Register for newsletters

Register for Fleet Air Arm Newsletters * Mandatory fields



Name *

Email Address *

Sea Harrier FA2 (XZ499)

Sea Harrier FA2 (XZ499)

Falklands War History

This aircraft was transferred to 809 Naval Air Squadron on the 15th April 1982 at RNAS Yeovilton.  809 Naval Air Squadron was formed to prepare pilots and aircraft for the South Atlantic conflict.  By the 21st April XZ499 had been repainted in a medium-grey low-visibility scheme and by the 26th April an in-flight-refuelling probe had been fitted. 

XZ499 was one of eight Sea Harriers of 809 Naval Air Squadron that flew to Ascension Island via Banjulin The Gambia, West Africa.  On the 6th May it embarked on the container ship the Atlantic Conveyor and set sail for the Falkland Islands on the 7th May.  During this passage XZ499 was flown onto the aircraft carrier HMS Hermes, which was also the Flag Ship of the Task Force, to join 800 Naval Air Squadron.

Once it reached the Islands XZ499 was involved in two significant actions.  On the 22nd of May, whilst being flown by Lt Hale, the Argentinean patrol boat, Rio Iguazu, was spotted in Choiseul Sound.  Hale strafed the patrol boat with the Harrier’s cannons and forced her to beach.  Later, on the 8th June Lt Smith carried out a low level attack on an A-4B Skyhawk over Choiseul Sound.  An Aim 9L Sidewinder missile was fired and the A4 crashed into sand dunes.

On the 3rd July 1982 XZ499 sailed for home from Port William aboard HMS Hermes and disembarked for RNAS Yeovilton on the 19th July.

The Sea Harrier FA2 (XZ499) was built in 1981 as a Sea Harrier FRS1 but converted to an FA2 in 1987. It saw active service in 1982 during the Falklands Conflict. Sea Harriers left service in 2006 when all naval harrier flying transferred to the naval Strike Wing as part of the Joint Force Harrier based at RAF Cottesmore. XZ499 was retired from service and transferred to the Fleet Air Arm Museum in 2002.

Statistics

Type: Fighter/Attack

Crew: 1

Length: 14.17 metres (46ft 6ins)

Span: 7.7 metres (25ft 3ins)

Engine: Rolls-Royce Pegasus 104 Vectored Turbofan with 21,500lb of thrust

Speed: 951mph (Mach 1.25)

Dates Service: 1979 - 2006


Other exhibits in this hall

  • Fairey Albacore (N4389) Fairey Albacore (N4389)
  • Fairey Firefly TT4 (VH127) Fairey Firefly TT4 (VH127)
  • Fairey Gannet AEW3 Fairey Gannet AEW3
  • Hunting Jet Provost T3A (XN462) Hunting Jet Provost T3A (XN462)
  • Douglas Skyraider AEW1 (WT121) Douglas Skyraider AEW1 (WT121)
  • Blackburn NA39 (XK488) Blackburn NA39 (XK488)
  • Supermarine 510 (VV106) Supermarine 510 (VV106)
  • Westland Whirlwind HAR1 (XA864) Westland Whirlwind HAR1 (XA864)
  • Westland Gazelle HT2 (XW864) Westland Gazelle HT2 (XW864)
  • Hiller HTE2 (XB480) Hiller HTE2 (XB480)
  • Super Eagle Hang Glider (G-BGWZ) Super Eagle Hang Glider (G-BGWZ)
  • de Havilland Tiger Moth T2 (XL717) de Havilland Tiger Moth T2 (XL717)
  • Hawker Sea Hawk F1 (WF219) (tail section only) Hawker Sea Hawk F1 (WF219) (tail section only)
  • de Havilland Sea Vixen FAW1 (XJ481) de Havilland Sea Vixen FAW1 (XJ481)
  • Bell UH1H Iroquois (AE422) Bell UH1H Iroquois (AE422)
  • Fairey Barracuda II (DP872) Fairey Barracuda II (DP872)
  • Northrop Chukar (XW994) Northrop Chukar (XW994)
  • Westland Wasp HAS1 (XT778) Westland Wasp HAS1 (XT778)
  • Beech T34C Mentor (0729) Beech T34C Mentor (0729)
  • Gloster Meteor TT20 (WM292) Gloster Meteor TT20 (WM292)
  • Northrop MQM36 Shelduck (XS574) Northrop MQM36 Shelduck (XS574)
  • Westland Sioux AH1 (XT176) Westland Sioux AH1 (XT176)
  • Douglas Skyraider AEW1 (WV106) Douglas Skyraider AEW1 (WV106)
  • Westland Whirlwind HAS7 (XG594) Westland Whirlwind HAS7 (XG594)
  • Westland Wasp (XS527) Westland Wasp (XS527)
  • de Havilland Vampire T22 (XA129) de Havilland Vampire T22 (XA129)
  • Gloster Meteor T7 (WS103) Gloster Meteor T7 (WS103)
  • Percival Sea Prince T1 (WP313) Percival Sea Prince T1 (WP313)
  • Westland Wessex HU5 (XS508) Westland Wessex HU5 (XS508)
  • de Havilland Sea Venom FAW21 (WW138) de Havilland Sea Venom FAW21 (WW138)
  • Benson Gyrocopter (G-AZAZ) Benson Gyrocopter (G-AZAZ)
  • Hawker P1052 (VX272) Hawker P1052 (VX272)
  • Saro P531 (XN334) Saro P531 (XN334)
  • Westland Wasp HAS1 (XT427) Westland Wasp HAS1 (XT427)
  • Westland Whirlwind HAS7 (XL853) Westland Whirlwind HAS7 (XL853)
  • Saro P531 (XN332) Saro P531 (XN332)
  • Fairey Barracuda II (LS931) (items of wreckage) Fairey Barracuda II (LS931) (items of wreckage)
  • Westland Lynx (XZ720) Westland Lynx (XZ720)
  • Wessex HU.5 (XT765) Wessex HU.5 (XT765)
  • Wessex HAS.3 (XP142) Wessex HAS.3 (XP142)
  • Agusta 109A (AE-331) Agusta 109A (AE-331)
  • Sopwith Camel (replica) (B6401) Sopwith Camel (replica) (B6401)
  • Sopwith Pup (replica) (N6452) Sopwith Pup (replica) (N6452)

Email this page to a friend

Email a link to this page to a friend * Mandatory fields

Your Name *

Friend's Name *

Friend's Email Address *

Your Message

Enter the code shown
Captcha verification image