The Queen of her fleet took to the skies today. WWII plane, Fifi, was back in the air.
Today's event makes Fifi the only flying B-29 and it's been more than 4 years since she took flight. Which, is a big accomplishment considering a lot of people thought she'd be stuck on the ground forever.
"Well, quite frankly about 4 or 5 years ago when we had all the engine issues, I was afraid we might never see this airplane back in the air again," explains Fifi Pilot, Charlie Tilghman.
But, after years of relentless hard work and a new set of engines, this B-29 took flight.
"It's emotional for all of us, I think there were more than just a few with tears in their eyes when she took off this morning," explains Autumn Hicks with the CAF.
"Itís the keystone of our fleet at this point, itís the one that everyone talks about," says CAF Colonel Ralph Gillette.
"It is absolutely wonderful. We are so thrilled to have her back in the air to honor American military aviation," says CAF Colonel Keville Miller.
According to Pilot Tilghman, her test flight was better than expected.
"Ran absolutely perfect. we've got all the power. Engines running smooth," says Tilghman.
In fact, Fifi's climb rate was more than double and once she hit 8,000 ft she got up to 235mp.
"With the old engines we never saw more than 200 unless we were in a descent. We're all just thrilled," explains Tilghman.
After a few more test runs and training a flight crew, Fifi will go on tour.
"Taking her and teaching people the history of what B-29s did during the war and what the men and women who sacrificed their lives did during WWII and since then as they continue to protect our freedoms," says Hicks.
Fifi will now be based in Addison with the other B-29, B-24 squadron. But don't worry, she'll be back!
"So, this is not saying goodbye to Fifi this is just saying we'll see you later," says Hicks.
Fifi is still part of the CAF even though her new home is in Addison. But, for special events she'll make it back to West Texas and of course she'll be here for the air-show.