Wednesday 17 July 2019

From Concorde to Capone: Model aircraft collection lands at Shannon

The livery of an old Irish International Airlines plane is one of thousands in Michael Kelly’s collection that will be part of a permanent display at Shannon Airport. Picture: Reuters
The livery of an old Irish International Airlines plane is one of thousands in Michael Kelly’s collection that will be part of a permanent display at Shannon Airport. Picture: Reuters
Rory Tevlin

Rory Tevlin

The world's largest collection of model aircraft has found a permanent home in Shannon Airport.

Limerick man Michael Kelly's lifelong obsession with aviation has seen him amass 2,300 diecast model airplanes over 50 years.

The unique exhibit includes model aircraft of 40 years old and more, featuring a range of Concordes, the Sunderland aircraft owned by gangster Al Capone from the 1930s and the full Aer Lingus collection.

Some 1,500 of the models will now go on display permanently in the departures lounge, with others rotating into the exhibit over time.

Retired Mr Kelly (67) from Farranshone, Co Limerick, said the opening of the exhibition was a dream come true.

"I fell in love with aircraft in the late 1950s, the first minute my Dad brought me to Shannon Airport to spot aircraft as they landed and took off," he said.

"So, to have spent a lifetime assembling this collection and bring it back to where it all started is more than I could have hoped for."

Irish Independent

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