WICHITA, Kansas — Exactly 70 years after it was delivered to the U.S. Army Air Forces in Wichita, Kansas, the B-29 “Doc” was delivered again.
On March 23, 1945, the B-29, one of 1,644 manufactured in Wichita during World War II, rolled off the assembly line at Boeing and was delivered to the Army Air Forces. On March 23 this year, that same aircraft was rolled out again, in commemoration of its restoration and progress back toward flying condition.
More than 200 supporters — known as Doc’s Friends — came to watch it roll out again in the city of its birth.
During the last airshow flight of the season, the world’s only flying B-29 Superfortress, FIFI, experienced an engine problem. The crew returned the airplane safely to the ground, but it was soon determined that FIFI’s number two engine would need major repairs. In response, the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) has launched a major fund raising campaign to raise money for one of the world’s most famous World War II bombers.
At nearly $10,000 and 100 volunteer hours per hour of flight, keeping FIFI in the air is no easy task, according to CAF officials, who estimate the cost for repairs to the number two engine and the purchase of a spare will top $250,000. The Keep FIFI Flying campaign’s goal is to raise those funds, ensuring continuous future operation and flight. [Read more…]
The Commemorative Air Force’s star attraction, the B-29 “FIFI,” landed late in Daytona Beach March 1 because she flies “VFR only” these days. But she immediately swelled the hearts of World War II vets and awed general aviation flyers here more than a decade after her last Florida appearance. And there’s more to come.
Sun ’n Fun visitors are in for a treat March 27-31. So are the aviation-minded in Titusville March 7-11 at the TICO warbird show, Ft. Lauderdale March 14-18, Punta Gorda March 18-25 at the Florida International Airshow, and in Tallahassee April 3-5.
The world’s only flyable Boeing B-29 Superfortress “FIFI” will tour Florida during the month of March, visiting, Gainesville, Daytona, Titusville, Ft. Lauderdale, Punta Gorda, Lakeland and Tallahassee, officials with the Commemorative Air Force B-29/B-24 Squadron said.