World War II Planes Come to Glacier Park International Airport

The Wings of Freedom Tour will display historic aircraft in Kalispell July 3-5

By Charlotte Bausch
Courtesy photo

World War II-era planes will touch down at Glacier Park International Airport starting July 3 as the airport hosts the Wings of Freedom Tour, an exhibit that offers visitors a chance to explore or even fly in historic aircraft such as fighters and bombers.

A variety of iconic planes will be displayed, including the B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine,” B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft,” B-25 Mitchell “Tondelayo,” P-51 Mustang “Toulouse Nuts” and P-40 Warhawk “Jaws.”

Guests can take self-guided tours of the interior of several planes, and see other aircraft on the ramp. Adventurous visitors can book a flight experience aboard the B-17 Flying Fortress or B-24 Liberator aircraft and find out what it was like to be a member of the planes’ 10-person crew in 1944. Flight training with an instructor on the P-51 Mustang or P-40 Warhawk can also be purchased, with no prior flying experience required.

The Wings of Freedom Tour has traveled across the country for more than 30 years, and will visit more than 100 cities this year. Wings of Freedom is intended to honor the freedom these aircraft helped preserve during World War II. The tour is presented by the Collings Foundation, a nonprofit that supports “living history” events and the preservation of historical artifacts.

Wings of Freedom’s visit to Kalispell is the first of several in Montana this year. Glacier Park International Airport Director Rob Ratkowski said in a press release that Glacier Park International Airport is pleased to have the opportunity to host the tour.

“These rare planes bring a rich part of aviation history to residents and visitors of the Flathead Valley,” Ratkowski said.

See the Wings of Freedom Tour at Glacier Park International Airport July 3-5. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. The tour will be held at the ramp at Gate 7, which can be accessed a half-mile north of the airport entrance on U.S. Highway 2. For more information about the tour, see the Collings Foundation website at https://www.collingsfoundation.org/event/kalispell-mt-glacier-park-international-airport-gpi/.

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