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US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier

US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review August 2017 Title US Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier
Author Andy Evans Publisher SAM Publications
Published 2016 ISBN 9780995546004
Format 82 pages, softbound MSRP (BP) £9.99 (Approx 13.00 USD)


SAM Publications has started a new series of references under the 'Combat Edge' banner with the first installment covering the AV-8B Harrier in US Marine Corps service. Published in a smaller format than their Comprehensive Guides, this title provides a detailed photo monograph about the AV-8B in its primary configurations.

The title's coverage includes:

  • Harrier Origins
  • The AV-8B
  • The AV-8B (NA) - Night Attack
  • Harrier Walkaround
  • The AV-8B Harrier II Plus
  • Colour Profiles
  • The TAV-8B
  • Harrier in Scale

As you can see above, this title starts with the early prototypes (modified AV-8A) before moving to the initial production configuration combining the large wing with the raised cockpit for greater all-round pilot visibility. The AV-8B started with the ARBS (angle rate bombing system) nose in its first configuration before being updated with a FLIR sensor in a fairing ahead of the windscreen (night attack). The final configuration replaced the ARBS nose with an APG-65 radar (same as the F/A-18 Hornets) while retaining the FLIR sensor as depicted in the cover image.

In addition to the coverage listed above, this title also provides a nice look at the Harrier in combat as well as looks at weapons loads and the LITENING targeting pod. The color profiles show the evolution of camouflage carried by the aircraft from its initial service through current day. The section on the TAV-8B provides a look at this essential but overlooked conversion trainer that allows pilots to safely transition from conventional tactical aircraft to the Harrier's distinctive STOVL and VTOL flight capabilities.

This title will definitely appeal to aviation enthusiasts as it provides a nice look at the subject with lots of nice details that will also please the detail modeler. Regardless of the kit or scale you prefer to build, this is a great reference to help you detail and finish your model accurately.

My sincere thanks to SAM Publications for this review sample!