With the untimely passing of the legendary Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen in October, 2018, the historical aviation community lost a hugely significant benefactor. Not only had he established a ground-breaking museum, the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum in Everett, Washington, but he had also undertaken important underwater archeological expeditions to locate important warships lost to the deep during WWII. Perhaps the most important of the latter was the discovery of USS Wasp and numerous examples of the extinct Douglas TBD Devastator in early 2018. While we felt sure that he had made provisions for this important work to continue in the event of his death, it has become eminently clear that this is unlikely the case. Work on the numerous aircraft restoration projects he had ongoing around the world seem to slow almost immediately, and very little has been heard about them since. While we hope that this is not the case, it now seems clear that the museum’s collection will grow no further from where it is presently, as in recent days, numerous airframes which had been slated for restoration are now up for sale. The world’s two most prominent warbird brokers, Platinum Fighter Sales and Courtesy Aircraft Sales each have a selection on their books.
Courtesy Aircraft Sales is presently offering the combat jets…
- Grumman F9F-2 Panther Bu.127147
- Republic F-84G-26-RE 51-11126
- Chance Vought F8U-1E Crusader Bu.145527
- Chance Vought F8U-2 Crusader Bu.145592
- Chance Vought F8U-1 Crusader Bu.143769
While it will take substantial investment to get any of these aircraft flying again, there are certainly opportunities out there for doing so. Here is hoping that each of them moves on to a new owner who will indeed lavish the love and care needed to put them back in the air, where they belong.