BY CRYSTAL RHYNO
Red Deer Advocate
Want to buy a fighter jet?
Aircraft collector Ian Cotton is once again trying to unload his prized possession — a 1986 Sea Harrier FA2 jet.
His asking price is a cool $1.5 million.
The Sylvan Lake resident tried to sell the British Royal Navy fighter jet on eBay, but the U.S. based company shut down his ad before he could make a sale last year.
Cotton is hoping he will have better luck by listing an ad on Kijiji, the online classified website. His ad has been up for about a week. There have been no takers but he has received more than 27,700 views as of Sunday.
According to his ad, the aircraft is “in outstanding condition” and comes with a Rolls-Royce Pegasus MK-107 engine, a parts donor extra fuselage and another harrier cockpit that can be used for display or the basis of a simulator.
But clearly it’ in no shape to fly.
Cotton, who owns a gas turbine company called Orbital Energy Limited, said the jet will require several parts and a little work before it will see the blue skies again. It was last flown in 2001.
“I’ve just got fed up with it,” said Cotton. “I’ve had it for a lot of years now. I had great intentions of getting it flight worthy but it takes a lot of time to do that. And I just don’t have the time and run my business.”
Cotton, who has always had an interest in aviation, has five other decommissioned planes in his fleet on the outskirts of Red Deer in Burnt Lake Business Park. He bought the Sea Harrier about five years ago from the British government.
“A buddy of mine is flying one down (in the States) for air shows,” said Cotton. “It’ the only flying one in the world. They can be made flyable in the civilian market. But they are very expensive to run.”
Cotton isn’t sure it’ time to unload his entire fleet but he would be open to selling them.
Cotton could not recall how much money he spent on the plane but he estimated at least his asking price.
“It’ an unusual piece that’ for sure,” he said. “You just can’t get hold of them. That’ why it has been a little more expensive than buying common Russian parts on the market.”
A few years ago residents might remember Cotton parked his jet on his Poplar Ridge acreage for a month to celebrate Canada Day.