Boeing B-29A Superfortress
U.S. Heavy Bomber

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The Ghost Squadron's B-29A Fifi, up close and personal with the camera plane.

Image source: The Confederate Air Force Ghost Squadron CD-ROM produced by Corel. Photos by Bill Crump.

In 1963, the decision was made to expand the CAF aircraft collection to include all the major types of bombers used by the U.S. in World War II. The largest of these was the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, which carried the brunt of the aerial attack on the Japanese home islands and, in August of 1945, dropped the two atomic bombs which brought the Second World War to an end.

Despite the B-29’s historical significance, by the mid-60s only a few examples remained, used by the Army and Navy as ground targets for weapons tests. A team of CAF Colonels selected a B-29 from those located at the Navy Weapons Center at China Lake, California, and began the long and expensive process of restoring it to flying condition.

Fortunately for the B-29 project, Col. Victor N. Agather had been on the wartime development team for the aircraft and now agreed to sponsor the acquisition and restoration. In the spring of 1971, the job of getting the B-29 ready for its ferry flight back to CAF Headquarters, then in Harlingen, Texas, began.

In the early morning hours of August 2, 1971, the B-29 became airborne for the first time in seventeen years and arrived at Harlingen safely six and a half hours later, non-stop. In honor of Col. Agather’s contributions and dedication to the B-29 project, the aircraft is named Fifi after Mrs. Agather. For more than twenty years, the Ghost Squadron’s B-29 Superfortress has been the only one still regularly flying in the world.

The aircraft is normally based at CAF HQ in Midland, Texas during the winter months, for regular maintenance and inspection. During the air show season from April thru October, all of the heavy bombers tour throughout the United States, allowing thousands to see and learn more about an important part of our country’s history.

Specifications

Normal Crew of Ten

Four Wright R-3350-57 Engines
(other dash numbers in various models)
Twin-row 18 cylinder Air-cooled Radials
2,200 hp @ 2,800 rpm

Ten .50 caliber Machine Guns
and One 20 mm Cannon
Up to 20,000 lbs of Bombs

Max. Speed 365 mph @ 25,000 feet
Cruise Speed 220 mph

Climb to 20,000 ft in 38 minutes
Service Ceiling 31,850 ft

Length 99'
Height 29' 7"
Wing Span 142' 3"
(141' 3" on all but A models)

Max. Weight 141,100 lbs
(only 105,000 to 124,000 lbs during WWII)
Empty Weight 71,360 lbs

Maximum Range 4,100 miles

 

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All material not specifically credited is Copyright by Randy Wilson.