ADDISON, Texas, –– The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) iconic Boeing B‐29 Superfortress bomber, FIFI – the only remaining flying example of the aircraft in the world – will visit Springfield, Mo. this August. The airplane will fly into Springfield International Airport on Monday, Aug. 13, and will be on display Aug. 14-15 from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. The airplane will be accompanied by a World War II veteran P‐51 Mustang owned by the Cavanaugh Museum, The Brat III. Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase rides on both airplanes throughout the stay, and B‐29 cockpit tours will be available when the airplane is not flying. More information can be found at www.RideB29.com.
About the CAF’s B‐29 Superfortress FIFI: The Boeing B‐29 Superfortress, first flown in 1942, began active service in 1944. It is perhaps best known as the aircraft from which the first atomic bombs were dropped. It was designed as a replacement for the older B‐17s and B‐24s, with longer range and greater bomb load capacity.
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 has traveled coast to coast attracting large crowds at every tour stop.
About the Commemorative Air Force (CAF): 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 9,000 members and a fleet of 156 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 72 units located in 27 states for care and operation.
For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.
About the Boeing B-29 Superfortress:
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress was the first very heavy bomber built for the United States Army Air Forces. Boeing submitted the design for the Superfortress in May of 1940, in response to a call for the most advanced bomber of the time. Three months later the USAAC approved of the original design, and Boeing began building the prototype. The first flight of the B-29 occurred on Dec. 30 1942. Due to the Superfortress being the most technically advanced bomber of the time, there were extensive changes and modifications made during the development of the aircraft before it entered service in April of 1944.
The B-29 is most well known for two missions that occurred in August 1945, the missions flown over Hiroshima and Nagasaki that led to the end of World War II. The B-29 would continue to serve in the United States Air Force through the Korean Conflict before being retired in the 1960s. Approximately four thousand aircraft were produced during World War II. Twenty-five aircraft remain today, with only one being airworthy.
Basic Info about the B-29: Crew: 11 (5 officers, 6 enlisted) length: 99 ft. 0 in. ; wingspan: 141 ft. 3 in.; height: 29 ft. 7 in.
Empty weight: 74,500 lb.; max. takeoff weight: 133,500 lb.; engines: 4× Wright R-3350 turbo super-charged radial engines 2,200 hp each
Performance: maximum speed: 357 mph; cruise speed: 220 mph; combat range: 3,250 miles; service ceiling: 33,600 ft.
Armament: guns: 10 × .50 in. (12.7 mm) caliber Browning M2/ANs in remote controlled turrets 2 x .50 in and 1 × 20 mm