EVERETT, Wash. – The idea behind the Flying Heritage Collection’s groundbreaking new exhibit about the causes and effects of conflict, “Why War,” was born five years ago – and the man behind the idea is none other than Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, who owns the collection.
“He’s the ‘Idea Man,’ as you know,” said Adrian Hunt, the collection’s executive director, referring to Allen’s memoir.
The Flying Heritage Collection shows off scores of historic aircraft and other military artifacts in a 57,000-square-foot hangar complex next to Everett’s Paine Field, including a German V-2 rocket, a Soviet Scud missile system and a couple of tanks.
Hunt recalled that Allen raised a big-picture question during a conversation about the collection and its future: “At some level, don’t we just have a lot of weapons on display? … We should do something to provide some context.”
That set off years of thinking and designing, aimed at putting together an interactive exhibit to explain why conflicts arise, how warfare has changed, and how war affects societies. Hunt says the resulting 2,500-square-foot exhibit, which opens to the public on March 4, is the only one of its kind in the U.S.