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Chillidragon

Harrier GR.1 Load

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I have a Harrier GR.1, and enough spare bits to do the ridiculous load featured in the old catalogue - I think in the illustration of the 1/24 kit - and the cover of one annual.

 

This consists of 2 pairs of Matra 155 SNEB pods, plus three 1000 lb bombs.  Seems to be within design limits, but I've never seen a real world example.  Is it feasible - i.e. did it happen?

 

Thank you, esteemed comrades.

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Just my thoughts, I doubt that combination would be used on operational sorties, and like you I have never seen photos of that layout in particular.

Four Matra pods on the four pylons was definitely used, and there is a well known set of pictures showing this combination being fired.

I think for operational use with bombs then single Matra pods on the outers and single bombs on the inners is more likely, practice bomb carriers being much more likely.

The most common layout though was outboard pods/CBLS/bombs, inboard tanks, the two under fuselage guns and centreline CBLS/bomb.

 

Maybe the Airfix layout could be used for display purposes, but I've never seen a double pod combination on the outer pylons. 

There is a shot of a service GR.3 on static display with six pods, one each on the outer pylons and double pods on the inner pylons.

 

Edited by 71chally

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Hi there,

 

This provides information on what HSA and the A&AEE trialled on GR1s, e.g. Martel,  but isn't an indicator of what was used on operationally on squadrons.

 

21fb9d04-5a25-43ad-81c7-d567343c194a.JPG

 

Note the UK tanks are given US gallon sizings, 120US = 100UK and 400US = 330UK. The 4lb and 28lb practice bombs would have been is CBLS100 units

 

My advice would be pick a squadron, pick an approximate date and then search for photos to back up what you want to load. That said, finding digitised images from the early-mid 1970s is not easy and most photos show relatively light loads. Thinking about how the RAF Germany Harriers were used operationally from dispersed exercises against advancing forces, it was the Harriers' modus operandi to fly short sorties with different ordnance, return, refuel, rearm and repeat. A typical GR.1 TACR (Tactical Reconnaissance) load would be: gun pods, inboard pylons - BL755s, outboard pylons - Matra 155s, centre-line pylon - reconnaissance pod. If operating in pairs then the other would likely have 1,000lb-ers replacing BL755s; the bombs having retard tails fitted, with airburst (risky!) or delayed action fuses. Unless on live ranges the bombs/CBUs would be practice rounds; of which I'm sure Selwyn will be able to tell you more... 

 

Hope that helps

 

Nick

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1 hour ago, NG899 said:

Hi there,

 

This provides information on what HSA and the A&AEE trialled on GR1s, e.g. Martel,  but isn't an indicator of what was used on operationally on squadrons.

 

21fb9d04-5a25-43ad-81c7-d567343c194a.JPG

 

Note the UK tanks are given US gallon sizings, 120US = 100UK and 400US = 330UK. The 4lb and 28lb practice bombs would have been is CBLS100 units

 

My advice would be pick a squadron, pick an approximate date and then search for photos to back up what you want to load. That said, finding digitised images from the early-mid 1970s is not easy and most photos show relatively light loads. Thinking about how the RAF Germany Harriers were used operationally from dispersed exercises against advancing forces, it was the Harriers' modus operandi to fly short sorties with different ordnance, return, refuel, rearm and repeat. A typical GR.1 TACR (Tactical Reconnaissance) load would be: gun pods, inboard pylons - BL755s, outboard pylons - Matra 155s, centre-line pylon - reconnaissance pod. If operating in pairs then the other would likely have 1,000lb-ers replacing BL755s; the bombs having retard tails fitted, with airburst (risky!) or delayed action fuses. Unless on live ranges the bombs/CBUs would be practice rounds; of which I'm sure Selwyn will be able to tell you more... 

 

Hope that helps

 

Nick

GR1 before my time. Germany war load GR3 in late 70's early 80's was  4x BL755 on wings 4 sqn had perminent fit  of recce pod on C/L guns were not fitted in pods on field exercises.  usual practice loads 2 x matra launcher  and tanks  or CBLS instead of matras, sometimes CBLS on C/L and matras on outboards. 

Never saw a twin store carrier  fitted ever in my harrier time, but they did have them in store. I believe they were war use only as there was an issue with jettison of the twin store carrier as it would come up and hit the aircraft.

 

Only times we dropped 1000lb were singles off the centerline  or twins off the outboard pylons both with tanks I/B.

 

Selwyn

 

Selwyn

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When it comes to picture resources of tin Harriers, especially RAFG ones, you can't beat the excellent Gutersloh Spotters site http://sg-etuo.de/.

However the GR.1s aren't so well photographed,

3 sqn http://sg-etuo.de/Squadrons/No3SquadronGR3

4 sqn http://sg-etuo.de/Squadrons/No4SquadronGR3

1 sqn http://sg-etuo.de/Visiting-Aircraft/RAF-No1-Sqn

20 sqn http://sg-etuo.de/Visiting-Aircraft/RAF-No20-Sqn

 

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So, unless I'm misreading them, the two extracts provided above show that two rocket pods couldn't be carried on the outboard pylons.

 

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1 hour ago, 71chally said:

So, unless I'm misreading them, the two extracts provided above show that two rocket pods couldn't be carried on the outboard pylons.

 

Not enough room between the pods and outrigger.

 

Apparently OK for lepus flares though?

 

Selwyn

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7 hours ago, NG899 said:

Hi there,

 

This provides information on what HSA and the A&AEE trialled on GR1s, e.g. Martel,  but isn't an indicator of what was used on operationally on squadrons.

 

21fb9d04-5a25-43ad-81c7-d567343c194a.JPG

 

The 4lb and 28lb practice bombs would have been is CBLS100 units

 

 

Looking at the diagram, they include both styles, CBLS as streamlined and the earlier twin design

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53 minutes ago, Selwyn said:

Apparently OK for lepus flares though?

There is a picture of that set up in the Francis Mason book.

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15 hours ago, Selwyn said:

GR1 before my time. Germany war load GR3 in late 70's early 80's was  4x BL755 on wings 4 sqn had perminent fit  of recce pod on C/L guns were not fitted in pods on field exercises.  usual practice loads 2 x matra launcher  and tanks  or CBLS instead of matras, sometimes CBLS on C/L and matras on outboards. 

Never saw a twin store carrier  fitted ever in my harrier time, but they did have them in store. I believe they were war use only as there was an issue with jettison of the twin store carrier as it would come up and hit the aircraft.

 

Only times we dropped 1000lb were singles off the centerline  or twins off the outboard pylons both with tanks I/B.

 

Selwyn

 

Selwyn

Cor...twin 1000 pounders....i.e 4000 lb .....and about 10 mins duration lol.

Didnt have twins on shar or at least i never saw any adapters....seem to recall only 1000 on each outboard....may have had gun fitted but no ammo ....then again not at war and the RTS probably had very diff limits for taking off from a carrier... interesting tho

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IIRC, didn't the ML Aviation Twin Stores career have an adjustable or alternative attachment points so that it could be fitted off-centre from the pylon, offset either outboard or inboard depending on the load being carried?

 

On Lepus flare use, I believe the RN only ever carried single flares on the outboard pylons, the live rounds being white with red-brown and green stripes, rather than the blue of the practice rounds seen in the HSA photos in Mason's book and other publications. For RAF flare use, using a dispensed, wooded site at night for V/STO and VL recovery must have been "interesting" for the pilot shall we say, for the purpose of just lighting up the foe.

 

Most of the wet film images that exist of early Harriers in the field from the early 1970s are captioned as being "staged" images rather than "in use" ones which, considering the Harrier was new and photos subject to secrecy limits is not a surprise. The Fourfax site has a few images from that period which may help: http://www.fourfax.co.uk/galleries/1971-2012-harrier/1971-90-harrier-gr3 

 

Cheers

 

Nick

 

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5 hours ago, junglierating said:

Cor...twin 1000 pounders....i.e 4000 lb .....and about 10 mins duration lol.

Didnt have twins on shar or at least i never saw any adapters....seem to recall only 1000 on each outboard....may have had gun fitted but no ammo ....then again not at war and the RTS probably had very diff limits for taking off from a carrier... interesting tho

Twins are two bombs  not 4.    A one  thousand pounder, one off each outboard. 4 x1000lb bombs, on twin store carriers like rocket pods won't fit on the outboard pylons !

 

Selwyn

Edited by Selwyn

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6 minutes ago, NG899 said:

IIRC, didn't the ML Aviation Twin Stores career have an adjustable or alternative attachment points so that it could be fitted off-centre from the pylon, offset either outboard or inboard depending on the load being carried?

 

On Lepus flare use, I believe the RN only ever carried single flares on the outboard pylons, the live rounds being white with red-brown and green stripes, rather than the blue of the practice rounds seen in the HSA photos in Mason's book and other publications. For RAF flare use, using a dispensed, wooded site at night for V/STO and VL recovery must have been "interesting" for the pilot shall we say, for the purpose of just lighting up the foe.

 

Most of the wet film images that exist of early Harriers in the field from the early 1970s are captioned as being "staged" images rather than "in use" ones which, considering the Harrier was new and photos subject to secrecy limits is not a surprise. The Fourfax site has a few images from that period which may help: http://www.fourfax.co.uk/galleries/1971-2012-harrier/1971-90-harrier-gr3 

 

Cheers

 

Nick

 

All the lepus flares I saw in RAF use (not many!)  were overall green.

 

Selwyn

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9 minutes ago, Selwyn said:

Twins are two bombs  not 4.    A one  thousand pounder, one off each outboard. 4 x1000lb bombs, on twin store carriers like rocket pods won't fit on the outboard pylons !

 

Selwyn

That'll be why I never saw such a thing....too blinking heavy anyway...

.Forgot to say Shars normally ...in peacetime anyway only carried one on the c/l.....did some stupid amount 20,000 (20 bombs) up at the 'Freugh' in one week....plenty of nights out in Stranraer.:drink:....FA2 trials

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2 minutes ago, junglierating said:

That'll be why I never saw such a thing....too blinking heavy anyway...

.Forgot to say Shars normally ...in peacetime anyway only carried one on the c/l.....did some stupid amount 20,000 (20 bombs) up at the 'Freugh' in one week....plenty of nights out in Stranraer.:drink:....FA2 trials

As a young clean living RAF armourer I of course never ever frequented places that were  used by "Fallen" women, or sold strong drink in any form!

 

(I can tell you that I am at present undergoing therapy  for my compulsive lying problem!)

 

Selwyn

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Thank you all, gentle comrades.

So, a much more sensible load for me, then.

 

If I can find the bits of my second Harrier, I think:

 

Fuselage: Vinten pod

Inner wing: Tanks or Lepus flares

Outer wing: Matra pods or Lepus flares

 

Fuselage: 1000lb Bomb or not

Inner wing: Matra pod or 1000lb Bomb

Outer wing Matra pod.

 

How does this seem?

 

 

 

 

 

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On option one, if opting for Matras and Lepus then put the Matras on the inboards and the Lepus outboard.

 

On option two, to be really different, you could replace the option one Lepus with 4kg practice bombs fitted on the racks rather than to CBLS-100s. I found a photo of just such a fit the other day but am darned if I can find it now. I'll keep looking...

 

Hope that helps.

 

Nick

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, NG899 said:

On option one, if opting for Matras and Lepus then put the Matras on the inboards and the Lepus outboard.

 

On option two, to be really different, you could replace the option one Lepus with 4kg practice bombs fitted on the racks rather than to CBLS-100s. I found a photo of just such a fit the other day but am darned if I can find it now. I'll keep looking...

 

Hope that helps.

 

Nick

 

 

 

I wouldn't put 4Kg PB'S on them because:

1. They dont exist. the  RAF use the 3 Kgs PB.

2. The 3Kg did not appear till the early 1980's,long after the GR1.

Now, what you need is  some 4Lb practice bombs.............. thats the one to use on your GR1 CBLS!

 

Selwyn

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Thanks Selwyn, getting my imperial and metrics muddled. 

Have you got any pics of the 4lb one? The info I have so far is that it was identical to the 3kg one in shape and size but a different weight.

Thanks 

 

Nick 

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1 hour ago, NG899 said:

Thanks Selwyn, getting my imperial and metrics muddled. 

Have you got any pics of the 4lb one? The info I have so far is that it was identical to the 3kg one in shape and size but a different weight.

Thanks 

 

Nick 

Basic visual difference is that the 4lb has a flat nose;

4lb practice bomb

 

and the 3kg a pointy nose (scroll down this page )

 

3kg practice bomb

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