CAF B-29 FIFI Completes Flight Testing in Time For AIRSHO

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress has returned to the skies just in time for the 2010 CAF AIRSHO presented by Western National Bank, Oct. 9-10 at Midland International Airport.


When the Commemorative Air Force (then Confederate Air Force) began searching for a B-29 for its collection of historical military aircraft, World War II had been over for 21 years. The Superfortresses that helped end it had long since yielded to new generations of jet-powered strategic bombers and vanished. According to the U. S. Air Force, no B-29s remained in inventory, even at storage or disposal depots. But the CAF colonels had faith, and it paid off.

In 1971, a pilot reported sighting a number of what might have been B-29s in the California desert near China Lake. The CAF learned the aircraft were indeed Superfortresses that had been parked at a Navy weapons center for 17 years. They had been used for gunnery targets and abused by heat, sand and vandals. After much negotiation, paperwork and a painstaking process of elimination to find the best survivor, the CAF added B-29 SN44-62070 to its fleet. That was just the beginning of the task. The complete restoration to CAF standards of airworthiness was a long and expensive project involving more than three years of fund-raising and hard work. Late in 1974, the CAF's B-29 was christened FIFI and joined the other World War II fighters and bombers to preserve the memories and teach lessons of mankind's greatest war.

Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the CAF ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has approximately 9,000 members and a fleet of 156 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 74 units located in 27 states for care and operation. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org, www.airsho.org, or call (432) 563-1000.

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