Paul Allen’s new MiG

EVERETT — Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is the new owner of a restored Russian-made fighter jet.

Vulcan Warbirds Inc., a corporation associated with Allen, closed the sale on the MiG-29 on March 9.

The jet is temporarily on display at Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection at Paine Field.

As soon as the weather is right, paperwork is completed and a qualified pilot can travel to the area, the jet will be flown to an undisclosed location, said Liz Davidson, manager of the collection.

The MiG-29 is the same former Ukrainian air force jet that entrepreneur and aviation enthusiast John Sessions purchased and painstakingly restored with Morgan Aircraft Restorations in Arlington.

The Herald chronicled the yearslong project and first flight of the iconic Russian warbird over Snohomish County in Feb. 6 story.

“I think it’s fair to say the purchaser is Vulcan Warbirds and behind all that is Paul Allen,” Sessions said. “They’ve been interested in a MiG-29 for a long time.”

Allen followed the progress of the jet through its restoration and recent test flights. Those test flights resulted in “no squawk” — in other words, nothing needed to be repaired, Sessions said.

The Flying Heritage Collection filed a lien in 2009 on the aircraft through the Federal Aviation Administration so they would know if it was sold to someone else, Davidson said.

Allen started collecting aircraft in 1998 and the collection’s museum includes mainly World War II planes. He became interested in MiG-29s around 2002, when it became possible for private citizens to purchase them on the open market, she said.

Will Allen be taking a flight any time soon in the two-seater?

“I know there’s some interest,” Davidson said. “He hasn’t said he’s ready for his flight.”

Reporter Debra Smith: 425-339-3197; dsmith@heraldnet.com.

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