Photos: Wings of Freedom Tour Visits the Flathead

A trio of World War II era planes visited the Flathead Valley from June 25 to 27 as part of the Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour. Among the visiting aircraft was the B-17 Flying Fortress “Nine O Nine” heavy bomber, the Consolidated B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft” heavy bomber and a P-51 Mustang fighter. The three planes were on display at Glacier Park International Airport and were even available to give visitors rides. The B-17 is one of only eight planes still flying in the world and the B-24 and P-51 planes are the only surviving examples that are still airworthy. The B-17 and B-24 planes were the backbone of the American air fleet during World War II and were famous for their abilities to sustain damage and yet continue to fly. After the war, many of the planes were scrapped, but a lucky few escaped the torch. The Collings Foundation is a non-profit group that is dedicated to organizing “living history” events and is the primary sponsor of the Wings of Freedom Tour that is in its 25th year. Every year, the tour visits an average of 110 cities and 35 states. For more information, visit www.collingsfoundation.org.

Justin Franz

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