World’s Only Flying Sea Harriers Looking For A New Home (Updated)

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Art Nalls' Sea Harrier - AirshowStuff

Update: Owner Art Nalls has posted his comments on the sale:

By now, many of you know that Courtesy Aircraft is marking the Harriers. BOGO, plus one. The entire stable is for sale, including spares, support equipment, manuals, and expert advice and training – for a while.

I’m still a CFI and can still pass the flight physical, but it would be foolish to think it’s going to be that way forever. The clock is ticking for all of us.

It’s been a tremendous adventure for the entire team, and could NOT have been accomplished without the loyalty, support, and dedication of a host of people, too numerous to mention by name. But they know who they are and I whole-heartedly thank them!

Besides, I’m laser-focused on the next project, the SMART-1 microjets. We ain’t done flying, by a long shot. But it’s time for someone else to pickup the torch and continue the Harrier story. Are you the right person?

Original Post: Ready to start your own Air Force?

Art Nalls has decided to sell both of his Sea Harriers – the only civilian-owned examples flying in the world. He has flown the single seat Sea Harrier FA.2 known as XZ439 since 2007, performing at dozens of airshows throughout the US. In 2014, he purchased the two-seat Sea Harrier T.8 ZD993 in order to train more pilots to fly the jets. Both jets, plus a third non-flying Harrier GR.3 jet, spares and equipment, can be yours! No price given, which lets all of us dream.

The sale was first announced publicly at the Courtesy Aircraft Sales booth at the National Warbird Operator Conference, going on now in Mobile, AL. It should be posted on their website soon.

Sea Harriers For Sale at NWOC
Photo Courtesy of Aaron Haase

Each of the aircraft previously saw service with the British Royal Navy, which used the Sea Harrier as the primary fighter jet for Royal Navy aircraft carriers. It is perhaps most remembered for its role in the Falklands War where it claimed 20 aerial victories over Argentinian jets. The type has been nicknamed the “SHAR” for short.

Harriers are famous for their ability to take off and land vertically, without the need for a runway. Art and fellow airshow pilot MGen. Joe Anderson put this capability on full display during their airshow performances, which also included high speed passes just under the speed of sound and aerobatic maneuvers like barrel rolls. Anyone buying these aircraft is stepping straight in to a massively capable – but complex – airframe. Thankfully, the demilitarization and registration process has already been completed for one of the aircraft, at least as long as it remains in the US.

Art and his Harriers were featured in an AARP video series called “Badass Pilot” in 2017, which followed his team throughout the airshow season. He served as a Harrier and test pilot in the US Marine Corps before retiring in 1998.

The sale follows a declining slate of airshow appearances for the jets. His aviation company – Nalls Aviation – has instead ramped up government contracting operations with their BD-5J microjet and he will retain his L-39 Albatros as well.

Although airshow fans are certain to be disappointed, there is still hope to see the aircraft fly. Art is reportedly open to working with the buyer to pass on his airshow experience, leaving the door open to future public appearances.

2 Responses

  1. Tony Franklin

    It will be a VERY SAD DAY when these amazing aircraft are no longer seen in the sky. We had hoped to visit Nalls later this year on holiday to the US from Cyprus as I was the MoD Project Manager for SHAR Blue Vixen radar and the DAS in the early nineties. Hopefully things can be kept going (purely selfishly) until we can get to set the (probably) best modern day aircraft ever

  2. Thomas Glenn

    Col. Nalls, I just wanted to you you for your sprint and your dictation of your staff and maintainers for the tireless efforts to a truly special aircraft. I, myself is a retired Marine Corps Capt and helo pilot, (CH-53D/UH-1N). I have the similar dream of having team of USMC Helos for the air shows. But nobody. And I mean NOBODY, holds up a candle like your toys.

    If only had some deep pockets.

    May God be your co-pilot and God bless you and your staff.

    May the weather give you clear visibly and great VFR conditions for years to come.

    Thank you again sir.

    SEMPER FI

    T. H. Glenn
    USMC CAPT (Retired)

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