This Retired Marine Corps Pilot Is The Only Private Citizen In The World Who Owns A Harrier Fighter Jet
Art Nalls is a 65-year-old retired Lt. Colonel with the United States Marine Corps. He is the only private citizen on planet earth who owns a British Aerospace Sea Harrier jump jet, one of the most revered fighter jets ever built.
Art made a fortune in real estate investing. His career in aviation began in 1977 when he signed up for the Marines. He was the only member of the Marines to be a part of the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School. This allowed him to fly virtually every plane within the USAF’s inventory. After retiring from the Marines, Art went on to make his fortune in real estate and then one day at an air show the flying bug struck Art once again.
The first plane Art bought as a civilian was the Russian Yak-3, part of the Soviet Air Force inventory. Art’s second purchase was an L-39 from the Czechoslovak Air Force. So, how does someone go from real estate investing to being the only person on planet earth who owns the Harrier Jump Jet? I’ll let Art Nalls tell his story:
If this story sounds vaguely familiar it’s because this is actually the second time I’ve written about Art Nalls. His story is a fascinating one. I first learned about Art two years ago when I came across this video from the AARP titled ‘Badass Pilot Owns Fighter Jet’. I mean, come on, am I not going to click on that?!?
“I’m not a multi-gazillionaire. So, I didn’t have unlimited funds. It was a limited amount of money that I could put toward this, but I mixed that up with an unlimited amount of passion.” If you want to know what success sounds/looks like, just read that quote over and over and over and over.
This clip is part of a new series from the AARP titled Badass Pilot: The Series. They announced it today in a press release which you can read here in full:
AARP Studios Upends Stereotypes in New Production, Badass Pilot: The Series
WASHINGTON, DC—Continuing its commitment to producing digital series that explore and document people living life to the fullest and defying expectations, AARP Studios announced today the launch of Badass Pilot: The Series. The unscripted five-part digital series follows jet pilot Art Nalls and his unique journey to buy and fly one of the rarest and most elusive planes in the world.
“I think the title of this show says it all. Art is, in fact, a badass pilot, and the perfect example or embodiment of how age doesn’t define anything,” said AARP Studios Vice President Jeffrey Eagle. “Art certainly answers the question ‘How do you become the only civilian to own a Sea Harrier Fighter jet?’ but there’s a lot more to the series than that. Art’s purchase of the plane was just the beginning of the adventure.”
Today, Nalls spends his time spreading his enthusiasm for the Harrier jet with the public by performing at air shows. He is committed to training additional pilots and to passing on his love of aviation and Harriers to a new generation of aviators. In this series, we meet Art’s team and a potential protégé who is defying expectations in her very own way.
The original series showcases the retired test pilot’s passionate pursuit to restore and share a piece of military history becoming one of the only private citizens to own and fly a sea harrier jet. Across the five episodes, viewers will witness Nalls’ journey as he purchases the jet and reassembles it from more than 5,000 parts. Returning the Harrier jet to its former glory, Nalls and his team of retired pilots and aircraft mechanics show what is possible at any age. The digital series will be released weekly starting November 14 throughout mid-December. The first episode, How to Buy a Harrier Jet is now live on AARP Studios YouTube page. To watch episodes of Badass Pilot: The Series visit AARP’s Studios YouTube page
Art Nalls: Retired Lt. Col in the United States Marine Corps, American Hero, Badass.