Royal Society Publishing

John William Fozard, O. B. E.. 16 January 1928–17 July 1996

C. J. Farara


The name of John Fozard will, in aeronautical circles, for ever be linked with the Harrier and vectored thrust jet V/STOL—that species of aeroplane endowed with the ability to take off and land either vertically or in a short distance by jet engine propulsive nozzles which may be rotated from pointing conventionally rearwards through any angle downwards to forwards of the vertical. He did not conceive the idea of the vectored thrust engine or of vertical take-off aircraft or even the basic layout of the uniquely successful Harrier jump jet. However, when put in charge of its development he not only led the team that turned a ‘demonstrator’ into an operational fighter to a demanding specification that could be built economically in large numbers to a fixed–price contract, but also embraced the concept of vectored thrust jet V/STOL with a religious zeal and set about preaching its gospel far and wide.