French chateau with a collection of WARPLANES: Eccentric collector, 87, boasts world’s largest private fleet of fighter jets (and a hovercraft on his lawn)
- Planes are parked outside Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune in Burgundy, France
- 87-year-old Michel Pont is the proud owner of the record breaking collection
- He also has collections of vintage fire trucks, race cars, and motorcycles
- The ex race car driver said he started collecting after being in the military
The Château de Savigny-lès-Beaune, nestled in the rolling hills of Burgundy’s wine country, is the last place you’d expect to find a fighter plane which once had atomic bombs strapped expectantly under its wings.
Michel Pont, who is the world’s biggest private collector of fighter planes according to the Guinness Book of World Records, inherited the castle in the 1980s and stuffed every corner of his property with his prized possessions.
The castle is located in Savigny-les-Beaune near Beaune. The website says that it overlooks an impressive estate of several hectares and a fierce collection of fighter jets
Among the collection are Michel Pont’s record breaking collection of WWII fighter planes
In addition to the planes which include the F-100F Super Sabre above, the estate includes a collection of 30 tractors used specifically in the vineyard
The Dassault Super Mystère (pictured above) is a French fighter-bomber and is pictured on the grounds of Michel Pont’s estate
The Dassault Mirage III (pictured above) is a single-seat, single-engine, fighter aircraft. It was developed and manufactured by French company Dassault Aviation
His collection and the abundant size of the property has allowed him to open nine separate museums in the castle, one for each type of vehicle.
Some of the most memorable sites of the museum include a soviet helicopter sitting on the back lawn, a 1970s hovercraft, a warehouse full of vintage firetrucks, 200 antique motorbikes and 36 racing cars.
Transporting all of the machines from across the world was a task in itself.
A Belgian fighter aircraft can be seen sitting on the front lawn of Michel Pont’s medieval castle in Savigny-lès-Beaune in Burgundy
The Vought F-8 Crusader (pictured above), a plane developed by the French Navy, was primarily used during the Vietnam war
Pont dismantled one himself on a runway in Djibouti and rebuilt it when he got it back to the confines of the castle.
Many came from WWII scrapheaps in Belgium and Poland.
‘When you have a head for collecting you find a way,’ Pont told MessyNessy.
He said that it was his parents who inspired his passion for heritage.
The octogenarian was also in the French air force and said he caught the bug by speaking with pilots and buying planes when they were declared unfit for service.
He told Guinness World Records that he wanted to stop them from being destroyed.
As all military bases are closed to the public in France, Pont believes this is a way to let people get up close with fighter jets and he opens his property and surrounding estate as a museum.
Pont says that it was his parents who instilled in him a passion for collecting things
The Nord Noratlas (pictured above) was a dedicated military transport aircraft, developed and manufactured by French aircraft manufacturer Nord Aviation
The Aero Jet Trainer L-39 Albatros, pictured above, was a Czechoslovakian training aircraft used during the 1960s