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WWII Planes

Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s arsenal of toys also contains some non high-tech wonders: He collects and restores World War II planes.

He’s got 20 of the planes so far, including a Republic P-47D Thunderbolt, a Curtiss 40C Tomahawk and the Polikarpov U-2/Po-2 (pictured left).

Natch, he’s got his own private hanger – that’s how you roll when you’re a billionaire – but he’s also opened a museum, “The Flying Heritage,”at Paine Field in Everett, Wash., to share his collection – and the technological insights you can glean from it – with the public.

The real bonus in having a museum created by a billionaire – and a techie billionaire at that – is that each plane is restored with “the highest level of authenticity that money and technology can buy,” according to Adrian Hunt, the executive director of the museum. And yep, they fly – All but three of them are flown during shows in the summer.

Photo: Flying heritage Collecion