The Kestrel was one of the development aircraft that eventually led to the Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the first vertical and/or short take-off and landing (V/STOL) jet fighter-bomber. It started with the P1127 and the Kestrel was an improved version and 9 jets were ordered in 1962. It was quite different and had another inlet configuration for the Pegasus 5 and wing as well. On 15 October 1964, the Tri-partite Evaluation Squadron (TES) was formed at RAF West Raynham, staffed by a diverse mix of military test pilots from Britain, the United States and West Germany that had similar requirements and wanted to evaluate the suitability of V/STOL aircraft for field operations. The program eventually led to the famous Hawker Harrier (and McDonnell AV-8A) of which quite some generations were developed and flown.  

 harrier tek1

 1 pilot; Pegasus 5 engine; empty weight 4445 kg, gross weight 6350 kg; wing span 6,99 m; length 12,95 m. Max speed MACH 0.92. 


This Kestrel F(GA) coded XS695 made its first flight  17 February 1965 at Dunsfold. It flew various test flights in the Tri-partite test group and was shown at the Farnborough 1966 Air Show. It was struck off charge January 1969 and went to several storages. It was restored at RAFM Cosford from 2012/2013. It is now on display the RAF Museum at Cosford (U.K). It has Tri-partite markings. 

Photographed November 2023 by Meindert de Vreeze (C), Copyright IPMS Nederland

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In fact no pure kits are available of the Kestrel. A P1127 kit can be used and adapted. The old 1/32 Revell Harrier also looks a bit like a Kestrel. 

Also check out on this IPMS website the Harrier Special here... 

This walk around page was first published on April 2024 by M. de Vreeze;   note the Copyright!