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NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 27, 2013


World’s Only Flying B-29 Superfortress Will Visit Gateway Airport
AirPower History Tour also features B-17 Flying Fortress and other historic military aircraft

MESA, Ariz. — The Commemorative Air Force’s (CAF) famous Boeing   B-29 Superfortress bomber, FIFI -- the only remaining flying example of the aircraft in the world – will visit Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport February 28 through March 4. The airplane will be accompanied by another famous World War II bomber, the B-17 Flying Fortress, Sentimental Journey, and a P-51 Mustang, Man O’ War. The visit is part of the CAF AirPower History Tour featuring an ever-changing combination of CAF historic warbirds at each of its eleven stops throughout the southwest United States. Its mission is to tell the story of World War II military aircraft and to honor the men and women of America’s Greatest Generation.

The Boeing B-29 Superfortress, first flown in 1942 and began active service in 1944, 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 the late 1950s.

In addition to the Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress and P-51 Mustang, the B-29 will also be accompanied by a C-45 Expeditor, Bucket of Bolts; a Navy SNJ (T-6 Texan) and Navy N2S (PT-17 Stearman). The airplanes will be on the ramp at Gateway Aviation Services, 5803 S. Sossaman Road in Mesa Thursday through Sunday, February 28 through March 3. On Monday, March 4, the airplanes will transition to Deer Valley Airport where they will be on display until Wednesday March 5 at Cutter Aviation, 530 W. Deer Valley Road in Phoenix.  

The event is open to the public and will allow attendees to get up close to these famous military aircraft. Gates are open from 2:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on arrival days and 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. thereafter. Cockpit tours of the B-29 and B-17 will be available when the aircraft are not in motion. Admission is $10 per person or $20 per family. There are opportunities for attendees to purchase a ride in the airplanes. Visit the tour website at www.AirPowerTour.org or call (432) 413-4100 for more information about the tour schedule and to make ride reservations. The cost for airplane rides in these five airplanes ranges from $65 to $1595. There is a discount if you purchase your seats on line.

The mission of the Commemorative Air Force is to honor the men and women who built, maintained and flew in these airplanes during World War II. The organization believes that mission is best accomplished by maintaining the airplanes in flying condition; taking the airplanes to the people allowing them to experience the sight and sound of the aircraft in flight.

About the CAF’s B-29 Superfortress, FIFI:
FIFI was acquired by the CAF in the early 1970s when a group of CAF members found her at the U.S. Navy Proving Ground at China Lake, California where she was being used as a missile target. The airplane was rescued and restored and flew for over thirty years until 2006 when the chief pilot made the decision to ground her pending a complete power plant re-fit. What followed was an extensive four year restoration that included replacing all four engines with new custom built hybrid engines. FIFI returned to the sky in 2010 and since that time has traveled coast to coast attracting large crowds at every tour stop. Learn more about FIFI and her tour schedule at www.AirPowerTour.org.

About the AirPower History Tour: 
The B-29/B-24 Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force brings together the aircraft, pilots and crews from over 70 CAF units across the country to create the AirPower Squadron – an ever changing assortment of military aircraft touring together to bring the sights, smells and sounds of World War II aviation history to audiences across the United States.

The AirPower Squadron always includes at least one of the two rarest World War II bombers in the world – FIFI, the only flying Boeing B-29 Superfortress and Diamond Lil, an equally rare B-24 Liberator. Aircraft accompanying the B-29 or B-24 will include other World War II aircraft such as the P-51 Mustang, B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25 Mitchell along with an assortment of fighters, trainers and liaison aircraft.

About the CAF’s B-17G, Sentimental Journey
Sentimental Journey came off the Douglas assembly line in late 1944 and served in the Pacific. The aircraft was assigned to Eglin Field, Florida, for service as an air-sea rescue craft and in 1959 went to military storage at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. It was then used as a borate bomber, flying thousands of sorties against forest fires throughout the country. In January 1978, #N9323Z was assigned to the newly formed Arizona Wing of the Commemorative Air Force located at Historic Falcon Field in Mesa. It was then authentically restored to original World War II configuration. The plane now visits an average of 60 cities and towns across the United States each year as a patriotic and educational exhibit. For more information, visit www.azcaf.org.

About the Commemorative Air Force:
Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 8,000 members and a fleet of 153 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 70 units located in 27 states for care and operation. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.

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About Gateway Airport
The Airport was established in 1994 and is owned and operated by the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority, which consists of the Gila River Indian Community, Gilbert, Mesa, Phoenix, and Queen Creek. Gateway Airport offers nonstop passenger service via Allegiant, Frontier, and Spirit Airlines with nonstop flights to over 35 cities and continuing service to over 50 additional cities nationwide. For more information, visit www.phxmesagateway.org.

Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority Media Contact:
Brian Sexton, Public Information Officer
Phone: 480-988-7618
Email: bsexton@phxmesagateway.org