Residents Enjoy Rides On Vintage Bombers And More During Annual Weekend Of Family Fun
Living history graced the skies above the DuPage Airport during Community Days last weekend, as a vintage Boeing B-29 Superfortress soared overhead, dazzling all those in attendance at the annual celebration. The two-day celebration held last weekend drew a crowd of thousands composed of families, veterans, and aviation enthusiasts of all ages. History buffs and thrill seekers climbed aboard for a ride in the Commemorative Air Force’s vintage P-51 ... and their FIFI – the last flying B-29 Superfortress in the world.
“It’s not every day you get a glimpse of world history in your own backyard,” said David Bird, Executive Director of DuPage Airport. “It was a privilege to be able to celebrate our nation’s veterans with our community.”
The Boeing B-29, flown primary by the United States during World War II and the Korean War, is best known for carrying the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki over 67 years ago. Piloted by David Oliver – the youngest person to fly a B-29 at 30 years old – FIFI was grounded in 2006 to begin work on engine restoration which was completed in August 2010.
“The Commemorative Air Force was delighted to return to DuPage this year with FIFI,” said Gerald Oliver of the Commemorative Air Force’s B-29 Team. “The turnout exceeded our expectations and we thank our gracious hosts for allowing us to display this aviation treasure to the community of DuPage.”
Residents also had the opportunity to take introductory flight lessons, guided cockpit tours and get an up-close look at some of the impressive machinery the airport has on site, including other vintage military vehicles, various tenant aircraft and DuPage Airport snow removal equipment—which is capable of removing 6,000 tons of snow per hour.
“Our doors are always open to our neighbors,” said Bird. “We want to see aviation’s popularity continue to grow and we invite residents of DuPage back anytime.”
During May’s NATO Summit in Chicago, traffic at the DuPage Airport quadrupled in volume—a spike in activity the airport handled in stride, without a single delay. Last year, the airport earned praise from the National Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who celebrated the facility as an “economic engine” and “a model for the nation.” This year, the facility received the Excellence in Procurement Award from the Airport Consultants Council (ACC).
(Image courtesy DuPage Airport)