B-29 FIFI Returns, Offers Flights at AirVenture 2012
B-29 Superfortress FIFI was a crowd favorite in the sky and on the ground at AirVenture 2011. View photos
The Commemorative Air Force's iconic Boeing B-29 bomber FIFI, the world's only remaining flying example of the aircraft, will return to Oshkosh this year for EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2012. Along with the airplane's usual appearances in static and flying displays at Oshkosh, AirVenture attendees will be able to purchase flights in the aircraft for the first time.
AirVenture flights will be based at Outagamie County Regional Airport in Appleton - just 20 miles north of Oshkosh - and will be available July 22-29. Complete information and registration details are available on the CAF website.
First flight of Boeing's Superfortress was in 1942, with active service starting in 1944. It was the B-29 Enola Gay that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, in August 1945. B-29s were also used in the Korean War in the early 1950s and were a staple of the U.S. Air Force until the late 1950s.
The plane that would become FIFI was saved from use as a ground target for weapons tests in the 1960s and first flown by the CAF in 1971. It was christened in honor of the wife of Col. Victor N. Agather, who had been on the wartime development team for the aircraft and had been personally committed and involved with the airplane's restoration in the early 1970s.
A once-in-a-lifetime "bucket list" package will be made available for auction on Thursday, July 26 at EAA's Gathering of Eagles, the annual gala that draws more than 1,000 people and raises funds for EAA's youth programs that help grow participation in aviation. The winning bidders will fly in the B-29 on Friday, July 27, with Dutch Van Kirk, the B-29 Enola Gay navigator that flew the first atomic bomb mission over Japan in 1945, and with the CAF's B-25 with Doolittle Raider Dick Cole in the cockpit.
The special flight is being coordinated as part of that day's "Salute to Veterans" at AirVenture 2012, which is honoring "The Greatest Generation in the Air."
DATES: 2014: July 28-Aug. 3;
2015: July 20-26; 2016: July 25-31; 2017: July 24-30