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FIFI Fixed, Flying Again
January 31, 2013 - FIFI, the Commemorative Air Force's (CAF) Boeing B-29 Superfortress, flew for the first time in three months on January 13 following extensive repairs to its No. 2 engine.
After a short maintenance flight out of Midland, Texas, the world's only remaining airworthy Superfortress flew the 90-minute leg to its home base in Addison.
"It's all the difference in the world seeing it fly instead of in a museum," said Preston McPhail, 70-year-old son of a former B-29 mechanic who was on hand at Midland International Airport (MAF). "You can smell the exhaust from the engines."
The B-29 experienced the engine trouble during a routine photo mission at the conclusion of the CAF's annual AIRSHO on October 14, 2012. After returning safely to the airport, inspectors determined the No. 2 engine would need major repairs and the aircraft was grounded. For three months maintenance crews worked tirelessly to repair the engine and get this historic aircraft flying again as quickly as possible.
FIFI appeared at AirVenture Oshkosh for the past two years, providing flight opportunities to the general public for the first time last year.
A fundraising campaign was launched in November with a goal of raising $200,000 to repair the engine and purchase a replacement. For more information, visit the Keep FIFI Flying website.