Spectators from Hammond and the surrounding areas will want to look to the skies, as the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, FIFI, and the Consolidated B-24 Liberator land at Hammond Northshore Regional Airport, accompanied by a P-51 Mustang, a T-6 Texan, and a PT-13 Stearman, in preparation for the Airpower History Tour. The B-29 , T-6, and Stearman were scheduled to come in Monday. The B-24 will be arriving Tuesday at 11. The P-51 Gunfighter is not expected until Thursday.
The event, presented by the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) in partnership with its New Orleans-based, The Big Easy Wing, will be open to the public from Wednesday, October 2nd through Sunday, October 6th. Running from 9 AM to 5 PM each day, visitors will be able to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and stories of World War II aviation.
“The CAF brought their B-17 to Hammond in 2017; a visit that was so successful, they are returning with even more aircrafts this time,” explained David L. Lobue, President of the Hammond Airshow. ”We are proud of the community’s support for these events, and we are confident that everyone will continue to share their support for these historic warbirds.”
The event will spotlight CAF’s FIFI, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress, which is best known for its missions over Japan that helped bring WWII to an end. FIFI was rescued and restored by a group of CAF volunteers and has been flying for more than 45 years. Since 1974, FIFI has traveled from coast-to-coast, honoring the men and women who built, maintained, and flew WWII aircrafts, while educating the next generation on their history.
As for the CAF’s Consolidated B-24 Liberator, DIAMOND LIL, there’s much good to be said. True aviation fans will want to see this aircraft, as it’s one of the only two airworthy B-24s bombers in existence. The Liberator was used in a variety of missions, from long-range bombing and submarine patrol to transporting high priority cargo. Even though she’s been touring airports in the U.S. since 1968, DIAMOND LIL returned to the skies last fall after a three-year restoration and is more regal than ever.
During the event, attendees are encouraged to get up close and personal with these aircraft, whether they choose to purchase rides or tour the cockpits in-between flights. Cockpit tours will be available beginning at 9 AM, except on Saturday and Sunday when they will start at noon.
As for plane rides, the B-29 flies on Saturday and Sunday at 9 AM and 10:30 AM, while the B-24 flies on Saturday and Sunday at 9:30 AM and 11:00 AM. The aircrafts will be staged at Main Terminal of the Hammond Northshore Regional Airport, located at 600 North Airport Road in Hammond, LA.