Prepare for take-off: Ex-RAF jet fighters head for auction

Proper, ex-terrain jet fighters are rarely seen for sale. On July 26, however, two former Royal Air Force jets, one of which includes a quasi-airworthy Harrier GR3, will go under the gavel at Silverstone Auctions' Silverstone Classic sale...

While the more modern 1988 Panavia Tornado F3, the last of the Cold War’s multi-purpose bombers, is described merely as a static display piece (good luck explaining that one when you get home), the 1976 Hawker Siddeley Harrier GR3 jump jet allegedly could once again take to the skies. It’s not currently airworthy but, owing to its superb condition, ‘there is serious potential for a future return to flight project’. After retiring from service in 1990, the GR3, incidentally the most powerful of the first-generation Harriers, has been preserved in ‘time-capsule’ condition. It was even kept hydraulically and electronically live until last year. Inevitably, all weapons have since been removed. Boo. Both aircraft will go to auction with no reserve – to estimate the market value of such objects, according to Silverstone Auctions, is virtually impossible.

Photos: Silverstone Auctions

Silverstone Auctions’ Silverstone Classic sale will take place on 26 July 2014, during the popular historic festival.