Many West Texan's have been anxiously waiting for the B-29 World War II airplane, Fifi, to spread her wings and take flight this week at the Commemorative Air Force Museum. However, her return to the air has been postponed.
Fifi was expected to be in the air last weekend. Weather was the first set-back, followed by a minor hiccup from the FAA. And, the setback has nothing to do with mechanics, she's ready to go. It has to do with the number of people that are in the airplane when it takes flight. The CAF requires a 6 man crew for safety when test flying Fifi.
"We have to have so many people that can fly the plane and we also have scanners in the back that watch the engines because the flight crew in the front can't see the engines behind them. So we have the scanners to keep an eye on things to make sure there are no fires or anything that looks hazardous," explains Autumn Hicks with the CAF.
However the FAA requires only a 4 person crew; making sure everyone on the ground and in the air is safe.
"So we're in talks with them right now explaining why we need 6 members to be flying the plane and once we get that figured out, which we hope is pretty soon we'll be able to fly," says Hicks.
It's taken 4 years to get Fifi ready to fly.
"We're just excited. We've got volunteers that have been here and put countless hours on this airplane to get her back in the air and were just ready to see her fly," explains Hicks.
Along those same lines, the people in West Texas want to see her fly too. Apparently the CAF has gotten an average of 6 phones calls every hour with people asking when Fifi will be back up in the air. As things stand now, Friday and Saturday look promising for Fifi to start taking those test flights.
Keep it here on Big 2 for further updates.