Homeless Harrier
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A 49-Year-Old Harrier Looking For A Home To Show Her Off

A 49-year-old harrier that won the transatlantic race from London to New York in 1969 has been restored to her former glory, now all she...

Homeless Harrier

A 49-year-old harrier that won the transatlantic race from London to New York in 1969 has been restored to her former glory, ready for the world to see.

There’s just one problem. She has no home. 

At the moment she is being kept in a hangar just south of York, where jet enthusiast Chris Wilson has just completed a full restoration. Her owner is searching for a museum where she can be displayed for all to see.

The restoration was quite a challenge; Stripping her down was very difficult, Chris and his team had to get through 17 layers of paint and none of the traditional methods really worked!

Thankfully, Chris stumbled across someone who used a Soda-Blast technique to remove the paint and not damage the body of the aircraft.

 

The Harrier is also no ordinary jet, XV471 was a race winner.

In 1969 the Daily Mail put on a race from the GPO tower to the Empire State Building, or vice versa, to commemorate the transatlantic flight in 1919 by Alcock and Brown.

So she took off from a disused coalfield outside St Pancras and made it to the empire state building in 6hrs 11mins and 57 seconds.

Tom Lecky-Thompson was an RAF Test pilot who won the race with the aircraft, it made headlines around the world, he said:

"We wanted to show that it could traverse huge distances and be ready to go into combat immediately".

Homeless Harrier

During the flight, she was refuelled 11 times by an air tanker fleet. 

The Harrier was a radical prototype!

Upon seeing a video of the work Chris put in to restore it, Tom was overwhelmed:

"when you come across people to that finesse of effort, that is what I call real workmanship!" 

The Harriers owner is extremely keen to have her on display to the public, but so far they have failed to find her home.

They are appealing to any museums who would like to adopt the beautiful aircraft, ahead of the 50th anniversary of her race, to get in touch.

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