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If you ask most aviation photographers eager to fly for air-to-air photos “what would be your favorite jet?” the chance is very high that several will say…a Harrier!

At the RIAT airshow the Italian Navy definitely stole the show by bringing the super rare Harrier to the static show….accompanied by the ultra rare unicorn twinseat jet!! Due to the long distance we knew there would be no chance to catch them behind the Skyvan photoship in July, but at that time we were already smiling big time!

After half a year of trying and paperwork we already knew the Italian Navy had granted us permission to organize a photomission with the Harriers in August. This season, there would be the unique logistic opportunity to stop in Italy, on our way to Athens Flying Week. As Grottaglie Aeroporto is home to the Harriers, that would be a pretty efficient plan as the airfield also has a small civilian apron.

The story of operating out of Grottaglie is a long, strange, absurd and weird one…we found only months later why some Italian pilots call this place ‘aeromorto’ instead of Aeroporto!! Anyway, we were ready for that bit of suffering since we would see our dream come true to fly with the Harrier.

Our preparation and briefing with the pilots went super efficient, and those guys did keep their promise by not only having the tigertail jet ready for us, but also that really really unique twinseat Harrier. The flight took us along the coast of Southern Italy, and despite the superhot day and hazy conditions, the photomission itself was just amazing….EPIC!! When you get to see – and hear – those Harriers close to you, knowing that our crew had this wish for years it was 25 minutes of pure aviation joy.

I just let the pictures speak for themselves!!!

We had a Skyvan full of super happy photographers that day, our biggest thanks go out to the Italian Navy pilots, especially ‘Tom’ , for making our longtime wet dream come true.

With a bit of luck, we might be able to do it again in a few years!

Always welcome to fly with us onboard the Skyvan photoship. For an overview of projects we fly you can go to the ‘projects’ page, for more information and booking just send a short email to


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