(Hawker Siddeley) British Aerospace / McDonnell Douglas, GB/USA
posted by Jiri Wagner
This V/STOL (vertical/short takeoff and landing) combat and reconnaissance aircraft made its first prototype flight on October 21, 1960, known as the Hawker P.1127. Less than a year later, on September 12, 1961, the first complete transitions were made to and from vertical and horizontal flight.
Vertical takeoff of the airplane was accomplished by vectoring the thrust from the engine downwards; after a safe height was reached, the four nozzles were rotated slowly rearward to provide forward thrust for the transition to horizontal flight.
Rolls-Royce Pegasus engine
As soon as forward speed increased sufficiently for wing lift to support the aircraft, the nozzles were rotated fully aft. This sequence was reversed for vertical landing. To stabilize the aircraft during hovering and low-speed maneuvers, small reaction control jets mounted in the nose, tail, and each wingtip were activated; operated by the control column and rudder pedals, these utilized compressed air bled from the engine. Later these aircraft entered RAF service as Harrier.