Harrier GR3 XZ994 restoration complete and exported to Estonian National Aviation Museum

April 10, 2018 | Aircraft, Aircraft Engines, Aviation, Company News

Harrier GR3 XZ994 has just undergone a year-long rebuild and structural restoration. The aircraft will now go on display at the National Aviation museum of Estonia having been exported and delivered to the Estonian museum on 15th March 2018.

XZ994 was built in 1981 and served in Belize with 1417 Flight. The aircraft was then used at RAF Brize Norton for training, with the fuselage mounted on a trolley for the groundcrew to practice putting an aircraft inside C130 transport aircraft as part of the aircraft handling training syllabus.

In April 2017 the aircraft was extracted from MOD Boscombe Down, having previously taken part in a crash rescue demonstration carried out at Wittering.

The restoration carried out by Jet Art Aviation involved finding missing components such as a nosecone, canopy, a host of external access panels and a new tail plane. The outrigger undercarriage was missing along with wheels and tyres. The wing was also missing flaps, ailerons, fuel vent pipes and wing tips. Over a 10-month period the Jet Art Team conducted a basic structural restoration as well as sourcing additional items that the Estonian Museum requested such as 100 gallon drop tanks, pylons and equipping the cockpit with items like the Martin Baker ejection seat and instrumentation. A suitable Rolls Royce Pegasus engine was also sourced to go on display next to the aircraft.

Harsh February weather in the UK hampered the transportation with snow postponing the shipment date for another week as the “Beast from the East” hampered the dismantling and loading job. The aircraft moved by road to Tilbury docks on the outskirts of London and then transported across the North Sea to Finland and then back on the road all the way to Estonia. Bad weather in Estonia also hampered the arrival of the aircraft with all access roads to the museum requiring clearing before the aircraft arrived.

Harrier GR3 XZ994 will form part of a new exhibit as the first British aircraft to go on display. The museum has already started rebuilding the aircraft and carrying out some final cosmetic paint work before the aircraft goes on public display.

The Jet Art team are very happy that yet another aircraft has been restored and will go on public display sharing a bit of harrier love with our European neighbours.