This story was offered up to me by youtube’s algorithm, because I had been searching for videos about Project Ares.
When I saw the title, I thought, “what, did someone forget to set the parking brake?” Nothing so simple. Spoilers after the video (which is worth a few minutes of your time)
So, apparently one way to clear a clogged compressor on your harrier is to eject.
Short form of the story: a harrier pilot was on a mission at low level, and ingested a bird, which caused the engine to stall. He was at 200 feet above ground (!) so he wisely aimed for a good spot and ejected. The plane, however, continued to fly, gaining altitude, and soared off heading toward then-hostile East Germany.
Reading the comments on this story, I wound up doing more research and it turns out that “military jet soars off and attacks someplace all on its own” is not exactly common but that sort of thing has happened before. Having your plane leave you behind has got to be the cause for some truly epic ribbing in the O-club.
I am also curious about the landing gear of the jumpjet. It looks like a really kludged-up bit of engineering. I assume the pogo-wheels are to keep the plane from flipping over in a VTOL with a cross-wind. That is one fugly aircraft.
Military gear fascinates me, because it tends to be close to the cutting edge of performance, cost, and constraints. Although it’s almost always super-expensive nowadays, historically it has been the area where “get the job done” rules. Well, except for the F-35, which tries really hard.