Meet the man with one of the world's largest warbird collections

A chance encounter with one historic aeroplane, eventually led Jerry Yagen to develop one of the world’s leading warbird fleets. Ben Dunnell speaks to the aircraft collector to find out more

Anyone who collects anything to a serious degree will tell you that, once you’ve got the bug, it’s difficult to shake off. The symptoms manifest themselves in all sorts of ways, some of them easily manageable, some definitely not. Philately and literature may be one matter, aeroplanes quite another, yet the principle is exactly the same, and the dedication and desire underlying it equally admirable.


Jerry Yagen knows all about this. “I was a great hoarder of strange things”, he says, “which finally grew up into airplanes”. In his youth, he did indeed collect stamps, and Marvel comic books too. Today, his Military Aviation Museum in Pungo, Virginia holds one of the world’s largest collections of airworthy historic aircraft. In some ways, on reflection, it’s actually not too far of a jump.


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