AV-8B Harrier Picture on the Island of Ie Shima today.

This is a great picture of a Harrier landing on the island of Ie Shima Marine Air Base.  The AV-8B Harrier Jump Jet has VTOL, vertical takeoff and landing capabilities. 
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Aerial Photos taken on the island of

Ie Shima
In the Year 2000

an av8b harrier jump jet lands on the island of ie shima
Picture taken by 1st LT Andrew J. Lockett

The AV-8B Harrier is a very quick and maneuverable jet fighter that is a VTOL Vertical Take Off and Landing aircraft.  This means that it can operate from just about anywhere without the use of a runway.  It has four vectorable exhaust nozzles that allow it to move sideways, backwards, up and down all without the use of the aerodynamic control surfaces that other aircraft require to make similar maneuvers.  However, other planes cannot really make these exact maneuvers which gives the Harrier a huge advantage in a dog fight.  Even though this is not a super sonic aircraft, it accelerates very quickly with more than a one "G" acceleration which makes it much quicker than most other jet fighters in the world today.  This is an example of the power of this plane that I have seen when I was at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California.  There were two jets on the end of the runway getting ready for takeoff.  The first one was an F-4 Phantom II with two J-79 Jet Engines with afterburners and putting out mega-thrust.  The F-4 was the first plane to be given clearance to take off.  It lit up the after burners and accelerated down the runway.  It kept accelerating and accelerating and kept on accelerating some more.  It actually took it some time to get off the ground.  There were huge clouds of black smoke from the old J-79 engines.  The Phantom got into the air and kept on going for a little while before the Harrier was given clearance to take off.  When the Harrier took off it didn't take any time at all to get into the air and in just a few seconds it was on the F-4 Phantom's tail.  I was amazed to see the difference between the acceleration difference between the two Jet aircraft and realized which plane that I would rather be in during a dogfight.  Also, the Harrier did not put out all of the black smoke that the F-4 Phantom did.  This black smoke could be seen for miles creating a huge disadvantage to the Phantom because other pilots could quickly spot the position of their opponent. 


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     Painting by Keith Ferris. 

This in-flight portrait of the fully loaded AV-8B Harrier demonstrating its weapons-carrying capability is remarkably accurate because of the artist's  collaboration with the Harrier's engineers from McDonnell. Open-edition print  measures 21"x 25½" and is signed by the artist. 

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