ATLANTA — A rare B-29 Superfortress and an equally rare B-24 Liberator are currently traveling to select cities across the United States on display providing public tours and living history flights.
The Commemorative Air Force’s B-29A Superfortress known as FiFi and B-24 Liberator named Diamond Lil are currently touring public airports. These World War II-era aircraft are the last of their kind and have been cared for over the decades by the CAF.
The Boeing B-29 FiFi first flew in 1942, and today is one of only two B-29s still flying. The public can purchase breath taking flights aboard each aircraft during their visits.
Of the 18,482 B-24 Liberators built, Diamond Lil is the world’s oldest airworthy four-engine bomber. The aircraft is currently one of only two flying B-24s left in the world.
These flying museums allow the public an up close view of the historic aircraft and even visit inside. For the families of fallen World War II veterans, this tour has provided them a since of closure for those who never made it back home.
“We had a woman who’s dad was the B-29 pilot for Straight Flush, which was the lead weather B-29 for the dropping of the atomic bomb,” Boccaccio said. “So she flew in FiFi with us, she was very emotional, crying as she sat in the navigator’s seat.”
The flight fee covers the great fuel consumption associated with the multi-engine, 77 year-old hulking B-29 aircraft. The 99-foot long heavy bomber is powered by four radial engines providing 2,200 hp each.
“FiFi costs us over 10 thousand dollars an hour to run”, CAF spokesperson Don Boccaccio noted. “It uses 400 gallons of gasoline an hour and 1.5 gallons of oil per engine an hour.” In other words, that’s six milk jugs of oil each hour.
In the movie The Right Stuff, FiFi served as the mothership for Chuck Yeager’s Bell X-1 aircraft. The Superfortress also appeared in 1980’s Enola Gay: The Men, The Mission, and the Atomic Bomb and an episode of the TV series Better Call Saul.
CAF B-29 and B-24 Squadron 2021 Tour Dates
June 10-13 ………. Trenton, NJ
June 16-20 ………. Westfield, MA
June 23-27 ………. Nashua, NH
Jun 30 – Jul 5 …… Niagara Falls, NY
July 8-11 …………. Pontiac, MI
July 14-18 ………. Chicago/Romeoville, IL
July 23-25 ………. Janesville, WI
Jul 28 – Aug 1 …. Rochester, MN
August 4-8 ……… Sioux Falls, SD
August 11-15 ….. Lincoln, NE
August 17 ……….. North Platte, NE
August 20-22 ….. Scottsbluff, NE
August 25-29 ….. Denver, CO
September 1-6 … Colorado Springs, CO
September 9-12 . Duncan, OK
October 1-3 …….. San Marcos, TX
October 16 …….. Fort Worth, TX
October 23 …….. Waco, TX
October 29-31 .. Wings Over Dallas Airshow
November 5-7 .. Blytheville, AR
November 13 … Dallas, TX
(Charles A Atkeison reports on aerospace and technology. Follow his updates via social media @Military_Flight.)