It has been more than five years since the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense shuttered its Harrier fleet, eventually selling it to the U.S. for a song. Here’s a throwback video from Nov. 24, 2010 of the Harriers executing their final launch from the very rain-soaked deck of the HMS Ark Royal.
Before the Jump Jet was retired and its flight manual posted online, Top Gear presenter James May rode in one and experienced the awesome aerodynamic freak show known as viffing: vectoring in forward flight, the Harrier's signature move.
The Harrier made its final flight with the British RAF last week, marking an end to the jet famous for being able to take off and land vertically. The jet's recently declassified flight manual shows just how extraordinary it was.