• Review: Razbam AV-8B Harrier II Plus

    AV8-B Harrier II Plus

    Manufacturer: Razbam

    Review Author:
    Raymond Andersen

    Suggested Price:
    $40

    Buy Here

    The Harrier II PLUS is a single seated, high winged, single engine, VSTOL, ground attack military aircraft built by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) since the late 1970s. The aircraft is a second-generation vertical/short takeoff and landing aircraft and is a redesign of the earlier AV-8A/C.

    The Harrier II, designated AV-8B, is the final member of the Harrier family that started with the Hawker Siddeley P.1127 from the 1960s, that later developed into the AV-8A/C. The aircraft features upgrades such as seven hard points instead of five, structural and aerodynamic refinements, an elevated cockpit, added radar and night attack capabilities and various other upgrades.

    This aircraft is one of the most famous VSTOL aircraft of all times and has participated in numerous conflicts around the globe such as the Gulf War, the war in Iraq and also in Afghanistan. The USMC expects to operate the Harrier until 2030 where it most likely will be succeeded by the Lockheed Martin F-35B.

    The GR-variants are the British versions of the Harrier II, which considerably differs from the AV-8B in terms of avionics, armament and counter measures.

    Specs AV-8B:

    • Produced by:
      • McDonnell Douglas
      • Boeing
      • British Aerospace
      • BAE Systems
    • First flight: 1978
    • Introduction: 1981
    • Role: VSTOL Ground attack aircraft
    • Status: In service
    • Built: 323
    • Unit costs: US$24-30 million
    • Primary users:
      • United States Marine Corp (USMC)
      • Spanish Navy
      • Italian Navy
      • RAF (GR7 & GR9)
      • Royal Navy (GR7 & GR9)

           

    Basics

    I received this add-on directly from Razbam and the download went quickly and without any connection errors or other issues. The connection to Razbam's download server is good, so the download of the two files (total 837 Mb), did not take much more than a minute or two.

    When the download had completed I started the installation process. This was also very easy, simply just activate the included installation wizard and that will take care of the entire installation - very user friendly installation wizard. The complete installation of both files was completed within a minute and I was now ready to verify that the installation had proceeded correctly.

    I checked my FSX Airplane folder and found the aircraft perfectly placed there. I hereafter opened up FSX and went into my virtual hangar to see how the installation had proceeded here. I found the Harrier(s) perfectly placed in the Razbam folder in my virtual hangar.

    I quickly noticed that there of course was the AV-8B version together with the GR7 and GR9, but also that both the GR7 and GR9 each had an A-version, so the total was five different versions. Furthermore I also found a huge number of included liveries for each version. In total I found 31 liveries which is a lot of liveries, and they are all placed correctly after each other in the Razbam folder in my virtual hangar.

    Additionally there are also included two AI aircraft. One is the KC-130 tanker that is included with the first installation (AV-8B) and the second is the Vickers VC10 tanker included in the GR-series. Both aircraft are to be used for aerial re-fueling which is a feature that Razbam has integrated into the Harriers.

    Before starting a flight with the Harriers I would certainly recommend to read the included and very comprehensive manuals. There is a manual for both the AV-8B and a separate manual for the GR-series since these aircraft are not completely identical in regards to e.g. the cockpit.

    Tags: av-8b, harrier, razbam

    13 Comments
    1. highside7r's Avatar
      highside7r -
      Nice write up on Harrier and thank you for referencing "read the manual" throughout the post, this is not a "Ctrl+E" aircraft, especially in the vertical takeoff/landing modes.
    1. utenre's Avatar
      utenre -
      Quote Originally Posted by highside7r View Post
      Nice write up on Harrier and thank you for referencing "read the manual" throughout the post, this is not a "Ctrl+E" aircraft, especially in the vertical takeoff/landing modes.
      This is a review suspected, it is well known in the flightsimmers community that the Razbam Harrier is a very bad addon with many defects.
    1. RaysAviation's Avatar
      RaysAviation -
      Quote Originally Posted by utenre View Post
      This is a review suspected, it is well known in the flightsimmers community that the Razbam Harrier is a very bad addon with many defects.
      ???? Well known to be a bad add-on in the flightsimmers community ???? - I have done a lot of reading and research about it and found very few negative comments. Then I tested it myself and this add-on is deffiantly not a very bad add-on in my opinion!

      I don't know where you get your information from, but that was not my experience and either the experience of the people in the flightsim community that I am a part of.

      Have you tested it our self?

      Ray
    1. RaysAviation's Avatar
      RaysAviation -
      Our self should of course be yourself
    1. utenre's Avatar
    1. RaysAviation's Avatar
      RaysAviation -
      Quote Originally Posted by utenre View Post
      ;-) Did you even read the comments for that video?? - clearly not - this is not a Razbam issue as stated, but a FSX issue instead.

      + this video was uploaded one year ago and has not even counted 800 views - is that what you call common knowledge within the flightsim community?

      Please do a proper check before critizising a product

      Ray
    1. utenre's Avatar
      utenre -
      There are many video of this type, however I haven't nothing against Razbam ( and I hope that bugs and errors in the FSX version help them to create a good Harrier for DCS and if so, I can pay for it every single Euro that they request ), and... do you know that there is a donationware Harrier that haven't all the problems of the Razbam products? Strange?? But it is also for FSX and fly perfectly and realistically? Why??
      You can't write a review of a product saying "it is perfect and have this and that ecc..." only because that product is in your shop.
    1. RaysAviation's Avatar
      RaysAviation -
      Just to clarify - FSPilotShop is not my Shop! I am an external reviewer named Rays Aviation, and I have nothing to do with FsPilotShop!

      The review is my experience of the product - and please check the YouTube or google, then you will find at lest the same number of videos and articles that will state the opposite where people find the Harrier to be a good quality product.

      I find it to be unfair to put down a product due to a bug in FSX - in regards to the donationware Harrier - this I haven't tried and therefore cannot comment on it.

      Ray
    1. pjevans's Avatar
      pjevans -
      I bought this product on the basis of this review, and despite a few minor glitches (not being abe to get to all the MPD switches for one), I found it an excellent aircraft, and love beating up Scotland at 200 feet...!!! Great aircraft, highly recommended....!!
    1. mariomotta's Avatar
      mariomotta -
      ll
    1. mariomotta's Avatar
      mariomotta -
      Quote Originally Posted by RaysAviation View Post
      I find it to be unfair to put down a product due to a bug in FSX - in regards to the donationware Harrier - this I haven't tried and therefore cannot comment on it.

      Ray
      Hi Ray,
      at the end of your review you write:
      the ability of firing weapons that will impact the flight dynamics of the aircraft
      is that true ? or you are mentioning about the gross weight change without taking account of the drag change ?
      Razbam does not claim such feature, as far i know only VRS and SSW have such feature.
      As far FSX limitation is concerned it is well known that both Wilco and SSW Harrier that use a Rob Barendregt gauge have nice VSTOL characteristics, especially the SSW that uses a true thrust vectoring partially coded into a C/C++ dll .
      I guess that is the solution taken by Razbam: (quoting their aircraft.cfg)
      Code:
      [GeneralEngineData]
      engine_type        =  1
      Engine.0           =  0.00, 0.00, 0.00
      Engine.1           = -0.09, 0.00, 0.00
      Engine.2           =  0.00, 0.00, 0.00
      fuel_flow_scalar   =  0.8
      min_throttle_limit =  0
      thrustanglespitchheading.1 =  -90,0
      thrustanglespitchheading.2 =  -90,0
      that is the source of their problems. As you can see they use 3 engines, engines 1 and 2 with the thrust 90 deg downward. Here the reason of the erratic behaviour of the Razbam Harrier during VTOL operations. If the thrust angle could be changed dynamically may be the overall stuff can work, but is not possible.
      The right solution is to take the control of FSX physic engine during the VSTOL giving him directly the 3 velocities (x,y,z axis) and the 3 angular velocities (x,y,z) as the excellent Rob B. gauges and SSW dll does. The trick is to make the transition from the jet-born to wing-born flight as smooth as possible.
      What is unfair is to claim our limitation as it would be a FSX limitation.
      cheers
      /Mario
    1. mariomotta's Avatar
      mariomotta -
      No answers ?
      uninteresting topic?
      irrefutable explanations?
      embarrassment?
      if you do not answer you leave the field open to any explanation, even the most convenient for the reader, I'll explain it to me noting that you do not know what to say ..
    1. RodTod's Avatar
      RodTod -
      All I know is I wasted $20. Glad I wasnt foolish enough to pay full price. It looks great PARKED! It wont fly and it wont do VTOL. Went through the manual, went to the Razbam forums, did everything I was suppose to do according to the manual, NOTHING! I saw a lot of frustrated users at the forum too. Its a bad product and I wish I could get my money back! I'm not a newbie either. Been with Flight Sim since the days of a monochrome program on a 64 K computer. I have almost every plane in the Pilot Shop. I have NEVER been this disappointed.
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