Planet Princeton

FIFI Boeing B-29 Superfortress to visit Trenton Mercer Airport for three days

FIFI

FIFI, the Commemorative Air Force’s Boeing B‐29 Superfortress, will fly into Trenton Mercer Airport on Memorial Day Monday, May 29, for a three-day event.

One of only two remaining airworthy B-29s in the world, FIFI is the only one that flies regularly. FIFI was acquired by the Commemorative Air Force in the early 1970s when some members found her at the U.S. Navy Proving Ground in China Lake, California where she was planned to be used as a missile target. The airplane was rescued and restored, and flew for more than 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.

Through exhibitions and flights, the Commemorative Air Force honors the men and women who built, maintained, and flew in airplanes during World War II. Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force is one of the largest private air forces in the world, with more than 11,000 members and a fleet of 165 airplanes.

The B-29 and other vintage military aircraft will be on display Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at Signature Flight Support, 34 East Piper Avenue, at the Trenton Mercer Airport in Ewing (take Scotch Road to Sam Weinroth Road to Grumman Avenue). Accompanying aircraft include a C‐45 Expeditor, T‐6 Texan, and a collection of World War II liaison aircraft from the local Commemorative Air Force of Delaware Valley squadron based at the Princeton Airport.

Visitors can tour the B‐29 cockpit and purchase rides in the B-29, C-45, and T-6. The liaison aircraft — an L-4, L-9, L-16, L-17, and T-51 will be on static display throughout the event.

The Boeing B‐29 Superfortress, first flown in 1942, began active service in 1944 and is best known as the aircraft with 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 airplane represented state of the art technology at the time. 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.

FIFI, celebrating her 43rd year with the Commemorative Air Force in 2017, is visiting local airports throughout the United States as the feature aircraft in the Commemorative Air Force Air Power History Tour. The tour brings aircraft, pilots and crews from more than 60 Commemorative Air Force units located throughout the country together to create an ever changing assortment of touring military airplanes.

The donation for ramp access to FIFI is $10 for adults and $5 for children age 11‐17. Children age 10 and under are free. The airplanes will be on display when they are not flying. The event will be open to the public Monday, May  29, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and Tuesday and Wednesday, May 30 and 31 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ride prices range from $80 to $1,595. Reservations can be made at www.AirPowerTour.org, where additional information about the tour stop may also be found.

Krystal Knapp

Krystal Knapp is the founding editor of Planet Princeton. She can be reached via email at editor AT planetprinceton.com. Send all letters to the editor and press releases to that email address.

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