Addison, TX (PRWEB) April 25, 2013
The Commemorative Air Force’s (CAF) famous Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, FIFI -- the only remaining flying example of the aircraft in the world – will be the feature World War II airplane in their summer tour that includes over 20 stops starting May 15 in Birmingham, Alabama. The CAF AirPower History Tour continues through October and will feature a different combination of historic World War II aircraft at each of its stops across the Eastern and Midwest United States.
Other historic military aircraft joining FIFI at different tour stops will include the B-24 Liberator Diamond Lil, the famous combat veteran P-51 Mustang The Brat III, Curtiss SBD, T-6 Texan, C-45 Expeditor Bucket of Bolts; as well as other World War II fighters and trainers.
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 bring about the end of World War II. It was designed as a replacement for the older B-17s and B-24s, with longer range and greater bomb loads. The B-29 was also used in the Korean War in the early 1950s and was a staple of the U.S. Air Force until the late 1950s.
The tour is excited to announce the addition of another significant historic airplane. Pilot Sarah Wilson and her Jimmie Allen Flying Club Speedmail will be traveling with the tour for many of the stops. This 1929 airplane is the oldest surviving Stearman Model 4 Speedmail and is a real life celebrity vehicle. Originally delivered to the Richfield Oil Company on October 28, 1929, this plane was the flagship for the Jimmie Allen Flying Club based on the popular radio program the Air Adventures of Jimmie Allen. The Jimmie Allen radio series and Flying Club were important tools and greatly influenced the generation that would fly in WWII.
Events are open to the public and will allow attendees to get up close to these famous aircraft. Cockpit tours of the B-29 and others will be available when the aircraft are not in motion. There will be opportunities for attendees to purchase a ride in many of the airplanes at all of the stops. Ride reservations are recommended. Visit http://www.AirPowerTour.org for more information about the tour schedule and to make ride reservations.
Tour stops confirmed so far include:
The mission of the Commemorative Air Force is to honor the men and women who built, maintained and flew in these airplanes during World War II. The organization believes that mission is best accomplished by maintaining the airplanes in flying condition; taking the airplanes to the people allowing them to experience the sight and sound of the aircraft in flight.
About the CAF AirPower History Tour:
The B-29/B-24 Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force brings together the aircraft, pilots and crews from over 70 CAF units across the country to create the AirPower Squadron – an ever changing assortment of military aircraft touring together to bring the sights, smells and sounds of World War II aviation history to audiences across the United States.
The AirPower Squadron always includes at least one of the two rarest World War II bombers in the world – FIFI, the only flying Boeing B-29 Superfortress and Diamond Lil, an equally rare B-24 Liberator. Aircraft accompanying the B-29 or B-24 will include other World War II aircraft such as the P-51 Mustang, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell along with an assortment of fighters, trainers and liaison aircraft.
About the CAF’s B-29 Superfortress, FIFI:
FIFI was acquired by the CAF in the early 1970s when a group of CAF members found her at the U.S. Navy Proving Ground at China Lake, California where she was being used as a missile target. The airplane was rescued and restored and flew for over thirty years until 2006 when the chief pilot made the decision to ground her pending a complete power plant re-fit. What followed was an extensive four year restoration that included replacing all four engines with new custom built hybrid engines. FIFI returned to the sky in 2010 and since that time has traveled coast to coast attracting large crowds at every tour stop. Learn more about FIFI and her tour schedule at http://www.AirPowerTour.org.
About the Stearman Speedmail:
In the 1930s airplanes, air races, speed records, and long distance flights were in the newspaper almost every day and kids were fascinated with flying and “airplane crazy.” Pilots named Lindbergh, Doolittle, and Earhart were real life heroes but there were other aviation heroes who came right into America’s living rooms each night over the radio. If these pilots were the rock stars of their day, then Jimmie Allen was the biggest teen idol! This plane made public appearances across the country with the actor Jimmie Allen in the front seat to meet members of the Jimmie Allen Flying Club and was actually flown by Charles Lindbergh on April 2, 1930 at Burbank Airport in California. They continued through the 1950s, by updating story plots and bringing in post-WWII aviation developments such as jet propulsion. Based in Lakeland, Florida, the airplane is owned and flown by Sarah Wilson.
About the Commemorative Air Force:
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. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 8,000 members and a fleet of over 150 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 70 units located in 27 states for care and operation. For more information, visit http://www.commemorativeairforce.org.