Flying Heritage Collection

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Flying Heritage Collection
Polikarpov Po-2 Paul Allen's WWII Flying Heritage Collection.jpg
The collection's Polikarpov Po-2 on display.
Established 2004
Location Paine Field, Everett, Washington
Type Aviation museum

The Flying Heritage Collection is Paul G. Allen's collection of rare military aircraft, which comprises artifacts 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.[1] In 2013, the Flying Heritage Collection added a 22,000 square foot expansion hangar for its expanding collection.

The Flying Heritage Collection includes important military machines of the 20th century. These designs represent both an era of global turmoil and a time of great technological innovation.

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 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 show in which the Collection's restored WWII-era tanks, vehicles and weapons put on driving and firing demonstrations.

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 1998, Paul Allen began acquiring and preserving vintage aircraft, many of which are the last of their kind.[2][vague] 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,[citation needed] many of the historic aircraft have been restored to flying condition.

Aircraft in the Collection[edit]

  • Curtiss P-40C Tomahawk — One of America's first prewar fighter aircraft, used 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Hawker Hurricane Mk.XIIb — This example, made in Canada, never saw combat and was recovered from a farm in Ontario, Canada.
The airworthy Ilyushin Il-2 of the Flying Heritage Collection, flown with a "reversed" Allison V-1710 powerplant, as the original engine had been designed to do.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mikoyan MiG-29UB Fulcrum — One of Russia's modern 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 Imperial Navy's Air Force. The plane is powered by a modified Pratt & Whitney R-1830 due to the scarcity of the original Nakajima Sakae 21 engine.
  • Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa Oscar — Japan’s most significant Japanese Imperial Army's Air Force 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 B-25 Mitchell — The FHC's B-25J was built in Kansas City in the last days of 1944. It was one of 117 B-25s modified to carry a Hughes E1 fire control radar for training. The plane served with the Royal Canadian Air Force for ten years until it was sold as surplus in 1961.[3]
  • 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.


  • 17-Pounder Mk. I Anti-tank Gun
  • 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.
  • KMDB (Main Design Bureau) T-34/85
  • M4A1 Sherman
  • Mittelwerk V-2 Rocket — The first known human-made object to enter outer space.
  • R-11M with 8U218 TEL (SS-1b Scud-A) Ballistic Missile System
  • 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.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°53′57″N 122°16′47″W / 47.89917°N 122.27972°W / 47.89917; -122.27972