Michael Kelly shows off his collection of diecast model aircraft, the world\'s largest, at its unveiling at Shannon airport in Ireland.
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A man looks at part of the world's largest collection of diecast model aircraft, owned by Michael Kelly, as it is unveiled at Shannon airport in Shannon, Ireland, September 25, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
Michael Kelly holds a Lockheed Martin Tristar 500, an Aer Lingus model aircraft that is part of his collection. When the Irishman was a boy, he loved nothing more than gazing at planes taking off and landing at his nearest airport.
A Shannon airport guestbook is displayed alongside the collection. "When I made my first holy communion I asked my mum and dad to take me to Shannon airport. So I got to see the beautiful aircraft and from that day on I was hooked.
An Emirates model is seen in the collection. While Kelly would have loved the opportunity to have become a pilot, sourcing rare model aircraft still took the Limerick man around the world.
Model pilots are seen in a model plane. A friend said Kelly has spent 10,000 euros ($12,000) a year amassing the record haul. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
A model of a NASA space shuttle. Living alone in his renovated farmhouse, Kelly said there were exhibitors on the other side of the world "that would do anything" to have the collection. Instead, he donated it closer to home.
Pieces in the collection. The collector's favorite? A Boeing KC Tanker, one of only 10 made around the world. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
A KC Tankard U.S. Air Force army model plane made by Skyline, one of 10 in existence. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
A model of the Queen of England's former private aircraft. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne