Hobby Master HA2609 USMC AV-8B Harrier II Plus Jump Jet - VMA-542 "Tigers", Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina [Low-Vis Scheme] (1:72 Scale)
"Obsolete weapons do not deter."
- British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher
The AV-8B Harrier II is a second generation vertical short takeoff and landing (V/STOL) aircraft based on the original British Harrier design of the late 1960's. Combining tactical mobility, responsiveness, reduced operating cost, and basing flexibility -- both afloat and ashore -- V/STOL aircraft are well-suited to the special combat and expeditionary requirements of the US Marine Corps.
The primary mission of the AV-8B Harrier II is to provide close air support to ground forces. Secondary missions include short range interdiction, fighter escort, deck launched interception, and combat air patrol (CAP).
After completing operational evaluation trials in March 1985, the USMC AV-8B Harrier II was formally approved for full production some six months later. A two-seat training version was introduced in 1987 and a night attack version entered service in late 1989.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a USMC AV-8B Harrier II Plus jump jet that was attached to VMA-542 "Tigers", which was deployed to Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. Sold Out!
Wingspan: 5 inches
Length: 7.75 inches
Release Date: April 2011
Historical Account: "Tigers" - Marine Attack Squadron 542 (VMA-542) is a United States Marine Corps fixed wing attack squadron that consists of AV-8B Harrier (V/STOL) jets. The squadron is based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina and falls under the command of Marine Aircraft Group 14 (MAG-14) and the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing (2nd MAW).
On August 8th, 1997, the squadron deployed 12 aircraft to Marine Corps Air Station Yuma. The deployment training got off to a strong start but was daunted by the loss of one of the jets piloted by Capt Samuel H. Smith. After several days of flight suspension, the word came that time consuming inspections would have to be conducted on the aircraft before they could be flown again. These inspections revealed internal engine damage in four of twelve of the aircraft, requiring complete engine replacement.September marked a recovery period as the squadron deployed two jets and approximately 25 Marines back to Yuma Arizona to support the fall Weapons and Tactics Instructor (WTI) course.
The squadron's detachment aboard USS Kearsarge (LHD-3) returned to Cherry Point on October 12th, 1997, after being deployed for nearly six months. A Capabilities Exercise (CAPEX) was conducted on October 7th-10th, and just as the operational tempo hit top gear, the squadron experienced yet another setback on October 16th, when one of the jets was lost in Dayton, Ohio.
May 1999 marked the return of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit boat detachment from combat operations in Kosovo. Their support of NATO operations was the first in armed conflict since Desert Storm. They successfully flew 38 combat sorties deployed aboard the USS Nassau (LHA-4).