Country music singer and pilot Aaron Tippin recently completed his check ride in “FIFI,” the only flying B-29 in the world.
“Getting checked out in the B-29 on this beautiful September day is a lifelong dream and the coolest thing ever,” Tippin said.
Now Tippin can say that he is the only country star who can fly the B-29, land it, and perform a concert on the wing. Tippin, a spokesman for the Commemorative Air Force, and “FIFI” have been a part of the Red, White, and Loud tour this year.
When the Commemorative Air Force (then Confederate Air Force) began searching for a B-29 for its collection of historical military aircraft, World War II had been over for 21 years. The Superfortress that helped end it had long since yielded to new generations of jet-powered strategic bombers and vanished. According to the United States Air Force, no B-29s remained in inventory, even at storage or disposal depots — until CAF discovered “FIFI.”
FIFI’s complete restoration was a long and expensive project involving years of fundraising and hard work.
“While this is history in the making for me, this is an opportunity of a lifetime to bring aviators and country fans together,” Tippin said. “My kind of country music is patriotic and all-American, so my involvement with CAF and the Red, White & Loud Tour is on target to generate excitement with both aviation and country music enthusiasts.”