Friday, August 6, 2010
B-29 Returns To The Skies
I wish I had the weekend off. I would so be taking a roadtrip to Midland!
From commemorativeairforce.org :
The world’s only flyable Boeing B-29 Superfortress returned to the skies early Thursday morning for its first flight since 2004.
In 1971 a pilot reported seeing what might have been B-29's in the California desert near China Lake. The CAF learned the aircraft were indeed Superfortresses that had been parked at a Navy weapons center for 17 years. They had been used for gunnery targets and abused by heat, sand and vandals. After much negotiation, paperwork and a painstaking process of elimination to find the best survivor, the CAF added B-29 SN44-62070 to its fleet. That was just the beginning of the task. The complete restoration to CAF standards of airworthiness was a long and expensive project involving more than three years of fund-raising and hard work. Late in 1974, the CAF's B-29 was christened FIFI and joined the other World War II fighters and bombers to preserve the memories and teach lessons of mankind's greatest war.
The CAF AirPower Museum will open it's doors at 7am on Sat. Aug. 7, for visitors who would like to get a front row seat for FIFI’s pre-flight preparations and flight. Visitors to the museum will be ushered to the main hangar for an up-close view of the crew preparing this massive bomber for flight. Once FIFI begins to head for the runways, visitors will be escorted to a prime viewing area, to witness the B-29’s crew training.
“Saturday is the perfect opportunity for our community to come out to the CAF and see FIFI fly,” said CAF President Stephan Brown. “Throughout the morning, the B-29 crew will be completing the required crew training that includes ‘touch and gos’ at MidlandInternationalAirport, it will be quite a show.”
The CAFAirpowerMuseum is located at 9600 Wright Drive near MidlandInternationalAirport. Admission to the museum is $10 for adults ages 18-64, $9 for teenagers ages 13-17 and seniors age 65 and older, $7 for children ages 6-12, and children age 5 and under receive free admission. The CAF would like to encourage visitors to take Interstate 20 or Highway 80 (Business Interstate 20) to FM 1788. This route will avoid additional traffic congestion for Rock the Desert also being held in the area.