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Aircraft museum at Paine Field may reopen this year; collection bought

Michael Whitney 2012 photo

The museum’s artifacts were maintained during its two-year closure. Pictured is a Supermarine Spitfire Mark Vc that flew in World War II combat. This plane was sold as scrap in the 1960s, but was restored and is part of the museum’s collection.

EVERETT — The Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum at Paine Field has a new collection owner who intends to reopen the museum by year’s end.
An announcement Thursday, Aug. 4 states the museum’s artifacts and assets are to be acquired by the Wartime History Museum, a new nonprofit started by entrepreneur and philanthropist Steuart Walton, the grandson of Walmart’s founder Sam Walton.
The nonprofit says it will share additional reopening details when plans are finalized.
He’s buying it from the estate of museum founder Paul G. Allen, the late co-founder of Microsoft. After putting together a collection, the museum itself first opened in 2004.
The museum showcases an unmatched collection of military artifacts – namely airplanes, tanks, and armaments, with many restored to original flying or driving condition and emphasizing authentic paint schemes and mechanical systems.
The museum continued operations following Allen’s death in late 2018 but closed to the public in March of 2020 given the COVID-19 pandemic. Artifact care and restoration continued while the museum was closed.
“This incredible collection reminds us of the significance vintage aircraft and other historic vehicles have had on our nation and globe,” Walton said in the announcement.
A preservationist and flyer, Walton co-founded Game Composites, an aerobatic airplane manufacturer, and serves on the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum board.



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