GR3 and two GR9’s each with a unique configuration. The exhibit is part of a special display to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first flight of the Kestrel, the prototype for the Harrier. The original Kestrel is part of the RAF Museum collection and will also be part of this special line-up.
Amanda Butcher, spokesman for the Cosford Air Show, said:
“The addition of this Sea Harrier will enable us to represent the history of Harrier aircraft of the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy across the years. This will be a unique opportunity to witness the evolution of the Harrier family from the Kestrel right through to the Harrier GR9.”