Friday, March 09, 2012

Remember the B-29.

Once there were thousands of these aircraft. 3,970 were built between 1943 and 1946. They pounded Japan into submission and brought peace to the world in 1945.

Now there's just one left that flies. One. And here it is, Fifi, the last flying B-29, starting it's engines and doing it's thing, nearly seventy years after leaving the Boeing plant.

Just imagine hundreds of these in the air at once. Imagine them flying formation overhead. Those were the days when no one doubted America's technological and military might.

Those were the days.

And here's one that doesn't fly any more, but when it did...

The Enola Gay. Now at the Smithsonian Air & Space Annex. This is the one that dropped the first atomic bomb and brought the curtain down in World War Two.

And here's the other famous B-29, Bocks Car. This one dropped the second bomb on Nagasaki after the Japanese didn't take the hint from the first one. This one is at Wright-Patterson AFB Museum.

The world will never see their like again. They're all gone now. All but one.

Of course there would have been two flying today, but for Daryl Greenamyer's carelessness...RIP, Kee Bird, the B-29 that almost made it home.


  1. Yah, I saw the TV special about the Kee Bird back in the 90's, and was heartsick when it caught fire after all the work they did on it to prepare it to leave its cold grave. I wondered if you were going to mention it.

  2. Gonna take my son to see the Enola Gay when he's old enough.

  3. Sat in the command seat in Bock's Car once at WP (long story). You can feel history surrounding you, and awareness of the gaze of eternity is a sobering feeling.

  4. Cool. I luvs me some WWII planes.

  5. Yep, great birds, and they didn't do 8 blades, which is the 'standard' to get all the oil out of the bottom cylinders on those 3350s! Here's a link to my old bird

  6. Ok Murph, I am posting on my Blog uh, me in the left hand seat in Bocks Car. I don't think you can do that now!

  7. Go Fifi!
    I give $500/yr to the CAF *specifically* for Fifi.
    I figure I've *maybe* helped buy her a set of spark plugs, or an oil change.
    God bless the brave men that flew these aircraft.

  8. My dad has a video of the NOVA special on the recovery and its disasterous outcome. I just cried when I saw it.

  9. I love old planes, thanks for posting.

  10. My grandfather used to fly in a B-29. Before his passing, he mailed me photos he had taken when he had flown over The Hump in China back in WWII.

  11. Got to see Fifi up close and personal last summer, she's home-porting out of Cavanaugh Flight Museum in Addison Tx (when she's here...I have yet to see her in her hangar, she's always out at some airshow or other), there was a small (really small...a B25, AT6, and Fifi) airshow at Meacham Field in Ft Worth, we drove by, and then came back when we found out it was going to be taking off later that afternoon. Tell ya what...watching those 4 engines fire up and seeing her taxi out, then running down to stand by the runway and watch her take off (nobody else watching did...dunno why, had a good conversation with a CAF guy, he was surprised nobody else joined me, either, got some GREAT take-off pics!)...that's a memory I'll cherish for many many years to come.