A section of the new V-2 rocket arrives at the Flying Heritage Collection

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s latest extravagance — a German-built World War II-era V2 rocket — has arrived at his Flying Heritage Collection at Paine Field in Everett.

v2-IMG_7744The rocket, one of only 16 remaining in the world, stands 46-feet tall (just shy of the museum’s 50-foot high ceiling).

The V-2 arrived in three primary sections on Monday, and has now been re-assembled as the latest showpiece in the museum.

The Associated Press notes that workers had to dig a trench in the concrete near the entrance to the hangar in order to maneuver the rocket into place.

It is now on display, and will be part of the museum’s permanent exhibit.

The rocket was trucked across country from Florida where refurbishments were made to the device following Allen’s purchase in 2003, reports the AP.

Germany developed the V-2, and used the aerial weapon in the latter part of World War II against targets in London and Antwerp. According to a BBC report cited by Wikipedia, the V-2 was responsible for the deaths of 9,000 civilians and military personnel.

It is considered the first long-range rocket used in combat, developed in part by German inventor Wernher von Braun.

Here are a few more photos of the V-2 arriving at the Flying Heritage Collection, courtesy of the museum.



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  • http://www.christopherbudd.com Christopher Budd

    I admit I have very mixed feelings about this.

    Does anyone know what the context is in which this is being presented? The Wikipedia page for instance also notes that, in addition to the 9,000 lives taken by the V-2 directly, “12,000 forced labourers and concentration camp prisoners were killed producing the weapons”.

    What I would hate is for kids to start “oohing” and “aahing” at “one of the first rockets” and lack a sense of how much blood and suffering went into what they’re looking at and what it was intended to achieve.

    • johnhcook

      Good point Christopher. I think the destruction caused by the device should be presented as well, and I hope the curators of the museum take that into account. (I am hoping to get up to the museum this weekend, and plan to take my son). That said, the Flying Heritage Collection museum — and most military oriented museums — are filled with killing objects.

      I was a history major in college, studying military history and other topics at Gettysburg College (Yes, the site of the gruesome battle and the turning point of the Civil War) . As a kid, my family and I toured most of the major Civil War battlefields on the East Coast.

      I think having that sense of history, if presented in the right way, can have a very deep impact on people. I know it did on me.

      And, frankly, seeing a rocket like this up close, hopefully will put things in perspective for folks who sometimes only know of missiles and rockets and bombs in the latest video game.

      • http://www.christopherbudd.com Christopher Budd

        Totally agree on all counts.

        I was a history minor myself so nice to meet you that way.

        I think a part of this for me is I’ve always had a sense that the V-2 could well have given us a different ending. And given Nazi interest in using chemical agents with it, it stands as the harbinger of the era we live in today (just as the Enola Gay does).

        I’ll be curious what the exhibit it like.

        Thanks for the comment.

      • http://www.christopherbudd.com Christopher Budd

        FIle under serendipity. I’m listing to a lecture series on espionage and just got to the V-2 and Operation Paperclip. As a history major you find find this interesting: http://www.thegreatcourses.com/tgc/courses/course_detail.aspx?cid=8922.

        I’m a big fan of their stuff.

    • x1

      Oohing and aahing is exactly what you want your kids to do to become inspired. You could make these same comments about any firearm or weapon of war.

      Some days I seriously wonder what planet people are from.

      • Rocketeer

        I’m not sure exactly what you mean by that comment. John Moses Browning’s 1911 wasn’t created by slaves, nor was it specifically designed for mass murder.
        This display will be fascinating to see, I think I’ll check it out pretty soon.

        Interesting side note; Blue Origins test rocket “Goddard”, had it’s carbon fiber structure built within five feet of where that display is now. I built it, in that hangar, before the museum was created.

  • Fikri Soleh Abd Razaq

    Hi guys,

    Ethically, i do upset with the effects of war. People died and suffered.

    But to me, i look at V-2 rockets as a product of research. Don’t forget the ‘success’ of V-2 inspired von Braun to develop the Saturn-V and even inspired further for the advancement of ICBM and rocket technologies especially in Russia and US. With rockets’ tech, now US have reached Mars. Without knowledge from producing V-2, i don’t see this advancement is possible. And how we can put satellite and using GPS, without rockets? Remote sensing, live tv?

    In general, technologies are just tools. It is up to who is using it and for what intentions. If something bad came up, don’t blame the technology. Blame the people.

    • johnhcook

      Well said. Thanks for the comment.

  • Paul Suzman

    In addition to the realities of slave labor at Peenemunde let us not forget the that in 1945 the US adopted Werner von Braun, father of the V2, and forgave his trespasses, so he could go on to mastermind our space program…………..

  • t-rocket

    Do you have mixed feelings about kids “oohing” and “aahing” over bomber and fighter aircraft? American and British air raids killed far more people the the V-2. War is war, the weapon is an object. Nazi’s used slave labor in ALL of their war industry manufacturing, not just the V-2. It was a dreaded weapon that the Allies attempted to counter without success. It is part of history and its ramifications are all around us today. Teach your kids, don’t shelter them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/scott.twombly.18 Scott Twombly

    We are looking at the grandfather of the Saturn 5 rocket that took us to the Moon. As a weapon of war it was a waste of resources that helped bring the war to a earlier end . As a student of ww2 i can not wait to visit.

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