THE ONLY PRIVATELY OWNED SEA HARRIER IN THE WORLD

By Willie Bodenstein



The Harrier was developed in Britain to operate from off airfield facilities such as car parks or forest clearings

Art Nalls's FA2 is the only privately owned British Aerospace Sea Harrier flying in the world. Art purchased the former Royal Navy Sea Harrier in 2006 and spent the next two years restoring it to flying condition. In December 2007, it was damaged in a hard landing, while undergoing testing at Naval Air Station Patuxent River and had to be repaired.



The design was later adapted for use from aircraft carriers

Manufactured in 1979, construction number XZ439, Art's FA2 made its first public appearance at an air show in Culpeper, Virginia in October 2008. Powered by a Rolls-Royce Pegasus 104 Turbofan it received its Experimental Certification on 21 November 2006 passed its airworthy test on the 10 January 2007.





Sea Harriers took part in the Falklands War of 1982, flying from the aircraft carriers HMS Invincible and HMS Hermes

The Harrier was developed in Britain to operate from off airfield facilities such as car parks or forest clearings, avoiding the need for large air bases vulnerable to tactical nuclear weapons. The design was later adapted for use from aircraft carriers. Unlike post WWII era attack aircraft which tend to be supersonic the Harrier bucked the trend by being subsonic.







Art Nalls's FA2 is the only privately owned British Aerospace Sea Harrier flying in the world

The first version entered service with the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm in April 1980 as the Sea Harrier FRS.1. The upgraded Sea Harrier FA2 entered service in 1993. It was withdrawn from Royal Navy service in March 2006.



Harriers were also deployed to Sierra Leone on board HMS Illustrious in 2000

Sea Harriers took part in the Falklands War of 1982, flying from the aircraft carriers HMS Invincible and HMS Hermes. The Sea Harriers performed the primary air defence role with a secondary role of ground attack. The RAF Harrier GR3 provided the main ground attack force, a total of 28 Sea Harriers and 14 Harrier GR3s were deployed in the theatre. The Sea Harrier squadrons shot down 20 Argentine aircraft in air-to-air combat with no air-to-air losses, although two Sea Harriers were lost to ground fire and four to accidents. A number of factors contributed to the failure of the Argentinian fighters to shoot down a Sea Harrier. Although the Mirage III and Dagger jets were considerably faster, the Sea Harrier was considerably more manoeuvrable.



Art purchased the former Royal Navy Sea Harrier in 2006 and spent the next two years restoring it to flying condition

The Sea Harrier saw action during the 1992-1995 conflict in Bosnia and it was used again in the 1999 NATO campaign against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in Operation Allied Force. Sea Harriers which operated from HMS Invincible frequently patrolled the airspace to keep Yugoslavian Migs on the ground. Harriers were also deployed to Sierra Leone on board HMS Illustrious in 2000.



Manufactured in 1979, construction number XZ439, Art's FA2 made its first public appearance at an air show in Culpeper, Virginia in October 2008

Art was born and raised in Fairfax County, just south of Washington, D.C. After graduating from Hayfield High School, he was nominated to attend the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, where he majored in aerospace engineering; he graduated with Merit, received a highly-coveted Burke (equivalent) Scholarship, and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps.



Sea Harriers which operated from HMS Invincible frequently patrolled the airspace to keep Yugoslavian Migs on the ground

In 1979, Art was designated a Naval Aviator and received his wings of gold. His total flight time at that point was just over 283 flight hours. His first operational aircraft was the AV-8A "Harrier" and he was assigned to VMA-231 at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina. While stationed at Cherry Point, he carrier-qualified in the AV-8A "Harrier" aboard the USS Iwo Jima, LPH-2, and made several shipboard deployments, virtually over the world.



Art was born and raised in Fairfax County and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps

Art retired from the Marine Corps and started a real estate development company, Nalls Development and Investment, specializing in restoring and developing the neglected areas of historic Washington, D.C. He returned to flying by joining the Commemorative Air Force and become a flying sponsor of two of their aircraft. He has flight time in approximately 65 different types of military and civilian aircraft in addition to the "Harrier." These include the B-52, C-141, C-130, A-7, A-37, T-38, F-4, F-5, F-15, and F-16, and F-18. He was also NATOPS Qualified for a special flight test in the back seat of the F-14 "Tomcat."


Aircraft Technical








Copyright © 2017 Pilot's Post PTY Ltd
The information, views and opinions by the authors contributing to Pilotís Post are not necessarily those of the editor or other writers at Pilotís Post.