Published August 2005

'Flying Heritage Collection' featured at Arlington Fly-In

Snohomish County Business Journal/JOHN WOLCOTT

This rare Curtis P-40 “Warhawk” is one of more than a dozen aircraft displayed at the Flying Heritage Collection in Arlingtion, including a P-51 “Mustang,” F6F-5 “Hellcat,” British “Spitfire” and a Japanese Ki-43 “Hayabusa” fighter.

By John Wolcott
SCBJ Editor

Billionaire Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection of war planes was a major attraction at this year’s NWEAA Fly-In at the Arlington airport.

For the first time, people attending the Northwest Experimental Aircraft Association gathering were invited to take free tours of the Northwest’s newest air museum, housed in two hangars on the west side of the airfield.

Normally, the $20 hour-and-a-half guided tours have to be reserved on the Internet ( for Fridays or Saturdays. But for the Fly-In, busloads of air show ticket-holders were shuttled to the hangars for a half-hour familiarization visit.

Local residents who are docents at the hangars encouraged visitors to return for the full tour, which includes each plane’s historic role and flying history, researched in detail as the display was assembled and the aircraft were restored to “out-of-the factory” newness.

Thousands of pilots, tourists and local residents enjoyed three-hour aerobatic air shows, aerial fireworks, warbirds, experimental home-built aircraft, sport planes, aviation forums, food and outdoor movies on the screen of the “runway theater” at the event. The fly-in attacts 50,000 visitors each year from the United States and Canada, making it the nation’s third-largest general aviation air show and pilot conference.

The historic military aircraft displays and dramatic fly-bys of the Cascade Warbirds Squadron, a favorite attraction at the Fly-In, were missing this year, but some individual pilots brought a few American, Canadian and Russian warbirds to the field. Also, Silver State Helicopters, a new fly-in sponsor and tenant at the airfield, offered $30 flights in its blue R22 Robinson choppers.

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