SIU Graduate Pilots Rare B-29 Bomber Through Area
By WestKyStar Staff
CARBONDALE, IL - A rare World War II bomber will be in southern Illinois on Monday.
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber was built late in the war, and was used for training. It will touch down June 18 at Southern Illinois Airport near Murphysboro, around 4:00 pm. It will be accompanied by a P-51 Mustang, which was built in 1944.
"Fifi" is the only remaining B-29 of its type that still flies, and is part of the Commemorative Air Force squadron. The pilot of the plane, David Oliver, is a 2006 aviation program graduate of Southern Illinois University.
Oliver told the SIU's Saluki Times, “Normally we go to large cities and larger air shows but this will be a special event. I think it’s nice to bring the airplane to Carbondale to share it with the University that gave so much to me. I hope everybody enjoys it.”
The pair of planes are on a four-week tour that began in mid-May, visiting airports in eastern Canada and New England. They will be returning to their headquarters in Dallas, and Oliver saw that their flight path brought them nearby, so he scheduled a stop.
Visitors can come to the airport to see the planes on the ramp, and take photographs of "Fifi". Oliver says the plane is probably the most photographed warbird in existence.
Because of the short layover, tours of the aircraft will not be available.