The Commemorative Air Force’s (CAF) famous Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber FIFI, the only remaining flying example of the aircraft in the world, will be the feature World War II airplane in a tour starting February 22 at El Paso International Airport in Texas. The CAF AirPower History Tour continues through April 4 and features a different combination of CAF historic warbirds at eleven stops in Arizona, California, Nevada and New Mexico.
Historic aircraft from the Commemorative Air Force joining FIFI at different tour stops include the B-17 Flying Fortress Sentimental Journey, B-25 Mitchell Maid in the Shade, P-51 Mustang Man O War, C-45 Expeditor Bucket of Bolts in addition to other World War II fighters and trainers. Two rare fighters, an authentic Japanese Zero and British Spitfire, will join the tour in Southern California.
These events are open to the public and will allow attendees to get up close to these famous military aircraft. Cockpit tours of the B-29 and others will be available when the aircraft are not in motion. There will be opportunities for attendees to purchase rides in many of the airplanes at each stop, however; ride reservations are recommended. Visit http://www.AirPowerTour.org for more information about the tour schedule and to make ride reservations.
The tour includes these scheduled stops:
· February 22-24 El Paso International Airport, El Paso, Texas
· February 24-27 Tucson International Airport, Tucson, Ariz.
· March 1-3 Mesa Gateway Airport, Mesa, Ariz.
· March 5-7 Deer Valley Airport, Phoenix, Ariz.
· March 9-10 Marine Corp Air Station, Yuma, Ariz.
· March 14-15 Brown Field Municipal Airport, San Diego, Calif.
· March 15-17 Palm Springs Air Museum, Palm Springs, Calif.
· March 19-20 Camarillo Airport, Camarillo, Calif.
· March 21-24 Burbank Airport, Burbank, Calif.
· March 27-31 Henderson Executive Airport, Las Vegas, Nev.
· April 2-4 Albuquerque International Sunport Airport, Albuquerque, N.M.
About the CAF’s B-29 Superfortress, FIFI:
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was first flown in 1942 and began active service in 1944. A B-29 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.
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, Calif. 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:
In 1957, a small group of ex-service pilots pooled their money to purchase a P-51 Mustang, beginning what is now called the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). With the addition of a pair of F8F Bearcats, the CAF became the founders of the Warbird Movement, an effort to preserve and honor our military history with the rallying cry to “Keep ‘Em Flying!” Now, 55 years later, the CAF is the premier Warbird organization, operating 156 vintage aircraft in Honor of American Military Aviation. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 10,000 members and its fleet of historic aircraft is distributed to 80 units located in 24 states for care and operation. For more information, visit http://www.commemorativeairforce.org or call (432) 563-1000.