The McDonnell Boeing (formerly Douglas) AV-8B Harrier 2 N/A (NightAttack) is a night attack variant developed out of Harrier line of planes. Unique to the Harrier series of planes is despite only featuring a single central engine, it can be used for both forward and VTOL flight, courtesy of the 4 nozzles positioned on the sides of the aircraft fuselage that can be rotated on pilot command. This allows the Harrier to flexibly operate from all manner of airfields (the Harrier can also take off in a conventional manner from airfields) and carriers: Harriers will typically operate from STOVL class carriers that only feature a flat deck and no further carrier implements (ramp, catapult, arresting wires). The Harrier does not require these as it can take off and land vertically: however, with any meaningful load (stores, fuel tanks) on the aircraft it will typically perform a rolling takeoff / landing instead.
The AV-8B Harrier N/A is tailored specifically towards the attack / strike role, allowing for quick attacks thanks to the high speed it can attain in forward flight. Despite the relatively small size of the Harrier it can carry a good amount of ordinance and it has a slew of sensors built into the aircraft, including a sensor package mounted on the nose contained a FLIR (Forward Looking Infrared) sensor combined with a normal video camera that can detect objects, lock onto laser designations and provide relevant targeting information for weaponry. The AV-8B can also bring the AN/AAQ-28(V) LITENING targetting pod on one of its stations to provide its own laser designation, in addition to providing a larger azimuth range in which the sensor can be slewed. This extensive sensor package allows it field a whole slew of both dumb and smart weapons, such as the Mk-82 bomb and its laser counterpart the GBU-12/-16, the AGM-65 Maverick anti-tank missile with CCD/IR/Laser guidance seekers, 7 inch FFR rockets in rocket pods, AIM-9 sidewinders and the AGM-122 SideARM anti-radiation missile for short range SEAD / DEAD (attack of radar-guided SAM sites).
- 1 Weapons List
- 2 HOTAS
- 3 Flight Controls and Landing Gear
- 4 Stability Augmentation and Attitude Hold System (SAAHS)
- 5 Aircraft Digital Systems
- 6 Resources
Flight Controls and Landing Gear
The landing gear system consists of a nose gear, a main gear with twin wheels in tandem with the nose gear and two single wheel wing gears. Accidental retraction, when the aircraft is on the ground, is prevented by a weight-on-wheels (WOW) switch and ground safety locks.
Nosewheel Steering (NWS)
The NWS system is an electro-hydraulic operated system that provides directional control for ground operations with three modes
- LO GAIN Steering: The rudder pedals are connected to the system. Nose wheel has a range of movement between -14° and 14° degrees.
- HI GAIN Steering: The nose wheel range of movement is increased to +/- 45°. HI GAIN steering is undesirable above 20 Knots Ground Speed due to poor directional control characteristics YOU WILL ROLL LIKE A PIG IN MUD AT HIGH GROUND SPEED AND NWS INPUTS.
A fourth steering mode, centered, is used for gear retraction. When the landing gear handle is placed in the up position, the nose wheel will automatically steer to the center position at which time the landing gear retraction will commence. With the landing gear handle DOWN, the NWS mode is controlled by the anti-skid switch and the [AG Target Undesignate/NWS/FOV Toggle] button on HOTAS. With anti-skid set to ON, CASTER mode is selected. With the anti-skid switch set to NWS, Pressing the [AG Target Undesignate/NWS/FOV Toggle] HOTAS button increases the steering mode by one gain so that from CASTER mode it changes to LO GAIN mode and from LO GAIN mode it changes to HI GAIN mode. With the HUD in VSTOL mode, indications provide cues as to steering position and mode. Whenever the nose wheel is within 30 of neutral, a C will appear inside the slideslip ball. A steering mode indication is provided in the lower right hand corner of the HUD. The indications are:
- CTR: Centered
- CAST: Caster
- NWS: Lo Gain
- NWS HI: Hi Gain
A NWS light, on the caution/advisory panel, illuminates to indicate that a steering failure has occurred.
Stability Augmentation and Attitude Hold System (SAAHS)
AKA Autopilot. Not a very complicated system. First engage AFC then engage ALT HOLD.
The autopilot of the Harrier is not very complicated to use. Make sure you have all your Yaw, Pitch and Roll SAS switches ON Set aircraft in desired altitude/attitude and make sure that the following conditions are respected or the autopilot will automatically disengage:
- You are not in a steep climb/descent (+/- 2000 ft per minute)
- Airspeed must be greater than 160 kts
- Your bank angle must be lesser than +/- 20 deg
- Your pitch angle must be between -15 deg to +20 deg
Engage desired AFC Mode using the AFC switch (and the ALT HOLD switch if required) You can use your trim controls while the autopilot is engaged to fine-tune your aircraft attitude. You can disengage the SAAHS using the Emergency SAAHS Disconnect Switch or toggling the AFC.
Aircraft Digital Systems
AN/AAQ-28V Litening II Targeting Pod
Cpt. Creosotes Harrier Sound Mod 1.2
-Much improved APU sound -Improved start-up ambiance -Improved internal sounds when flying -Adjusted external sounds -Modified sound distances