B-29 in Langley's Hangar
It’s been 55 years since a Boeing B-29 Superfortress aircraft has been in the NASA Langley hangar, according to records in the Research Services Directorate. The last one of the World War II vintage planes still flying is spending a few days here as it waits out potentially stormy weather conditions along the Eastern seaboard.
The Superfortress, numbered SN44-62070, belongs to the Commemorative Air Force and was part of the Langley Air Force Base Air Show May 13-15. According to the CAF website, the group found the plane in 1971 parked in the California desert.
"The complete restoration to CAF standards of airworthiness was a long and expensive project involving more than three years of fund-raising and hard work. Late in 1974, the CAF's B-29 was christened ‘FIFI’ and joined the other WWII fighters and bombers to preserve the memories and teach of lessons of mankind's greatest war. Since the initial restoration, ‘FIFI’ has flown thousands of miles bringing history to the entire nation. From 1999 to 2000 the CAF once again spent considerable time going through the aircraft and closely inspecting and repairing a number of areas. In 2005, following a series of engine failures, the B-29/B-24 Squadron made the difficult decision to ground the aircraft and replace the unreliable engines with a hybrid Curtiss-Wright 3350. In August 2010 ‘FIFI’ once again returned to the airshow circuit where she was enthusiastically welcomed.”
The Superfortress entered United States Army Air Force service in 1944.
NASA Langley had two research B-29 aircraft here in the 1940s and 50s.
Credit: NASA/Kathy Barnstorff
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