Superfortress

October 20, 2010

‘Fifi’ Superfortress to land at Airportfest

Fifi, the only airworthy B-29 Superfortress, will arrive at Long Beach-Daugherty Field this November to give attendees at AOPA Aviation Summit a chance to experience history.

The long-range heavy bomber, restored and flown by the Commemorative Air Force, will be on display at Airportfest during Summit, which takes place Nov. 11 through 13. Tours will be offered for a small donation, and the Commemorative Air Force plans to offer rides in the historic aircraft for a fee.

Boeing B-29s are best known for their role in the Pacific Theater during WWII, particularly in dropping two atomic bombs on Japan. They were the most technologically advanced aircraft of their time, with large pressurized sections of the fuselage and guns aimed by computerized sights.

Fifi languished in the California desert where it was used for target practice before Dallas businessman Vic Agather and the Confederate Air Force (now the Commemorative Air Force) rescued it in 1971 and started the long road back to restoring it to flying condition. Since then, the CAF has toured the country with the four-engine warbird giving rides and keeping the roaring piece of history alive.

Keeping Fifi airworthy has been a multimillion-dollar challenge for the CAF; the aircraft returned to the air just this year after a four-year hiatus when all four engines were replaced. . After a strong performance at the CAF’s airshow in Midland, Texas, in October the aircraft is again in good health and will be one of the aircraft display highlights of AOPA Aviation Summit.

Stop by the aircraft demonstration area at Airportfest or the Commemorative Air Force booth at the Long Beach Convention Center for more information about Fifi. —AOPA ePublishing staff