Flying Heritage Collection
|Flying Heritage Collection|
The collection's Polikarpov Po-2 on display.
|Location||Paine Field, Everett, Washington|
The Flying Heritage Collection is Paul G. Allen's collection of rare military aircraft, which comprises examples from Germany, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The Collection opened to the public in 2004 at the Arlington, Washington airfield, but in 2008 moved to a newly renovated historic industrial hangar located at Paine Field in Everett, Washington, United States. In 2013, the Flying Heritage Collection added a 22,000 square foot expansion hangar to improve visitor experience and exhibits.
The Flying Heritage Collection highlights some of the most important and iconic military machines of the 20th century. These remarkable designs represent both an era of tremendous global turmoil and a time of great technological innovation. From the homefront to the front lines, designers and builders of the United States, Great Britain, Germany, Russia, and Japan struggled to invent potent new weapons and quickly adapt existing designs to achieve decisive victory.
The Flying Heritage Collection is housed in a pair of working hangars. In the first, the exhibits focus on the home fronts and innovations of the major combatants—the United States, Japan, Russia, Germany, and Great Britain. The second hangar exhibits follow each nation’s combat machines into the five theaters of war, where harsh environmental conditions influenced the use and development of technology. Fly Days, scheduled throughout the summer, are an opportunity to watch rare vintage aircraft soar through the skies just like they did during WWII, and meet the talented pilots who fly the planes. Throughout the calendar year, FHC offers educational and gaming opportunities along with special events like TankFest Northwest. TankFest Northwest is a Memorial Day event for the entire family that brings history alive and honors the military innovations of the past, as meticulously restored WWII-era tanks and vintage artillery put on an explosive show for the crowd.
The Flying Heritage Collection is operated by Friends of Flying Heritage, a nonprofit corporation focused on educating the public about these rare, historic aircraft.
In the late '90s, Paul G. Allen began acquiring and preserving vintage aircraft, many of which are the last of their kind. Allen's passion for aviation and history, and his awareness of the increasing rarity of original WWII aircraft, motivated him to restore these artifacts to the highest standard of authenticity and share them with the public.
Unlike most other collections displayed in a static museum environment, many of the historic aircraft have been restored to flying condition. On scheduled free summer Fly Days, you can watch these planes take to the skies once again.
Aircraft in the Collection
- Curtiss JN-4D Jenny — Used as a military trainer and barnstorming entertainer; this example is the finest of its kind left in the world. This aircraft enjoyed a well-cared-for existence through the years.
- Curtiss P-40C Tomahawk — One of America's first prewar fighter aircraft, immortalized for its use with Gen. Claire Chennault's Flying Tigers in China. Recovered from its WWII crash-landing site near Murmansk, Russia and the only known original P-40C in flying condition.
- de Havilland Mosquito T.III - Aircraft TV959 is stored pending restoration to airworthy by Avspecs at Ardmore Airport, Auckland, New Zealand.
- Fieseler Fi 156-C2 Storch — One of only a few remaining airworthy German examples in the world. Found in derelict condition in East Germany shortly before the 1990 Unification.
- Focke-Wulf Fw-190 A-5 — Most-common variant of Fw-190, this example was recovered, untouched, from a swamp outside of Leningrad and is the only flying A model with the original BMW 801 engine.
- Focke-Wulf Fw 190D-13 Dora — Advanced variant of the German fighter. Flown by Franz Götz. Received by RAF forces after German surrender.
- Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat — One of only a few surviving Hellcats, the Navy's fighting workhorse of the Pacific Theater battles. This example never saw action and was well-maintained without thorough restoration through the years.
- Hawker Hurricane Mk.XIIb — The plane model that shot down more enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain than all others combined. This example, made in Canada, never saw combat and was recovered from a farm in Ontario, Canada.
- Ilyushin Il-2M3 Shturmovik - The most-produced combat aircraft of all time, a dedicated anti-tank and ground-attack aircraft. The FHC aircraft is the world's only currently airworthy example, reconstructed from several different Shturmoviks recovered from various areas of Russia and powered by an Allison V-1710 engine rather than the scarce Mikulin AM-38, with the Allison's internal parts rearranged to enable clockwise rotation (a production feature of the American engine's design) for the Il-2, as with the original Russian powerplant. Has made its debut flight as of summer 2012.
- Junkers Ju-87R-2 Stuka - Werk Nr. 0875709 is believed to be under a long-term restoration to fly. It served bearing the Stammkennzeichen of LI+KU with 1./St.G.5, and was recovered to the United Kingdom in 1998 before being sold to the FHC.
- Messerschmitt Me-163B Komet — Capable of carrying just eight minutes worth of fuel, the Komet smashed speed and climb records using rocket power. Captured by British forces shortly before V-E Day near Husum, Germany.
- Messerschmitt Bf-109E-3 Emil — This German mainstay used a powerful Daimler-Benz DB 601 engine married to a small airframe for maximum performance. Found near Calais, France in 1988, buried completely in beach sand and is airworthy, and has been flown in the 21st century with the museum's Fw 190A-5.
- Mikoyan MiG-29UB Fulcrum — One of Russia's latest combat aircraft, FHC's aircraft is a fully airworthy, 2-seat -UB model.
- Mitsubishi A6M3-22 Reisen (Zero) — Employed as Kamikaze before V-J Day, the Zero was the mainstay of the Japanese air force. The plane is powered by a modified Pratt & Whitney R-1830 due to scarcity of original Nakajima Sakae 21 engine.
- Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa Oscar — Japan’s most significant army fighter and master of the dogfight. Recovered by postwar Japanese soldiers and restored. It is the only Type I version of the Oscar left in the world.
- North American P-51D Mustang — Reunited with its pilot after 58 years, this P-51D is the most authentic example of its type in the world. This example is a surviving combat veteran, restored even to its original paint.
- Polikarpov I-16 Type 24 Rata — Sturdy enough to take heavy damage and be used as a battering ram in mid-air when ammunition ran out. Found near Karelia, Russia in 1991 and restored at factory of origin by former employees who built them as children.
- Polikarpov U-2/Po-2 — Used by the famous Night Witches and one of few remaining examples of the most-produced biplane in history. A veteran of the Russian Front and Korea, discovered in Belarus and restored in Poland.
- Republic P-47D Thunderbolt — The largest single-engine fighter aircraft of WWII, which fought in every theater of war and served six Allied air forces. Built too late for combat, this example was stored and later used for Air National Guard duties.
- Supermarine Spitfire Mk.Vc — Flew for the Royal Air Force 312 “Free Czech” Squadron, fighting for the liberation of Europe from German occupation. A veteran of combat, it was damaged by flak but repaired.
- Fieseler Fi 103 V-1 — An unmanned flying bomb, the first jet-powered aircraft in history to be used as an offensive weapon.
- Fieseler Fi 103R (Reichenberg) — Designed to be released by an aircraft near the target, the pilot would direct the bomb into a dive and bail out.
- 8.8 cm Flak 18/36/37/41 Flak 37 "88"mm Anti-Tank Gun
- KMDB (Main Design Bureau) T-34/85
- M4A1 Sherman
- Mittelwerk V-2 Rocket — The first known human-made object to enter outer space.
- Scaled Composites SpaceShipOne — Rocketed into history by becoming the first privately built manned spacecraft to enter sub-orbital space and win the Ansari X Prize. Aircraft exhibited at FHC is one of six replicas built by Scaled Composites.
- "ORA: Flying Heritage Collection". Retrieved June 2, 2014.
- Classic Wings issue 44, p. 28.
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