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Museum of Mountain Flying, Missoula,  Montana  Information Page.

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Fokker D VII   Model,  Airplane Museum Quality
Fokker D VII  Museum Quality.
Museum of Mountain Flying, Missoula.

Montana is called the Treasure State.  The population of Montana is 804,000 people, number 44 of the 50 states, its capital is Helena and Montana's largest city is Billings.  The land area of Montana is 145,556 square miles, number 4 of the 50 states, and its highest point is Granite Peak which is 12,799 feet.

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This is a real nice museum with many rare and famous airplanes, the Museum of Mountain Flying, Missoula, Montana.
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The last updates on the museum listings were added 18 Jan 2011
Due to legal changes in Illinois, I will not be updating this list until further notice.
These museums change their information and locations very often.
Please try to contact the museum before you try to visit it, it may not be there anymore.

 
   Malmstorm AFB Museum and Air Park 
341st Space Wing/MU
21 77th Street North
Malmstrom AFB, MT 59402-7538
Phone-406-731-2705
We also have a Wing 1 Launch Control facility inside.
About 8 Aircraft

 

   Museum of Mountain Flying
 Missoula

Morgan Kinney


Evening Sir,

I came across your website today while looking for a certain aircraft and found your little ditty on Montana's air museums.  I myself work out at the Museum of Mountain Flying here in Missoula and want do let you know about the changes here!  To start,  the museum moved into a new facility about 6 years ago,  across the tarmac from Neptune Aviation and their fleet of P2V Neptune Retardant Bombers.   Our meager collection has grown from a modified J-3 Cub and  privately owned 1941 Boeing Stearman to include a Twin Beechcraft Model 18,  or C-45,  an HH-1H  Huey helicopter,  one of only 30 built of this particular model.  We have two small homebuilt planes,  a Clark Special three and one that is of unknown make.  these two are static displays for kids to climb in,  and are rigged with radio receivers  so the kids can hear radio traffic from the tower.  Also here is a 1930 Moth,  an American built version of the De Havilland Tiger and Gypsy Moth.  this plane hung for years in the Helena Airport Terminal, and was given to us after they remodeled.  Restored,  she is reputed to fly in her current state.

Recently we had donated to us a  time capsule of an airplane, a 1946 Stinson.  This plane is in beautiful shape,  everything, and i mean everything is original,  and the airframe has barely 900 hours on it!   the pilot hardly flew it, and stopped flying it in fact in 1964!   it has seen its engine run up for 20 minutes a year since then. 

But our pride and joy is our DC-3/C-47,  N24320.  this aircraft was ordered by the US Air Force in 1944,  declared surplus in 1946,  and was purchased by Johnson Flying Service  (to whom the museum is actually dedicated,  at least in part)   She served smokejumper duty for most of her life,   but her most famous,  infamous, and tragic hour was on August 5, 1949,  when she dropped 15 smokejumpers and a smoke chaser over a routine grass fire in Mann Gulch,  near Helena, Montana.  Tragically,   12 of these brave men   were killed  when the fire blew up and chased them up the mountain (I have hiked this gulch.  i play rugby and barely made it half way up zig zagging on a clear day.   the survivors ran straight up through choking smoke.  don't see how they did it)

N24320,  or "Tilly"  as some recently discovered images of her short lived nose art has shown us,   also crashed landed in the river outside Pittsburgh on Dec, 22, 1954.  10 soldiers of the 23 on board, and the Johnson pilot flying her, drowned or died of exposure.  

"Tilly" was sold in 1974, flew cargo for the remaining career she had, and was recovered by the museum in flying condition in 2002.  She is now the centerpiece of our little museum,   maintained and restored to her Johnson Flying Service colors by the same men who took care of her in the '40's, '50's, '60s and '70's.  She does fly, and hopefully, if the funds can be raised to ensure and fuel her,  "Tilly"   will be winging her way to Air Venture 2009 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

    As for other things here,  we have great displays devoted to the smoke jumpers,   Missoula and CAA pilot training in WWII,  Veterans and war hero's from the area (including "Hub" Zemke and one of the Doolittle  Raiders),  and several period vehicles.  a 1930 Chevrolet sedan shares space with the Moth,  while one of the original 1948 Federal Heavy trucks that served the DC-3 AND Johnson Flying Service sits equally restored to perfect order next to its charge.

Also a running and driving example of JFS history, and that of the pilot training here in Missoula in 1942-45 is a 1925 White Yellowstone tour bus.  this truck was used to ferry cadets from the University dorms to Hale Field for their training.

New additions to the museum that we need to get to our facility are three planes still in Helena.  an F-89 Scorpion,  an F-102,  and the EC121 Warning Star that sit there.  these planes, along with several engines on display  at the museum,  belonged to the tech school for training.  while none fly,  we are trying to sell the EC121,  and turn the funds into a Grumman Avenger.  these planes as retardant bombers served JFS  for years before the Forest Service decreed all planes used in fire fighting had to have multi engine reliability.  The aircraft we are looking to recover is a JFS plane that has been flying in Canada as fire suppression,  and has only been recently retired.

I hope this email reaches you,  and i hope its a good update to your page!  if i had pictures i would have included them.  perhaps when i get some i will email them to you.

Take care, and Respectively,
Morgan Kinney, Museum of Mountain Flying
 

 


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