PRESS RELEASE – DALLAS, January 9, 2015 – The Commemorative Air Force Air Power History Tour, featuring the iconic Boeing B-29 Superfortress FIFI, will visit airports in Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas starting this February 18th and ending April 3rd. A variety of other vintage military aircraft will accompany FIFI at each stop. The airplanes will be on display and selling rides at tour stops that include Tucson, Phoenix and Mesa in Arizona; Camarillo, Palm Springs and Van Nuys in California; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Amarillo, Texas.
All of the aircraft will be on static display when they are not flying, and visitors can gain access to see them on the ramp for a nominal fee. B-29 cockpit tours are included in the admission price and rides are available in most of the airplanes. Aircraft rides will range from $75 to $1895, depending upon the aircraft and seating position chosen. Please click HERE for flight reservations and additional information about each tour stop. This year marks FIFI’s 44th year with the Commemorative Air Force (CAF). The CAF rescued and restored FIFI in the early 1970s, and the bomber is a regular feature at airports and airshows all across the country. In fact, the CAF’s B-29 Squadron was the first group within the organization to begin touring historic warbirds back in 1974. Now, forty one years later, FIFI still barnstorms from coast to coast bringing the sights, sounds and smells of World War II aviation history to audiences across the United States.
Feb. 18 – 22 Tucson International Airport, AZ.
Feb. 23 – 25 Phoenix Deer Valley, AZ.
Feb. 26-March 2 Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, AZ.
March 2 – 9 Camarillo Airport (At the CAF SoCal Wing), CA.
Mar 9 – 15 — Palm Springs Air Museum, Palm Springs, CA.
Mar 18 – 22 — Van Nuys Airport, Van Nuys, CA.
Mar 25 – 29 — Henderson Executive Airport, Las Vegas, NV.
Mar 30 – April 3 — Amarillo International Airport, Amarillo, TX.
About the B-29 Superfortress:
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress, first flown in 1942, began active service in 1944 and is perhaps best known as the aircraft whose missions over Japan helped end World War II. The type replaced the earlier B-17s and B-24s with greater range and payload. B-29s became the first nuclear-capable bombers within Strategic Air Command and saw conventional service in the Korean War during the early 1950s. The type soldiered on in various different roles within the U.S. Air Force until the late 1950s.
About the CAF’s B-29 Superfortress, FIFI:
The CAF found FIFI in 1971 at the U.S. Navy Proving Ground in China Lake, California. Along with several dozen other B-29s in storage at China Lake, she had served as a target for missile tests. Thankfully, FIFI hadn’t received any hits during these munitions tests. The CAF acquired the B-29 and had just a few brief weeks to get her into ferriable condition, due to the tight access restrictions to the top secret base. They ferried FIFI to Harlingen, Texas for a more thorough restoration, and had her operational by 1974. She flew successfully for over thirty years, but in 2006 her chief pilot decided to ground her pending a complete power plant refit. What followed was an extensive four year restoration that included replacing all four engines with new custom-built hybrid engines. FIFI returned to the skies in 2010 and has toured the country ever since, attracting large crowds at every tour stop. Please click HERE to learn more about FIFI and her tour schedule.
About the Commemorative Air Force:
The Commemorative Air Force honors the men and women who built, maintained and flew aircraft during World War II. The organization believes they can accomplish this best by maintaining their aircraft in flying condition; then taking them to the people to experience the sight and sound of these marvelous flying machines as they soar through the air.
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. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 12,000 members and a fleet of over 150 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 70 units located in 25 states for care and operation. For more information, please click HERE.