Currently, the Museum of Mountain Flying is engaged in several projects, ranging from rather simple to quite complicated. In our efforts to preserve Montana's Aviation history, we are working as hard as we can to expand our museum's display.
DC-3/C-47 N24320: Our DC-3 is our pride and joy here at the Museum, and is our centerpiece. However, our goal is to fly her, and have a flying history lesson and memorial to those lost at Mann Gulch, as well as those on other wildland fires. We currently are attempting to restore her to her exact condition that she was in 1949, when she dropped the smoke jumpers over Mann Gulch. This needs several more items to do so, the most pressing is an original two piece nose cone to replace 24320's current fiberglass radar nose. This is in addition to our efforts to keep N24320 airworthy.
Recently arrived from her station in New Brunswick, Canada, Tanker 13 is another Johnson Flying Service airplane that has survived since her sale in the early 1970s. A Grumman TBM Avenger built in 1945, this plane was purchesed as a replacement for another that was lost in an accident, and flew fire suppression on forest fires, as well as spending time as a beetle sprayer. After the Forest Service cancelled all single engine Fire Bomber contracts in the early 70s. JFS sold Tanker 13 and her sisters. Ending up with Forest Protection Services LTD, Tanker 13 continued her role in fire suppression and pest control until the early 2000s, when she was finally retired and put up for sale. Purchesed by the Museum of Mountain Flying in 2011, she flew into Missoula in October. Plans for this aircraft include restoring her JFS paint scheme, as well as keeping this plane airworthy and flying into the future.
Static Restoration of Aeronca L-3 (pics coming soon)