FRS2 Sea Harrier ZA195 started life as an FRS1 (Fighter/Reconnaissance/ Strike version 1) and first flew on September 9th 1982. It saw service life with 899 Squadron in 1984 and 1985 but was passed back to the manufacturer shortly after that because operational experience highlighted that there were important needs to upgrade the FRS1 specification and ZA195 was selected to become the development airframe on which modifications were to be carried out, turning it into the FRS2 prototype. These modifications included a 13-inch fuselage extension behind the wing to accommodate the new avionics and environmental control system, a redesigned wing, a new cockpit with HUD, the installation of a Blue Vixen radar, new weapons systems and a new Pegasus engine with increased thrust. In its new guise it took to the air for the first time (again!) in September 1988 piloted by test pilot Heinz Frick. It was then used in a programme of intensive test flying with the manufacturer as all these systems and modifications were tested and proved before it moved on to the A&AEE at Boscombe Down in early 1990 to continue its work honing its service suitability. There it served for another 8 years before passing to BAe at Warton. Once its developmental role was finally completed it passed to the Long Term Storage Unit at St Athan and then to the AMG (Aircraft Maintenance Group) at RNAS Yeovilton. In 2004 GJD Services purchased it in an MOD sale of aircraft and following some restoration work have chosen Tangmere as the best display home for this important aircraft.
The Tangmere Museum has 3 computer-controlled Flight Simulators for visitors to ‘fly’.
Talks by Tangmere
The Museum is able to offer speakers to interested groups or societies on a range of subjects connected with the history of operations at RAF Tangmere and other military aviation subjects.
Further details of the full range of presentations and the availability of speakers can be obtained by calling the museum on 01243 790090, by emailing your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter marked for the attention of the Director.
The Museum car park has been enlarged and re-laid and audio guides provided with the assistance of LEADER – the European Agricultural Fund for Redevelopment.