Published November 06, 2015
DAYTON, Ohio -- Hawker Siddeley XV-6A Kestrel in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
Hawker Siddeley XV-6A Kestrel in the Research & Development Gallery at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on December 28, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo)
DAYTON, Ohio -- Hawker Siddeley XV-6A Kestrel at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Restoration staff move the Hawker Siddeley XV-6A into the new fourth building at the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force on Oct. 8, 2015. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ken LaRock)
DAYTON, Ohio -- Hawker Siddeley XV-6A Kestrel cockpit view at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The Kestrel could operate from grass, semi-prepared surfaces, or ship decks, offering great operational flexibility. Four adjustable exhaust nozzles beneath the wing rotated to provide thrust for vertical, backward or hovering flight as well as conventional forward movement. (U.S. Air Force photo)
The British-built Kestrel was a prototype Vertical/Short TakeOff and Landing (VSTOL) aircraft successfully tested in the 1960s. An improved version, known as the Harrier, became the world's first operational VSTOL fighter when it entered Royal Air Force (RAF) service in 1969.
The first Kestrel began flight trials in 1961 in Britain. The next year, the United Kingdom, US, and the Federal Republic of Germany ordered nine aircraft for combined testing by those countries' representatives. A joint evaluation squadron, which included USAF pilots, conducted Kestrel trials in 1965.
Six of these trial aircraft came to the United States where the US armed forces conducted additional testing. Although the US Air Force did not order it, the US Marine Corps and RAF operated the follow-on Harrier for several decades.
The Kestrel on display was delivered to the Museum from Edwards Air Force Base, California, in 1970.
Engine: Bristol Siddeley Pegasus 5 of 15,200 lbs. thrust
Weight: 15,500 lbs. maximum
Maximum speed: 650 mph
Click here to return to the Research & Development Gallery.
Please note Springfield Street, the road that leads to the museum’s entrance, is undergoing construction through the beginning of September. Expect lane reductions and some delays. Please follow the signs and instructions provided by the road crews.
The National Museum of the U.S. Air Force is located at:
1100 Spaatz Street
Wright-Patterson AFB OH 45433
(near Dayton, Ohio)