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Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours

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Interesting pic of an 809 squadron Sea Harrier during the Falklands War, posted on twitter by author Rowland White (who has a book about 809 out ATM)

Few things of note:

1. The overall grey colour is much lighter than the 800/801 Sqn aircraft.

2. The roundel is on the forward fuselage, not the intake lip.

3. The roundel is above the fuselage datum line*, rather than on it (*the 'vertical centre-line', if you like).

4. The roundel is low-vis pastel colours. 800/801 aircraft had normal blue/red ones, with bigger blue+smaller red areas on some aircraft.

5. The '252' on the nozzle fairing is crooked. Some other SHARs had the number on the forward fuselage.

Yet another example of how ground crew under pressure care a lot less about the niceties of official colour schemes than the modelling colour-police do. ;D

AFAIK, the Harriers that were sent to the Falklands were hurriedly camouflaged with whatever was at hand - from the EDSG/White high-viz-livery (like the Harrier in the background) to "something" less conspicious. Looks like Medium Sea Grey in this case? The roundel position is interesting, too, I have never seen that variant!

Not quite, 809 were a hodgepodge squadron, built up from all the spare SHARs in the country, including the sole Sea Eagle trials aircraft which was at Boscombe Down at the time.

When that one was shot down the Sea Eagle stuff was still in the cockpit, causing the Argies to think that ALL of them were so fitted, and that may have helped them decide to keep the '25th De Mayo' well away from the Task Force.

The 800 & 801 SHARs were repainted all-over EDSG en route to the S Atlantic, while the 809 aircraft were all done in Barley Grey, prior to flying out to Ascension and landing onto the 'Atlantic Conveyor', while gathering together at Yeovilton.

Perhaps the a/c number was a vinyl sticker that got applied wrongly? Once those things are on it's the very devil to get them off again.

Some aircraft seem to have had larger numbers, in white or pale blue, applied above the nozzle fairing.

They were in such a hurry anything would do I guess.

The 'Atlantic Conveyor' had sailed south by the time the squadron formed up, and only the Squadron Commander, Tim Gedge, had tried a landing on the tiny deck spot right forward on the AC while it was in port. The squadron flew down to Ascension, refuelled by the RAF, and transferred to the AC when it arrived, the first time any of the rest of them had done it on a deck that small!  :o


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