The last time I saw Fifi was around 1976, in Harlingen, TX. Since then I've just never had the chance. While reading a message board one day, I followed a link, which lead to another link, which...you know how these things work. What I didn't expect was to find that Fifi would be in Santa Maria in a few weeks. Bought me a seat for sure. Folks outside the aviation community are always surprised to learn the B-29 was the single most expensive US weapons program of WWII, including the Manhattan project. Today, we have this one lone flyable example. Hopefully, that will change in the next few years.
Preflight briefing for us passengers. "Everybody can get up and move around except the guy in the bombardier's seat." So much for my plans of shooting award winning stereo photos of the engines in action.
The flight engineer was a singularly focused individual. The big placard carries instructions for cabin pressurization. The last entry deals with leaks. I wonder what they meant by "leaks."
Flying over Avila Beach. Sorry for the spots in the sky, but we were experiencing heavy machine bug fire, emanating from the port defenses.
Wearing my lucky sailing shirt. I figure it's lucky because I wore it while sailing a few days before, and no whales fell on us. You had to be there to understand. That map on the right might look like it's on an LCD screen, but trust me, this was a top secret moving map display from late in the war. Like a "trip tik" from the Auto Club, this map consisted of a preprinted scrolling map mounted under glass. No really.
"I'm a bad ass B-29 pilot..."
Not large by modern standards, but in it's day it was a monster of the skies.
A giant thanks to the CAF air crew and volunteers. That was awesome.