Author Topic: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours  (Read 1295 times)

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Offline Weaver

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Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« on: September 07, 2020, 05:17:58 am »
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
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Offline Dizzyfugu

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Re: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2020, 05:32:24 am »
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!

Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2020, 05:37:48 am »
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.
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Offline Weaver

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Re: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2020, 08:32:00 am »
Some aircraft seem to have had larger numbers, in white or pale blue, applied above the nozzle fairing.

« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 08:33:56 am by Weaver »
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2020, 08:56:16 am »
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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Offline Doug K

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Re: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2020, 01:40:00 pm »
Iíve got references from the time saying it was Barley grey

Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2020, 02:57:27 pm »

Iíve got references from the time saying it was Barley grey


Exactly. I mentioned that in post #2.
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

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Offline The Wooksta!

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Re: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2020, 03:26:29 pm »
One of my Bricks on Eagle may have to be a different colour for the LOLs.
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Offline Doug K

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Re: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« Reply #8 on: September 08, 2020, 11:38:29 am »

Iíve got references from the time saying it was Barley grey


Exactly. I mentioned that in post #2.

Sorry!

Offline Bunsen

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Re: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2021, 02:43:04 pm »
809's SHARs received an overall coat of satin medium sea grey, with the undersides of the wings and tailplanes in satin barley grey.

Offline AeroplaneDriver

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Re: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2021, 03:05:51 pm »
I seem to remember the aircraft on one carrier were repainted all over EDSG while the other carrierís aircraft just got the white lower surfaces repainted, some of them crudely so some signs of the demarcation line were still visible. Also the roundels with larger blue areas than red were from the standard roundels having the white overpainted with blue.  Again on some aircraft it was cruder than others and noticable.
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Offline PR19_Kit

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Re: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2021, 03:19:31 pm »

809's SHARs received an overall coat of satin medium sea grey, with the undersides of the wings and tailplanes in satin barley grey.


Not according to any of the 3-4 references I've read, including the new book about 809.

The 809 SHAR's overall colour when they left the UK was Barley Grey, top and bottom, and that remained so until they got to the Falklands. Having flown off the Atlantic Conveyor to the Hermes and Invincible, 809's SHARs were absorbed into the other two squadrons, 800 and 801 NAS, and some aircraft MAY have had their overall scheme changed, especially the ones taken over by 801. That was because 801's CO, Sharkey Ward, was very scathing about the paleness of the 809 aircraft compared to his own overall EDSG SHARs, and planned to have them all re-painted, but there seems no definite record about which aircraft were repainted and which weren't.
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Offline Captain Canada

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Re: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2021, 05:48:02 pm »
Great find. Love all things Harrier, especially the Falklands era.
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Offline Bunsen

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Re: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2021, 02:23:48 pm »

809's SHARs received an overall coat of satin medium sea grey, with the undersides of the wings and tailplanes in satin barley grey.


Not according to any of the 3-4 references I've read, including the new book about 809.

The 809 SHAR's overall colour when they left the UK was Barley Grey, top and bottom, and that remained so until they got to the Falklands. Having flown off the Atlantic Conveyor to the Hermes and Invincible, 809's SHARs were absorbed into the other two squadrons, 800 and 801 NAS, and some aircraft MAY have had their overall scheme changed, especially the ones taken over by 801. That was because 801's CO, Sharkey Ward, was very scathing about the paleness of the 809 aircraft compared to his own overall EDSG SHARs, and planned to have them all re-painted, but there seems no definite record about which aircraft were repainted and which weren't.

I took my info from Falklands- The Air War (Burden et al, Arms and Armour Press 1986), which for my money is the most authoritative and concise work on the subject. It also confirms that no 809 jets were repainted after arriving in theatre, apart from having the phoenix overpainted.

To quote: "...In an effort to achieve the best air combat colours, RAE Farnborough expertise (allied to a knowledge of the general Falkland Islands weather conditions) gave rise to what became incorrectly known as the "Light Grey" scheme. A more correct title for the camouflage was the "Medium Greys"scheme, consisting as it did of Satin-Finish Medium Sea Grey overall except for the underside of the wing and tailplane which were painted in a Satin-Finish medium grey slightly lighter than Medium Sea Grey. The actual paint used was the nearest commercial equivalent to the colour more generally referred to as "Barley" Grey. Mr P. J. Barley was an RAE employee who had previously devised a similar colour scheme to that adopted for the Sea Harrer for use on Royal Air Force Phantom and Lightning interceptors..."

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Re: Falklands SHAR 809 sqn colours
« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2021, 02:36:00 pm »
You use your references and I'll use mine............................
Any aircraft can be improved by fitting longer wings, and/or a longer fuselage

...and I'm not a closeted 'Take That' fan, I'm a REAL fan! :)

Regards
Kit