Tag Archives: flying heritage and combat armor museum

Status of the Stuka

When making my first visit to FHCAM after it re-opened, one of the things I was interested to know was whether the Stuka had made any further progress from when I last saw it or whether it was paused for restoration.  Things looked like they had moved on a bit since I was last there, but it didn’t look obvious that a huge amount had happened so that could have been after I was there and before they closed down.  It would be very cool to have a Stuka back in the air so we shall see if this one progresses.  If anyone knows, please comment below.  In the meantime, here are some shots of how it looks most recently.

FHCAM’s 262

My most recent visit to FHCAM was also my first encounter with their Messerschmidt Me-262.  I knew they had one, but it was never on display when I went previously.  Fortunately, it is now part of the main museum exhibits.  I think the 262 is a very interesting looking design.  Early jets were not always the most elegant shapes but the 262 had a really interesting, blended look to the fuselage and wings.  I was hoping I could find a way to get something that reflected that in my shots.  What I really wanted to do was use the monopod to get some higher angle shots but the museum has strict rules about such stuff so I had to make do with whatever my arms could manage.

The jet is a pretty small airframe.  That generation of planes was not particularly large with a few more specialized exceptions so this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.  Compared to modern jets, it is tiny.  First generation jet engines were not efficient beasts so it would have worked its way through its fuel load quite rapidly, I imagine.  That assumed that both motors kept running for the whole flight.  I still haven’t seen one of the restored/replica 262s fly, sadly.  I wonder if I shall do that at some point.

Cutting Open a Tank

When Paul Allen died, there was some debate about the future of the Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum at Paine Field.  The onset of the pandemic meant it closed down and most of us assumed it would never reopen.  With everything sold to one of the Walton family, a move across country was then seen as the likely next step but it turns out, for now at least, that the museum is back open and running.  Consequently, I stopped in to have a look at what has changed.

In previous visits I have checked out their main battle tank that is cut in half.  Apparently this was a gift from Jordan.  The vehicle has been cut lengthways giving a detailed view of the interior layout of the vehicle.  You can walk through the middle to check things out.  On this visit, I was playing with some wider lens shots and, while I have taken images of this exhibit before, I paid it more attention this time.

Even with it cut in half, some of the exposed spaces that the crew inhabits seem ridiculously small.  I can’t imagine how cramped they are in real life.  Being stuck in such a small space when in genuine peril and with limited options for escape should something go wrong must be quite focusing for the mind.  Not hard to see how I didn’t end up as a tank crew member.

Stuka Time

FHCAM opened up a new hangar at their museum facility in Everett.  To coincide with the new opening, they unveiled a new addition to the collection.  This addition was a Stuka.  They had hinted earlier in the week that it might be a Stuka and I was hoping that would be the case.  The other aircraft they were hinting at was the Me262 and, since we know they are close to flying their example of that, having a Stuka would be a significant addition.  I was really pleased to see that was the case although the 18-24 months until it is airworthy will be a bit of a drag.  Good things come to those that wait, though.

I put a fuller piece on GAR which you can see at the link below.  Here are a couple of shots of the current state of the airframe.

Warbirds – FHCAM Stuka Unveiling