Sunday, August 23, 2015

Herrick Aircraft Collection - FOR SALE (Updated 2nd Time)

2015 - The Year of the Big Sell-off
This was originally published 8/23/15. 
Greg Herrick's entire collection, The Golden Wings Flying Museum, is for sale.  Easily ranking as one of the world's largest and most impressive personal fleets of aircraft, it stands among giants.  Yet, many people outside of the aviation have never heard of it.
A mainstream collection it isn't.  Filled with aircraft of aviator fantasy, it's known mostly to enthusiasts.  Nearly everyone on the planet knows a P-51 and a Piper Cub.  Few though have ever even heard of an Paramount Cabinair, Krutzer Trimotor, or Avro Avian.  When fliers dream of finding one of these planes in a barn, they never believe it will happen.  Greg Herrick, on the other hand, has made it happen time and time again.
So incredible is his collection, and the places he found them, its mere existence is a statistical impossibility.  Plane after plane on the list is the last of its kind.  The stories of their discoveries alone could fill a book.  But, that wasn't good enough for Greg.  He turned them into a collection of airworthy flying machines.  He rescued history. 
When it comes to sizeable vintage aircraft collections, the year 2015 will likely be remembered as a sell-off.  Four of the largest fleets have been separated, sold off completely, or are in the process of being divested.  And those are just the ones you know about.  Others are being negotiated behind closed doors.  This one though is there for the taking.
The following paragraph no longer applies.  Simon Brown of Platinum is now the broker:
Are you excited?  Has your mind run wild with desire for one of the planes in the collection?  Well, maybe you should calm down.  Mark Clark, of warbird sales fame, has been shopping the collection around to high stakes buyers.  Greg wants to sell the collection as a package.
Counting my pennies and waiting for Greg to call with
philanthropic intentions.  My all time favorite -
the YPT-9 "Cloudboy."
All I can say at this point is that I hope none of these great birds are permanently grounded by a well funded static museum.  Planes aren't planes unless they fly.  Sure, some may serve a purpose as displays.  But, the real benefit to society and the real value of a plane comes with its ability to fly and the action of taking it airborne.  Here's to the right person, with the right intentions, having the right amount of money, to give this collection a new beginning.
Update to the following, and first update:  The following update appears to no longer be true. Everything has a price. Each plane could have a new home. 6/18/2017
Update:  This morning I received a nice email from Greg.  In short, he is still in love with aviation and has more "barn finds" on his list to rebuild.  It sounds more like he wants to move on to stage two of his vintage aircraft life and needs room.  And although the collection is for sale to the right buyer, he does not want it broken up.  8/23/2015

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Jed said...

Ditto on The Cloudboy

Mick Oakey said...

Sad to hear Greg's selling it — let's hope it finds exactly the kind of new owner you describe, Rich. When I visited with a busload of my Aeroplane readers in 2007, all our jaws were on the floor the whole time. And Greg was a brilliant host. Hard to name a favourite aircraft from the collection, but I think the Cunningham-Hall gets my vote, for sheer what-on-earth-is-that value.