Last flyable B-29 'superfort' to visit Seattle

Last flyable B-29 'superfort' to visit Seattle
Undated photo of B-29 Superfortress. Photo courtesy CAF website.

SEATTLE - Seattle is the birthplace to many historic aircraft, and Boeing has pioneered a number of iconic military planes. The B-29 was Boeing's answer to replacing its ubiquitous workhorse - the B-17 flying fortress.

The first flight of the 'Superfortress', as the B-29 was nicknamed, was in 1942. It was a pressurized high altitude bomber, that could fly faster, and longer distances. It also was capable of carrying much heavier weapon loads - including the atom bombs that ended World War II.

There are a number of B-29's at museums around the country - including one at Seattle's Museum of Flight- but it remains wrapped in white plastic to preserve it - until it can be restored for display.

Of them all, only one 'superfort' is still in flying condition. Nicknamed FIFI - this B-29 is part of the military aircraft collection maintained by the Commemorative Air Force, and one of 1,100 of the bombers produced at Boeing's Renton facility.

It was rescued from a Navy base in California's Mojave desert in the early 1970s, and restored to flying condition in 1974. This year FIFI celebrates her 40th anniversary flying coast to coast, attracting large crowds at every tour stop.

This summer, FIFI and a squadron of other world war two military aircraft from CAF, will embark on a flying tour of more than 15 cities in the western US, including a stop at the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field in June. The tour of the northwest also includes visits to Olympia, Everett, Spokane and Boise.

Visitors pay a nominal admission fee at the gate and B-29 cockpit tours are included in the admission price.  Rides can also be purchased on the B-29. For more information, check out the Airpower History Tour.