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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedFiFi Readying for AirVenture 2011
By Dave Higdon
 
Combine two old air warriors and a modern-day troubadour and the result is a star-spangled touring event like no other before: the Commemorative Air Force’s Red, White & Loud Tour starring country music star and pilot Aaron Tippin and the world’s only flying B-29—the CAF’s renowned FiFi.

Starting out at next month’s Rocky Mountain Fly-In in Denver, the CAF plans a tour featuring the pilot/entertainer and the glamorous warbird at various stops around the country, including an appearance at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011—the first appearance of for FiFi at the world’s largest popular fly-in in more than a decade.

The tour launches at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport during the fly-in Aug. 28-29.

“This is the first of several stops in 2010-2011 for the CAF’s Red, White & Loud Tour Starring Aaron Tippin and the B-29 FiFi,” explained Stephan Brown, CAF president and CEO.

FiFi was slated to make the trip to Oshkosh from CAF headquarters in Midland, Texas, twice in the past decade; sadly, both times it was scratched due to maintenance issues.

First the problem was corrosion in outer wing panels—a problem solved by finding and grafting on replacements from a non-flying example.

The second scrub was the prelude to a longer, more expensive grounding and occurred when an inspection unveiled engine problems.

Those problems sent the B-29 into a multi-year, multimillion-dollar restoration effort that involved creating hybridized engines built from two different models, modifying cowls, motor mounts, and other related hardware.

Only in recent weeks has FiFi been approved to return to the sky.

And with Aaron Tippin and the CAF’s Red, White & Loud Tour, FiFi should again grace AeroShell Square in 2011.

FUTURE AIRVENTURE DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3; 2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30
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