A group of airplanes made famous during WWII is coming to Paine Field, and starting today, the public is invited to see the Flying Heritage Collection, a new permanent exhibit at the Flying Heritage Museum.
The collection of 15 planes and three historical artifacts is founded by philanthropist and Microsoft Corp. co-founder Paul Allen, and features planes used during the war by the United States, Britain, Russia, Germany and Japan.
The museum also will offer “fly-days,” starting at noon every other Saturday from June 14 through mid-October. During fly days, an area of Paine Field will be cornered off so several of the collection’s planes can be observed both on the ground and in the air.
“The Flying Heritage Collection is a collection of rare World War II-era military aircraft owned by philanthropist Paul G. Allen, and it is one of the world’s largest collections of vintage aircraft in flying condition,” said the Flying Heritage Collection’s director, Adrian Hunt. Allen “has a deep appreciation for history and technology; he is dedicated to restoring these aircraft, preserving them and sharing them with the public.”
The collection has been assembled to represent the technological innovations of aviation during World War II, Hunt said. Legendary aircraft known by just single names, such as the Spitfire, Mustang and Zero, are part of the collection.
The Flying Heritage Collection also features several extremely rare aircraft and artifacts, including a Messerschmitt Me163 Komet and a Fieseler Fi-103 V-1 “Buzz Bomb.”
The 15 planes and three artifacts make up the collection going on display at the new Paine Field facility today. However, Hunt said, the full Flying Heritage Collection comprises approximately 30 aircraft, many of which currently are being researched, restored and preserved. When those steps are completed, he said, the additional aircraft will be placed on display as well.