Rare Boeing B-29 Superfortress used during WWII lands in Phoenix

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by Alice Kleinpeter

Video report by Bruce Haffner

Posted on March 1, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 10:15 PM

PHOENIX – Rare World War II military aircraft are landing in the Valley this week for the Commemorative Air Forces’ (CAF) AirPower History tour Feb. 28 through March 7.

Attendees will take a step back in time to learn more about the WWII aircraft history and honor the men and women who built, maintained and flew these planes.

Among the historic aircraft is FIFI, the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber that is the only flying example of its kind to remain. First flown in 1942, the B-29 was designed to replace the older B-17s and B-24s. The B-29 was a staple of the U.S. Air Force until the late 1950s, serving missions over Japan that helped bring an end to World War II. The Superfortress was also used in the Korean War.

David Oliver, the youngest pilot in the CAF to ever fly the B-29, will fly in on Feb. 28 with the first female B-29 co-pilot in the history of the CAF organization, Debbie King. King is the third woman to ever fly a B-29, the other two women being Air Force service pilots during WWII.

Other World War II aircraft that will be featured on the tour include the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, the P-51 Mustang, a C-45 Expeditor, a Navy SNJ (T-6 Texan), and a Navy N2S (PT-17 Stearman).

Phoenix is one of 11 stops on the CAF AirPower History Tour through the southwest United States. Each stop will feature at least one of the two rarest World War II bombers along with other historic World War II aircraft that make up the AirPower Squadron.

Guests can purchase rides in these historic planes. Prices range from $65 to $1,595 with discounts available for online orders. Cockpit tours will also be available for the B-29 and B-17. Cockpit tours are free with paid admission.

Adults are $10. Mom, dad and kids 17 and under can get in together for $20. Kids 10 and under are free.

The planes will be on the ramp at Gateway Aviation Services located at 5803 S. Sossaman Road in Mesa Thursday, Feb. 28, through Sunday, March 3. On Monday, March 4, the planes will transition to Cutter Aviation at Deer Valley Airport located at 530 W. Deer Valley Road in Phoenix.

Gates are open from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on arrival days and from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. thereafter.

For more information visit the CAF AirPower History Tour website or call 432-413-4100.
 

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