FIFI to Offer Flights
THE COMMEMORATIVE AIR FORCE’S Boeing B- 29 bomber FIFI, the
world’s only remaining flying example of the aircraft, will return
to Oshkosh this year. Along with appearances in static and flying
displays, AirVenture attendees will be able to purchase flights in
the aircraft for the first time.
Flights will be based at Outagamie County Regional Airport
in Appleton—just 20 miles north of Oshkosh—and will be avail-
able July 22-29. Complete information and registration details are
available on www.CAFB29B24.org.
A unique flight in FIFI will also be part of a special, once-in-a-lifetime “bucket list” package to be auctioned during EAA’s annual Gathering of Eagles fundraiser on July 26. The winning bidders will fly in the B- 29 on Friday, July 27, with Dutch Van Kirk,
navigator of the B- 29 Enola Gay that flew the first atomic bomb
mission over Japan in 1945. The CAF’s B- 25 will fly in formation
with Doolittle Raider Dick Cole in the cockpit.
The special flight is being coordinated as part of that day’s
“Salute to Veterans” at AirVenture 2012, which is honoring “The
Greatest Generation in the Air.”
GLACIER GIRL TO MARK 20TH ANNIVERSARY OF GREENLAND RECOVERY
Glacier Girl on display at EAA’s Phillips 66 Plaza always draws a crowd.
TWENTY YEARS AGO Oshkosh fly-in attendees were given the first
chance to examine the wreckage of a Lockheed P- 38 that had just
been brought to the surface from beneath 268 feet of Greenland ice
cap. Those salvaged parts would become Glacier Girl, and the fearsome
twin-boom fighter returns to AirVenture to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its first public appearance.
At the 1992 convention, Greenland Expedition Society members Pat
Epps, Don Brooks, and others brought the P- 38’s salvaged parts directly
from the ice cap to Oshkosh in a DC- 3. The display became a sensation
among aviation enthusiasts and the national media following the unprecedented effort to extract the aircraft after 50 years below the ice.
The aircraft was the only survivor out of six P-38s and two B-17s
abandoned during a 1942 trans-Atlantic ferry flight. After a 10-year restoration, Glacier Girl flew again in October 2002, arriving at Oshkosh the
following year. The pristine fighter has returned on a regular basis since
then and is now the crown jewel of the Lewis Air Legends collection
based in San Antonio, Texas, owned by aviation enthusiast Rod Lewis.
Bob Cardin, who was the project manager during the 1992 rescue
effort and later directed the airplane restoration, will describe the
challenges and triumphs of the Greenland Expedition Society during
presentations throughout AirVenture week.