In an unprecedented and rare gathering of historic World War II aircraft, the CAF and EAA are joining forces for a “Heavy Bomber Weekend” in Madison, Wisconsin the weekend before EAA AirVenture. The event starts Friday, July 26, 2013 and will feature the world’s only airworthy B-29 Superfortress FIFI; the B-17 Aluminum Overcast; and the B-24 Diamond Lil. Other attending aircraft include a P-51 Mustang, C-45 Expeditor, SNJ-5, PT-26, PT-17 Stearman and T-6 Texan. Most of the airplanes will be available for ground tours and rides. Additional ground tour aircraft include an Air National Guard F-16, and UW MedFlight Helicopter.
“The gathering of these historic aircraft in one location is an extremely rare occurrence,” said Gerald Oliver, a member of the CAF B-29/B24 Squadron, “We are excited to have the EAA and CAF join forces for the first time in an event that should garner international attention.” Sean Elliott, EAA Vice President of Advocacy and Safety said, “This is a historic opportunity for the public to view, touch, photograph, climb-through, and even fly on these aircraft at one location. Madison, Wisconsin made for a perfect stop for the EAA and CAF for their national tours on their way to EAA AirVenture the following week.”
The event will be held on the east side of Dane County Regional Airport at Wisconsin Aviation, 3606 Corben Court, Madison, Wisconsin 53704. Admission is $15 per person or $25 for families with children under 18. Children age 10 and under are free. Hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday, July 26 through 28.
Ride reservations are recommended and can be made at http://www.AirPowerTour.org on the Madison, Wisconsin city page. Or, call EAA reservations at (800) 359-6217 or CAF reservations at (432) 413-4100.
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress, first flown in 1942, began active service in 1944 and is perhaps best known as the aircraft whose missions over Japan helped bring about the end of World War II. It was designed as a replacement for the older B-17s and B-24s, with longer range and greater bomb loads. The B-29 was also used in the Korean War in the early 1950s and was a staple of the U.S. Air Force until the late 1950s.
Since EAA began the tours of the B-17 in 1994, tens of thousands of people have experienced this unique airplane through its flights and ground tours. Known as “The Flying Fortress,” the B-17 bomber is considered one of the greatest military airplanes ever built and one of the best known aircraft types of the World War II era.
About the CAF’s B-29 Superfortress FIFI:
FIFI was acquired by the CAF in the early 1970s when a group of CAF members found her at the U.S. Navy Proving Ground at China Lake, California where she was being used as a missile target. The airplane was rescued and restored and flew for over thirty years until 2006 when the chief pilot made the decision to ground her pending a complete power plant re-fit. What followed was an extensive four year restoration that included replacing all four engines with new custom-built hybrid engines. FIFI returned to the sky in 2010 and since that time has traveled coast to coast attracting large crowds at every tour stop. Learn more about FIFI and her tour schedule at http://www.AirPowerTour.org.
About the Commemorative Air Force:
Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force 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 more than 10,000 members and a fleet of over 150 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 70 units located in over 25 states for care and operation. The mission of the Commemorative Air Force is to honor the men and women who built, maintained and flew in these airplanes during World War II. The organization believes that mission is best accomplished by maintaining the airplanes in flying condition; taking the airplanes to the people allowing them to experience the sight and sound of the aircraft in flight. For more information, visit http://www.commemorativeairforce.org.
About the Experiment Aircraft Association B-17 Aluminum Overcast:
EAA’s Aluminum Overcast was built in 1945, but was delivered to the Army Air Corps too late to see active service in World War II. The B-17 was donated to the EAA Aviation Foundation in 1981 with the provision of the aircraft being maintained in airworthy condition. After being displayed at the EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wis., for a decade, the airplane made its national tour debut in the spring of 1994. EAA embodies the spirit of aviation through the world’s most engaged community of aviation enthusiasts. EAA’s 177,000 members and 1,000 local chapters enjoy the fun and camaraderie of sharing their passion for flying, building and restoring recreational aircraft. For more information on EAA and its programs, call 800-JOIN-EAA (800-564-6322) or go to http://www.eaa.org. For continual news updates, connect with http://www.twitter.com/EAAupdate.