Posted on April 9, 2019
In 1969, the aircraft won the Transatlantic Air Race between London and New York. The Harrier set a winning outbound time of six hours, 11 minutes and 57.15 seconds.
However, in more recent times the aircraft became disused and in need of a total restoration. Chris Wilson, managing director at Jet Art Aviation, decide to take on the challenge of returning the jet to its former glory.
After seven years of hard restoration work by Mr Wilson, the aircraft has now gone on display at Brooklands Museum in Surrey.
“It’s been a monumental effort to get to this stage and we’re over the moon with the end result,” Mr Wilson said. “The aircraft has been with us for seven years and in that seven years, it’s been transformed from being a fairly sorry-looking hulk to [looking] magnificent. The aircraft has been fully restored – stripped back to bare metal, fully repainted at RAF Marham, a lot of parts needed sourcing to transport the aircraft back to how it was in 1969.”
To move the aircraft into its new home in Surrey required a great deal of preparation and care. The aircraft was dismantled and successfully carried by two lorries to the Brooklands Museum. The Harrier now sits alongside the iconic Vickers Vimy which crossed the Atlantic for the first time in 1919.
Alex Patterson, from Brooklands Museum, said: “There’s a wonderful juxtaposition between [Vickers Vimy and the Harrier] old and new. “You really get that sense of rapid development in aviation technology.”
The Harrier display has now been opened to the public.