The Cavanaugh Flight Museum and the Commemorative Air Force (formerly Confederate Air Force) have reached an agreement to get the world’s only airworthy B-29 back in the air.
Jim Cavanaugh has pledged $1.2 million to rebuild the engines on “FIFI,” the CAF’s B-29.
“This sponsorship, together with additional donations from CAF members, should go a long way toward … putting ‘FIFI’ back in the air again,” said Stephan Brown, CAF president and CEO. “Fundraising for ‘FIFI’ will continue, as we still have other restoration maintenance to perform, but Jim Cavanaugh’s generosity will get us a long way down that track.”
“The B-29 played such a significant role in history that it is important that this airplane be preserved. Because of my close relationship with the CAF, I felt the need to get FIFI flying again,” said Cavanaugh, who provides the main financial support for the Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison, Texas, just north of Dallas. Cavanaugh has been a long time benefactor of warbird projects and the CAF.
With the new agreement, the CAF’s B-29/B-24 Squadron Staff, which operates the organization’s B-29 and B-24A, voted to base the two airplanes at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum.
“Up to now, these aircraft were based out of Midland, but this move will be beneficial to the Squadron in many ways,” said Lyn Fite, the squadron leader. “We will reside in Addison, Texas, at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, for the six months while we perform annual maintenance and we will tour on behalf of the CAF for the other six months.”
Steve Sheridan, the museum’s director of maintenance, added: “We have the facilities and resources to assist the B-29/B24 volunteers and look forward to helping in any way we can.”
Visitors to the museum will be able to see the famous bombers during annual maintenance, at no additional cost, added Doug Jeanes, the museum director.