RIAT 19 Pt-3 Jumping For Joy

By | 31st July 2019

Pt-3 In this part we look at a pair of  iconic Harrier  aircraft that took part in this year’s Royal International Air Tattoo 19.

When the announcement was made back in January that a Spanish Navy Harrier EAV-8B was to take part in the flying demonstrations this bought back many happy memories,  seeing this back in the early 80s,then I thought this is way  ahead of it’s time. When the announcement was made a few months later there was going to be another addition to the demonstration this had aviation enthusiast jumping for joy, excuse the pun ,a pairs demo from the Spanish Navy, that’s a first. The last time Spanish Harriers graced the Air Tattoo was back in 1994 , then the pair was in the static exhibition.

The 2 EAV-8B Harrier 11 plus from 9 Squadron are based at Rota Navel Base, are normally found flying from the Spanish Navy’s amphibious assault ship, Juan Carlos 1.
With the aircraft arriving on the Wednesday afternoon we at park and view west  were treated to both Harriers taking the full length of the runway, which abled us photographer’s the opportunity to get some nice taxing shots in reasonable light, whilst  both aircraft were taxing to their position on the flight line a small fire happened on one of the Harriers front  undercarriage wheel, it is believed it was caused by a brake seizure, with this in mind we all thought it would probably put the block on it’s flying display, not to be, the ground crew managed to change the part and all was well for the Saturday and Sunday show. As of the Friday show it was left to a singleton demo.

On the subject of Friday, the weather was not good, rain and low cloud base, saying that there was enough height for the Harrier to do a display and what a display it was the noise of the jet in the hover and showing  VSTOL capability, when it came to it’s landing  it disappeared in it’s own vapour, haven’t seen that in years. As of the weekend show, a pairs demo it was,  showing the appreciated audience  its capability, what a show, its noise was deafening, its VSTOL was outstanding it reminds me of the Farnborough show a few years ago when we had 6 in the hover at once.

Both aircraft had a surprise for the audience by painting the tail rudder, in the colours of the Spanish Flag topped by a cobra,(the aircrafts nickname) and the word Air Tattoo.