Nalls Aviation Adds Two Seat Harrier To Jet Warbird Fleet

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Courtesy Nalls Aviation Facebook Page
Courtesy Nalls Aviation Facebook Page

Last week, Art Nalls and Nalls Aviation made an extremely exciting announcement about their future plans. Art has managed to secure and purchase a two seat Harrier (from the UK) to join his already well known Sea Harrier and L-39 Albatros. The Nalls team does have plans for it to make airshow appearances in its stunning gloss black paint scheme, but it will also be used for training new civilian Harrier pilots. Only two pilots fly the current Sea Harrier; Art himself and retired Marine Corps General Joe Anderson. Both are rated as flight instructors for powered lift aircraft and will be able to pass on their knowledge using the two seater.

The aircraft will be disassembled and shipped to the US, where it will need to be reassembled and modified for FAA approval. It is expected to be flying in 2015. The question on our minds is, will we see a two ship Harrier demo routine, or will the aircraft simply appear at separate shows as single ships?

Until we get that question answered, allow us to offer you a ride on the tail of the Nalls Sea Harrier at the Cleveland National Airshow this past September:

P-40B Tomahawk Suffers Gear Collapse On Landing

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Courtesy The Fighter Collection
Courtesy of The Fighter Collection
Less than a week ago, we reported on two separate warbird incidents and tonight we unfortunately have another to report. Earlier today the Collings Foundation’s P-40B Tomahawk suffered a gear collapse on landing at New Smyrna Beach Municipal Airport in Florida. A photo from the scene indicates that the aircraft appears to have sustained moderate damage, but thankfully the pilot was uninjured.

This aircraft was recently in the press after it was purchased from its European home and shipped to the US to be donated to the Collings Foundation by an anonymous donor. The aircraft was being reassembled by American Aero in New Smyrna Beach following its arrival in late August. The aircraft is rare even among warbirds because it is an actual survivor of the attack of Pearl Harbor, and wears the same paint scheme as it did back then.

P-51 Mustang Forced To Make Belly Landing in Arizona

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P-51 Mustang "Big Beautiful Doll"

The P-51 Mustang “Big Beautiful Doll” sustained some damage after being forced to make a belly landing at Phoenix-Gateway Airport yesterday in Arizona. The unnamed pilot was not hurt and immediately climbed from the cockpit to inspect the damage. This is the second warbird mishap of the day following Bill Leff’s unrelated engine failure incident in his T-6. Phoenix’s KTVK was on the scene as the aircraft landed and has photos showing the entire approach and landing. Luckily the damage to the plane appears relatively minor, surely due to the controlled nature of the landing. Kudos to the pilot for making the best out of a bad situation!

Bill Leff “Perfectly Fine” After Incident

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Bill Leff NAS OceanaVeteran airshow pilot Bill Leff had an incident Thursday afternoon at the Naples airport in Naples, FL.  Leff, flying his WWII era North American T-6 Texan, N22NA encountered an engine failure on  takeoff but was able to safely land in the grass. Upon landing, the landing gear collapsed. Pictures posted online show substantial damage to the aircraft.

In an interview with WINK news, Leff credited his training for his ability to safely land. “I’m lucky everything came out the way it did. There’s a certain amount of luck to everything,” Leff said.

Naples Fire Chief Steve McInery reported that the aircraft made a hard landing which damaged the aircraft. Fire officials say the aircraft was only about 300ft in the air when it encountered the issue. Leff was not injured.

You may remember back in 2007, Leff was forced to land on a Wisconsin highway after the aircraft had an engine failure.

We’re glad to hear Bill is okay and look forward to seeing him and his beautiful T-6 in the sky at an airshow soon!

Thunder Over Michigan 2015- “Bombertown USA”

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CLEASMWM_B17_1The theme “Bombertown USA” for the 2015 Thunder Over Michigan airshow has been announced. Scheduled to be held August 29th-30th, 2015, Thunder over Michigan each year puts on a great display of warbirds, military jets and civilian performers. It seems likely with today’s announcement that warbird fans will be delighted with the lineup! The U.S. Navy Blue Angels will also be performing for the third time, their first appearance at the show since 2011 when they celebrated the Centennial of Naval Aviation. The Blue Angels were unable to perform in 2013 due to sequestration.

Thunder Over Michigan has a reputation among fans for being one of the top warbird airshows in the US each year. Check out our “5 Things About” recap of the 2014 airshow here.

For more information on the event or to purchase advanced tickets in November, check out their website at YankeeAirMuseum.org/airshow  

 

 

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