HARRIER the Biography

Title: HARRIER The Biography by Jonathan Glancey


My wife picked up Harrier: The Biography for me when we visited a local National Trust location. I was in two minds about it, was expecting it to a bit lightweight in detail and not expecting to read anything new. Well I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with the contents.

The book takes you on a journey, not just about the Harrier, but the story of the many attempts to build a viable VTOL aircraft. So much information jam packed in to 291 pages, and for me, so much new information, that was an eye opener.


Divided in to 8 chapters, that lead you in a chronological order

  • 1. A leap of imagination
  • 2. Kestrelbreeds Harrier
  • 3. Cold War warrior
  • 4. Baptism at sea
  • 5. Foreign legions
  • 6. New wars for old
  • 7. Wing feathers clipped
  • 8. What flies ahead


I have to say, I was really pleasantly surprised with this book, and found it an absorbing and very interesting read. I came across facts that I was not aware about the Harrier, especially the French and American connections (not just the fact that the USMC use the Harrier).

It also contains a nice selection of photos to complement the narrative. One of the big things about the book, is the information about other VTOL projects, they don’t detract from the story of the Harrier, but have given me food for thought about investigating the other projects.


To be honest, none that I can think of.

Round Up

Quite frankly, if you have an interest in the Harrier, then get Harrier: The Biography for your aviation book collection.

Incidentally, Jonathan also wrote Spitfire: The Illustrated Biography: The Biography.