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Privately-Owned Jet Scrambled For Ocean City Air Show

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The Harrier jet is noted for its ability to perform a vertical takeoff.
UK Ministry of Defense
The Harrier jet is noted for its ability to perform a vertical takeoff.

Sequestration has forced military jet teams like the U.S. Navy Blue Angels to cancel their appearances at air shows across the country. Organizers for the Ocean City Air Show, however, found a way to get a military jet in the lineup.

When you lose one of the most dynamic and well-known military jet teams in the world due to sequestration, there are few replacement options available. Or one, more specifically: the only civilian owned jet in the world.

A Royal Navy Sea Harrier jet, privately owned by former Marine test pilot and Virginia native Art Nalls, was announced by officials from the Ocean City Air Show this weekend.

In 2006, Great Britain scrapped its Harrier fleet, and the U.S. quickly swooped in and bought all but 2 of the 74 jet planes. Nalls has never revealed how much he paid, but the price tag is rumored to be around $2 million. Since then, he's totally restored the plane over a two-year span with the help of a 400,000 page instruction manual and has been performing in Air Shows across the country.

The Sea Harrier is known for its vertical take-offs and landings and can fly over 600 miles per hour, and reportedly costs more than $300 per minute to operate.

The Ocean City Air Show runs June 8 and 9.


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