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B-24 Understudy Fills Big Shoes

Just two weeks ago, the Commemorative Air Force returned its B-29 Superfortress, Fifi, to flight after six years of down time while the airplane was fitted with customized engines (maintainers had found metal shavings in the engine oil). The CAF planned to re-launch Fifi as the signature aircraft f...

FIFI in flight. (Photo: CAF/ Nigel Hitchman)


Just two weeks ago, the Commemorative Air Force returned its B-29 Superfortress, Fifi, to flight after six years of down time while the airplane was fitted with customized engines (maintainers had found metal shavings in the engine oil). The CAF planned to re-launch Fifi as the signature aircraft for its "Red, White & Loud Tour," co-starring country music artist Aaron Tippin, who flies a Stearman, a J-3 Cub, and  Helio Courier in his spare time.

Enter the gremlins, and scratch one B-29—for the nonce. "Due to mechanical issues discovered during flight-testing over the weekend… Fifi will not take flight to Denver for the first show of the tour," the CAF said in a Music City News press release yesterday. "A distributor malfunction in one of her engines resulted in pre-ignition, damaging some of the cylinders." The CAF will sub its B-24A Liberator, Ol' 927, at the Colorado Sport International Air Show at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport on Saturday, August 28.

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