On Friday October 8, 2010 I flew in the B-29 Superfortress FIFI from the Commemorative Air Force in Midland Texas.
We were 9 passengers and 6 crew members including two engine spotters in the gunnery compartment watching the engines during the start up and flight. The pilots cannot see the engines and as the engine used had a persistent issue with fires etc this is a good way to catch anything nasty in the buds. With the new engine re-fit the Wright R-3350-57AM engines have been exchanged for a custom built combination of the R-3350-95W and R-3350-26WD engines.
Engine start and warm up to greenline, we taxi with howling brakes and start the take off roll. As we are not heavy loaded the roll is short and we transform from ground to air, with positive climb the gear comes up with a solid "clunk". This is Texas afternoon heat and we are flying at 1200-1500ft. It is bumpy and feels like flak is exploding all around us as we get thrown around from side to side. The plane is a stable platform and the turbulence just add to the experience. Somebody crawls through the tunnel between the cockpit and gunnery station. I remove the ear plugs as I want to hear the full sound of the engines and it is sweet sound.
We descend and line up for a perfect landing, a flight to be savored for a long time.
Wed, Sep 21 2011 9:34 PM
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