IT MUST BE A SIMPLE TYPO on page 23 of the article on “FIFI”
referring to the Curtiss-Wright R-3350 engine as “a 28-cylinder,
twin-row engine.” I was a B- 29 mechanic during World War II,
and my remembrance is that the Wright 3350 is a twin-row radial
of 18 cylinders, nine cylinders in each bank.
Ed Craven, EAA 230020
Yes, Ed, that little typo has brought lots of letters, and we’re
embarrassed at our mistake…but also happy to know folks are reading
the article closely.—Eds.
YOUR ARTICLE ABOUT “FIFI” STRUCK a chord with me. I was stationed
at VX- 5 at Naval Weapons Center China Lake in the early 1970s and
remember hearing about the then-Confederate Air Force personnel
who were attempting to get one of the boneyard B-29s airworthy.
We were told they were allowed to pick the best of the lot and use
anything in the boneyard to finish the job. We also were well aware
of the bureaucratic hurdles they had to jump through just to find
out who really owned all of those B-29s.
I still remember driving to work one morning and seeing a B- 29
idling on the off-duty runway. Obviously, they had accomplished
their task…we were all aware of the history we were watching and
As a side note, the name of the China Lake Navy facility was
changed from Naval Ordnance Test Station to Naval Weapons Center
in 1967. Also, the center is some 50 miles north of Edwards Air Force
Base, which is probably better known than Muroc Dry Lake.
Chuck Genrich, Commander, U.S. Navy (retired), EAA 1030422
Airport Car of the Month
AIRPORT CARS ARE LEGENDARY IN AVIATION—from rusted-out Cadillacs
to beat-up pickup trucks, those free-for-the-gas airport cars are often
as much of an adventure to drive as the flights we make. Do you have a
favorite airport car story? We’d love to see a photo of the “car” and hear
of your adventure. Please send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a favorite of Adam Smith, EAA’s vice president of
membership. “Washington Island is located in Lake Michigan, a
few miles off the tip of the Door County (Wisconsin) peninsula. The
public-use airfield (2P2) has two grass runways and is a great trip
destination. This old
Chevy passenger van,
nicknamed ‘Ole Yeller,’
is provided to help fly-in visitors explore the
island, which measures
5 miles by 6 miles. If the
van is available, you can
take it! Donations pay for
fuel and maintenance.”