PITTSTON TWP. — One of just two B-29 bombers in the world that still fly will drop into the area this month when it lands at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport.
The iconic Boeing B-29 Superfortress has been cleared for landing at the airport for a five-day visit June 13-17.
The visit is made possible by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) AirPower History Tour that will bring the sights, sounds, and stories of World War II aviation to the airport. Named “FIFI,” the plane will be accompanied by a C-45 Expeditor and a T-6 Texan.
”We are very excited to be able to offer this to the public,” said Carl Beardsley, airport executive director. “As you know, we are not having an air show this year, so this offers the public an opportunity to visit the airport and see planes they normally would never see.”
Beardsley said the B-29 Superfortress FIFI is a once-in-a-lifetime ride if people choose to do that.
The tour’s collection of World War II aircraft provides powerful, hands-on history lessons to audiences across North America. Visitors will be able to view the aircraft up close and tour the cockpit when the airplane is not flying.
The aircraft will be staged on the main ramp at Aviation Technologies, 101 Hangar Road, at the airport. The event is open to the public Wednesday, June 13, through Sunday, June 17, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Access to the ramp is $10 for adults and $5 for ages 10 through 18. Children under 10 are admitted free.
Rides range from $85 to $1,595 depending on aircraft type. Rides may be booked in advance at AirPowerTour.org where additional information about the event may also be found.
About the B-29
• 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 later that decade.
• FIFI was acquired by the CAF in the early 1970s when a group of CAF members found the plane at the U.S. Navy Proving Ground at China Lake, California, where it was intended to be used as a missile target.
• The airplane was restored and has traveled coast to coast each year, attracting large crowds at every tour stop.
Learn more about FIFI and the tour schedule at www.AirPowerTour.org.
About the CAF
• Through more than six decades of collecting and flying World War II aircraft, the Commemorative Air Force has become the world’s largest flying museum.
• Its fleet of more than 170 World War II airplanes are assigned to unit locations across the U.S. and supported by 12,000 volunteer members.
• Nearly all the aircraft are kept in flying condition, enabling people to experience firsthand the sight and sound of vintage military aircraft in flight.
• The CAF is dedicated to honoring American military aviation through flight, exhibition, education, and remembrance.
To learn more about the organization, visit www.CommemorativeAirForce.org.
Reach Bill O’Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.