By Bill Sheets
20 March 2008
EVERETT -- It's not every day that a V-1
from Nazi Germany rolls down I-5 through Everett
on a flatbed truck. It happened on Wednesday, as the World
War II relic owned by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen was
moved from a museum at the Arlington Airport to a new home
at Paine Field.
The disarmed V-1
was the first of 15 items in Allen's Flying Heritage Collection
to be moved from Arlington, where the museum been housed for
more than three years, to a 51,000-square-foot former repair
hangar at Paine Field.
The rocket drew stares and pointing from drivers as it crawled
along from Arlington to Everett in the early afternoon. One
couple who stopped next to the rocket at the left-turn light
from 172nd Street NE to southbound I-5 could read the writing
on the tail section of the camouflage-painted V-1
"German!" the woman said through her SUV's open
The new incarnation of the museum is scheduled to open June
6. The space at 3407 109th St. SW is about twice as large
as the collection's home in Arlington and is expected to increase
visibility for the collection, said Michael Nank, a spokesman
Paine Field is the aviation hub in the community, Nank said,
and Allen's collection will complement the Future of Flight
museum and nearby Boeing tours.
About 10 years ago, Allen began collecting aircraft and weapons
produced between 1935 and 1945 among the five principal combatants
in World War II -- the United States, the United Kingdom,
Nazi Germany, Japan and the Soviet Union.
All of the aircraft and weapons represented some type of innovation
at the time, and Allen has paid to have everything painstakingly
restored to its original condition.
In the case of the V-1
the attention to detail goes all the way to the German writing
on the rocket's tail, Nank said. He declined to disclose the
value of the collection.
Two fighter planes in the collection, an American F6F-5 Hellcat
and a Japanese Nakijima K143-1B Oscar, were scheduled to be
moved by flatbed truck late Wednesday night. The rest of the
aircraft in the collection can fly and are expected to be
moved over the next few weeks.
was a flying bomb, the first rocket ever to be used in war,
according to the Flying Heritage Collection. Also called "buzz
bombs," many of the rockets were launched against England
toward the end of World War II.
While almost all V-1
were unmanned, Allen obtained a prototype version
with a cockpit outfitted for a Nazi pilot. The Third Reich
never used manned rockets in combat for what essentially would
have been suicide missions, Nank said.
The rockets came from an underground assembly plant in the
Harz Mountain range of Germany. The chamber went undiscovered
until the 1980s, according to Adrian Hunt, executive director
of the Flying Heritage Collection, and Allen obtained the
rockets from a German company, Hunt said.
On Wednesday, the V-1
was disassembled and strapped onto the flatbed in four parts,
its main body, the cockpit section and two auxiliary sections.
In addition to the Arlington collection, Allen has 15 to 20
other items that are still being reassembled and refurbished
and will be added to the collection as soon as next year.
These include a Nazi V-2
missile, a larger, less accurate but more destructive weapon
than the V-1
It was the first capable of moving under its own power to
be used in combat. The V-2
eventually will be erected to its full 46-foot height and
shown at the Paine Field location, Nank said.
The museum's new home was built as a repair facility in 1949
by Alaska Airlines, according to Larry Gertz of Pasadena,
Calif., who is designing the new museum space. Alaska used
the hangar into 1950s, and in recent years it has stood vacant,
The new museum will have banners and signs providing information
about the World War II era, the aircraft and the battles in
which the machines were used, Nank said.
Allen's company, Vulcan Inc., has agreed to a 10-year lease
with Snohomish County for the hangar space. Snohomish County
owns and operates Paine Field.
Vulcan Inc. will pay the county $370,000 in rent per year.
The company will pay $5.2 million to renovate the hangar on
the southeastern part of the airport grounds, and will receive
$2.2 million back as part of the agreement, Paine Field director
Dave Waggoner said.
Allen's museum, which has been closed for six months in anticipation
of the move, will be open most days in its new location, in
contrast to its limited days and hours of operation in Arlington.
Reporter Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439 or email@example.com.
The Flying Heritage Collection
Hawker Hurricane MK.II B
Supermarine Spitfire MK.VC
Polikarpov 1-16 RATA
Republic P-47D Thunderbolt
North American P-51D Mustang
Nakjima K143-1B Oscar
Mitsubishi A6M5 Zero
Curtiss JE-4D Jenny
F1 156-C2 Storch
Avro Lancaster nose section
Fi-103 V-1 "buzz bomb" rocket
Fi-103 Reichenberg manned rocket
For more information about the Flying Heritage Collection,
call 206-342-4242 or go online to www.flyingheritage.com.
Other: WWII News
Copyright © Bill Sheets.
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