First engine runs 18 Dec 2016 Team SHAR successfully started the world’s ONLY civilian-owned – – – -and soon to be flown – – – two-seat Harrier jump jet trainer. This is one of only 46 of the early version trainers ever built and the only one in private hands, capable of actual flight. The airplane is a trainer version of the Sea Harrier. It is the perfect compliment for Nalls Aviation’s Sea Harrier, FA.2, which has been flying in the U.S. for nearly a decade. Nalls Aviation has just completed it ninth airshow season and has over 258 flights in the World’s only civilian Harrier, and has two pilots qualified to fly it.
“This is a very significant step,” said Art Nalls, the President of Nalls Aviation. “The two-seater front cockpit is nearly identical to the single-seater, so it’s ideal for transitioning Harrier pilots who’ve flown the current version, into flying this early version of the Harrier.”
Nalls, and his team mate Joe Anderson, are both certified flight instructors in airplane and “powered lift aircraft,” which the FAA considers this aircraft. “We were both pilots, test pilots, maintenance officers, and flight instructors in the Marine Corps, so we know this airplane inside out,” said Nalls.
“There is still much work to be done to make the airplane ready for it’s first flight in over 10 years. Some of that is administrative – such as a current weight and balance and obtaining an N-number – but now that the main engine has been started and we can check individual aircraft systems, we’re getting much closer to actual flights,” Nalls added.
It’s too early to predict when that first flight will occur, but certainly early in 2017 is very possible.