Guests visit Fifi, a B-29 aircraft that flew missions for the U.S. during World War II. The airplane will be on display at the Commemorative Air Force  show at New Century this weekend. File photo

Guests visit Fifi, a B-29 aircraft that flew missions for the U.S. during World War II. The airplane will be on display at the Commemorative Air Force show at New Century this weekend. File photo

The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Heart of America Wing will showcase war birds in flight during an air show at New Century this weekend.
The event, which runs Sept. 25-27 will feature the iconic Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, Fifi. Fifi was first flown in 1942, and began active service in 1944. Acquired by the CAF in the 1970s, the bird is best known as the aircraft whose missions over Japan helped bring about the end of World War II.
CAF members discovered Fifi at the U.S. Navy Proving Ground at China Lake, Calif. There, she was used as a missile target. Club members rescured and restored Fifi. The aircraft flew for more than 30 years until 2006, when the chief pilot of the CAF grounded the B-29 pending a complete power and plant re-fit. All four enginges were replaced with custom hybrid engines, and Fifi returned to the skies in 2010.
Though Fifi is certain to be a showstopper this weekend, the aircraft will be accompanied by an unprecedented collection of WWII aircraft including a B-25 Mitchell, P-51 Mustang, Japanese Zero replica, C-45 Expeditor, and many other vintage planes.
In addition to the aircraft, retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Richard E. Cole will be honored as a special guest during the event. Cole, who will celebrate his 100th birthday during the weekend, was the co-pilot in the famous Doolittle Raid against Japan. Cole will conduct question and answer sessions with the general public at 11 a.m. both days of the event. A biography, Dick Cole’s War, written by Dennis Okerstrom will also be available for sale.
At 1 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, visitors will see an air show. Airplanes will be on static display throughout the event and guests can also hear WWII veteran oral histories, visit military vehicles dispayed by the Military Vehicle Preservation Association, and see WWII re-enactors as well as check out children activities and museum tours. Aircraft rides will also be available at additional cost. Reservations for aircraft rides can be made at www.airpowertour.org.
The air event will open at 9 a.m. Sept. 25-27 at the Heart of America hangar, 6 Areo Plaza, New Century. The show will close at 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 25 and Saturday, Sept. 26. The event will conclude at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 27.
The Commemorative Air Force honors the men and women who built, maintained, and flew in these airplanes during World War II. The organization believes that is best accomplished by maintaining the airplanes in flying condition; taking the airplanes to the people allowing them to experience the sight and sound of the aircraft in flight.
Collecting, restoring and flying vintage historical aircraft for more than half a century, the Commemorative Air Force ranks as one of the largest private air forces in the world. The CAF is dedicated to Honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance. A non-profit educational association, the CAF has more than 12,000 members and a fleet of over 160 airplanes distributed throughout the country to 63 units located in 25 states for care and operation. For more information, visit www.commemorativeairforce.org.