British Aerospace Sea Harrier FRS.1 XZ457 Falklands
A development of the innovative Hawker Siddeley Harrier V/STOL “jump-jet”, the British Aerospace Sea Harrier earned its spurs in combat during the Falklands conflict between the UK and Argentina in the summer of 1982, the highest-scoring example of the type being Sea Harrier FRS.1 XZ457 of No 899 Naval Air Squadron, which despatched four enemy aircraft during the conflict. Making its maiden flight in the hands of BAe test pilot John Farley in December 1979, XZ457 was delivered to No 700A NAS the following month. With the redesignation of No 700A NAS to No 899 NAS in March 1980, XZ457 was given the code “14”. On May 21, 1982, Lt Clive “Spag” Morrell shot down an Argentinian Navy A-4 Skyhawk in XZ457 with a Sidewinder missile and damaged another with 30mm cannon fire. Three days later, XZ457 was in action again, Lt-Cdr Andy Auld despatching a pair of Argentinian Air Force Daggers, again with Sidewinders. After the conflict XZ457 was upgraded to FA.2 standard and rejoined No 899 NAS, before suffering an engine failure on take-off in October 1994. Severely damaged, XZ457 never flew again and is now part of the Boscombe Down Aviation Collection.
This beautifully finished 1/36th-scale model of XZ457, hand-carved in sustainable kiln-dried South East Asian Mahogany, represents the aircraft as it was marked during the Falklands conflict, in “lo-vis” all-over dark blue scheme with code number “14”, “kill” markings beneath the cockpit and furnished with auxiliary fuel tanks and AIM-9L Sidewinder missiles on the wing hardpoints. In undercarriage-up configuration with a span of 24cm and a length of 41cm, this model also features a transparent canopy and accurate panelling detail.