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Flying Heritage museum expansion
An artist’s conception shows the expansion of the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum. (Flying Heritage Illustration)

Cross Seattle billionaire Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection off your list of local attractions, and put a new name in its place: the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum.

The rebranding, announced on Friday, will be followed by an expansion in the museum’s offerings and the construction of a third hangar to house its growing collection of aircraft and military vehicles.

The additional hangar at Everett’s Paine Field will boost the museum’s current 57,000 square feet of exhibit space by another 30,816 square feet, the museum said.

“Since its opening in 2008, our mission has been to offer visitors unique ways to explore and examine history, which we’ve accomplished by providing firsthand experiences with the world’s finest collection of flying aircraft,” Flying Heritage’s executive director, Adrian Hunt, said in a news release. “We’re thrilled to evolve the brand to reflect our ever-growing collection of planes, tanks and artifacts.”

The Flying Heritage Collection started out as a venue for showing off some of the historic military airplanes owned by Allen, who co-founded Microsoft and is now one of the region’s best-known philanthropists (as well as the owner of the Seattle Seahawks and part-owner of the Seattle Sounders).

Over time, still more planes have been added, but so have military ground vehicles, artillery and iconic armor. Among the recent additions are a Republic F-105 Thunderchief jet (on loan from the National Museum of the United States Air Force) and a de Havilland Mosquito attack aircraft (acquired by the museum through trades).

Another indicator of the museum’s widening spectrum came this month with the opening of “Why War: The Causes of Conflict,” an interactive exhibit that examines the causes and effects of the major wars in U.S. history.

Flying Heritage says more than 40 artifacts are due to be introduced this year, turning it into the largest operational military vehicle and warbird collection on the West Coast.

On May 27, the museum will host Tankfest Northwest 2017, an event that will mark the full public reveal of the museum’s new brand identity as well as the unveiling of a new vehicle, the Churchill Tank. The heavy tank was used by the British in World War II, and named after Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

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