Harrier GR. Mk 3 ZD670 im Einsatz bei der No IV (AC) Squadron beim Start von Gütersloh. Foto: © W. Zetsche

Harrier GR. Mk 3 ZD670 in service with No IV (AC) Squadron taking off at RAF Gütersloh. Picture: © W. Zetsche

Harrier Gr. Mk 3 with it’s serial ZD670 was the last ever build first generation Harrier in the service of the Royal Air Force. Manufactured in Dunsfold during 1986, the aircraft was first flown on November 28, 1986, it was put in service with the RAF on 22nd December of the same year.

First operational user was No 3 (Fighter) Squadron which flew the aircraft designated with the codeletter “W”. The Squadron was equipped with 16 Harrier GR. Mk 3 and two Harrier T. Mk 4 training aircraft.

While No 3 (Fighter) Squadron re-equiped with the updated Version of the Harrier the Harrier GR. Mk 5, ZD 670 was transfered on September 28th, 1988  to No IV (Army Co-operation) Squadron also based at Gütersloh. The aircraft soon gained the tailcode „P“. No IV (Army co-Operation) Squadron was tasked 60% in a fighterbomber role and 40% as a reconnaissance unit.

On February 28th, 1989 the aircraft suffered a minor accident, during bad weather landings it was stucked on the banket of the runway at Gütersloh. Shortly after the accident the aircraft was put back in service soon..

ZD670 aufgenommen bei der Luftbetankung durch eine VC10 am 16. März 1989 © Peter R. Foster

ZD670 refueled air to air by a VC10 March 16, 1989. Picture:© Peter R. Foster

On August 2nd, 1990 Harrier GR Mk. 3  ZD670 flew it’s last sortie from Gütersloh. The aircraft was flown to RAF Wittering by Bob Marston and it was put in service with No 233 Operational Conversion Unit now wearing tailcode „3C“.

Between 19.02. – 21.02.1991  ZD670 visited RAF Gütersloh for the last time during a “Harrier-Team” Meeting.

Harrier GR. Mk 3 im Dienst der No 1417 Flight in Belize, hier fotografiert auf einem Flugtag in Großbritannien. Foto: © via D. Taylor

Harrier GR. Mk 3 in service with No 1417 Flight based in Belize, this piucture was taken at RAF Alconbury Openday. Picture: © via D. Taylor

ZD670 flew several month on duty with No 1417 Flight in Belize. At least one time it visited the UK in the markings of No 1417 Flight. It was displayed at RAF Alconbury on  August 21st, 1993. On  June 29th, 1994 the aircraft was withdrawn from RAF service.

Harrier GR. Mk 3 ZD670 Cockpit Sektion vor der Abtrennung der Triebwerkseinläufe von D. Taylor. Foto: © D. Taylor

Harrier GR. Mk 3 ZD670 Cockpit Section shortly before the Intakes were cut off by Dave Taylor. Picture: © D. Taylor

The aircraft was disposed in 2014 and sold to a private investor, namely SEGA Japan. It gained a highly visible Tiger paintscheme. It was put on display on the ceiling of Sega Game World at the Trocadero Centre in London. After the closure of SEGA World the aircraft was scrapped except of it’s nose section which was saved by Dave Taylor. The aircraft was sold in May 2007 to Germany.

The aircraft was acquired by the Flugplatzmuseum Gütersloh in October 2014 and is now undergoing a long time refurbishment.

Harrier GR. Mk 3 ZD670 after being refinished by Thomas Gerks in his paint shop. Picture: © M. Tecklenborg