Yagen Selling Warbird Collection
One of the largest and most prized collections of rare warbirds is being sold off because owner Jerry Yagen says he can't afford it anymore. (Click here for a PDF list of the inventory.) Yagen, who recently added the world's only flying Mosquito fighter bomber to his stable of 44 warbirds, says he's always pouring money into the aircraft and he can't do it any longer. "[I] just can no longer afford to subsidize the operations of these airplanes. There are a few interested parties," Yagen said in an email to AVweb. Yagen's B-17 "Chuckie" an a Focke-Wulf 190 were bought by the Tillamook Air Museum in Oregon.As we reported earlier this year, Yagen asked EAA for financial help to bring aircraft to AirVenture 2013 but EAA said it could not set that precedent. Yagen told the Virginia Pilot he's already sold four vocational trade schools associated with his aviation enterprises in Virginia and the Military Aviation Museum in Pungo, near Virginia Beach, may also be shuttered.
The news caused an uproar in the warbird community. The Geneseo Air Show's Web site says the Mosquito, which was scheduled to perform there in two weeks, has already been or is about to be sold. "The most reliable information we have is the rumors are true; the Mosquito is being/has been sold, and its appearance schedule is being modified," a note on the site says. "We have a signed contract and we are waiting to hear if the new owner is willing and/or able to honor that contract." Yagen has a reputation for faithful restoration of First and Second World War aircraft that incorporates modern technology to make them safer and more reliable.