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End Of An Era
redesigned for the Harrier and was  powered by the more powerful Pegasus 6  engine, this engine was later to be  replaced later on by the even more  powerful Pegasus 11. The British designed Harrier entered  service in 1969 it was unique in being able  to take off and land both vertically and on  a short runway. It excelled during the  Falklands War, before going on to serve in  many other conflicts including in Bosnia,  Iraq, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. The Harrier leaves UK service after an  illustrious career that has seen it  contribute to every major conflict in the last 30 years. Everyone involved with the  Harrier both past and present is full of  praise for this famous aircraft. Over the  years the Harrier has been operated by by  various nations including the united States  Marine Corps (USMC) which highly  regards the aircraft’s capabilities. The Final Flypast  On December 15th, 2010, at RAF  Cottesmore, 16 Harriers took off for a final  formation flypast planned to pass at 1,000  feet over the airbases of Marham,  Wittering, Cranwell, Waddington,  Scampton and Coningsby before returning  home. This would be the last flight of the  Harrier in UK service. 
RAF Cottesmore, the final day of the Harrier in Royal Air Force service.
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Background Following an approach by the Bristol  Engine Company in 1957 that they were  planning a directed thrust engine, Hawker  Aircraft came up with a design for an  aeroplane that could meet the NATO  specification for a "Light Tactical Support  Fighter". There was no financial support  for the development from HM Treasury,  but aid was found through the Mutual  Weapon Development Project (MWDP) of  NATO. The Hawker P.1127 was ordered as a  prototype and flew in 1960. Work on the  P.1127 continued with 9 evaluation  aircraft, the Hawker Siddeley Kestrel,  which started flying in 1964. The Kestrel  and the Harrier were similar in  appearance, though approximately 90 per  cent of the Kestrel's airframe had to be
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