John Sessions, a pilot and founder of the Historic Flight Foundation, and pilot Doug Russell took the restored MiG-29 out for its second test flight Feb. 8, 2011, from Paine Field. (Herald file)

John Sessions, a pilot and founder of the Historic Flight Foundation, and pilot Doug Russell took the restored MiG-29 out for its second test flight Feb. 8, 2011, from Paine Field. (Herald file)

Soviet-era fighter jet from Paul Allen’s estate up for sale

The restored and flyable MiG-29 was formerly on display at a Paine Field aircraft museum.

EVERETT — Don’t pass up this chance to snap up a coveted Soviet fighter jet.

Keep in mind the MiG-29 from the late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen’s private aircraft collection is bound to set you back many millions of dollars.

The fully operational, restored MiG served as an attraction at Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum at Paine Field, though it’s no longer there.

The two-seat jet is listed for sale by the Mente Group, an aviation broker. No asking price is given. Many other examples fly for foreign militaries, but this 30-year-old MiG is one of the few in private hands.

Allen bought the Russian-built aircraft in 2011 for an undisclosed amount. Developed in the 1970s, the initial version of the aircraft earned renown for its remarkable handling.

The aircraft is being marketed with working ejection seats and a pair of turbofan engines. Stripped of its weapons systems long before reaching U.S. shores, the aircraft reportedly racked up just more than 570 flight hours.

Previous owner John Sessions maintains another aircraft collection at the Historic Flight Foundation, on the other side of Paine Field from Flying Heritage.

Sessions started working with a partner in 2006 to import the former Ukrainian military jet to the United States. The aircraft was split into two separate shipments to travel different routes across the globe. China, however, seized the fuselage as military contraband and it remained in Hong Kong for a couple of years, The Daily Herald reported in 2011.

By the time the airplane started coming together at an Arlington Municipal Airport hangar in 2008, it needed extensive work.

“We spared no expense in restoration,” Sessions said in an email earlier this week.

The repair bill totalled more than $6 million.

Allen, 65, died in October from complications of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. He left behind a vast estate that includes property holdings, artwork and venture capital, as well as the Seattle Seahawks and Portland Trail Blazers sports franchises. Forbes last year estimated his net worth at more than $20 billion.

Allen also left his mark on the region through an array of cultural and philanthropic projects, among them Flying Heritage.

Allen wasn’t married and had no children. His sister, Jody Allen, was named executor and trustee of his estate.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@herald net.com. Twitter: @NWhaglund.

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