The Commemorative Air Force (CAF) AirPower History Tour will bring the sights, sounds, and stories of World War II aviation to 26 cities in North America this summer including 8 cities in Canada. It is the first time in history the B-29 Superfortress, one of only two in the world that still fly, will be available for tours and rides at Canadian stops.
The tour’s collection of World War II aircraft provides powerful history lessons to audiences across North America. Visitors to the ramp will be able to view the aircraft up close and tour the cockpit when the airplane is not flying.
The Boeing B-29 Superfortress, first flown in 1942, began active service in 1944 and is perhaps best known as the aircraft whose missions over Japan helped bring about the end of World War II. It was designed as a replacement for the older B-17s and B-24s, with longer range and greater bomb loads. The B-29 was also used in the Korean War in the early 1950s and was a staple of the U.S. Air Force until later that decade. FIFI was acquired by the CAF in the early 1970s when a group of CAF members found her at the U.S. Navy Proving Ground at China Lake, California where she was intended to be used as a missile target. The airplane was rescued and restored and has flown for over 40 years traveling coast to coast each year attracting large crowds at every tour stop.
As part of Canada’s return to peace operations, an Air Task Force (ATF) will deploy to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) for a period of 12 months.
The ATF will include two Royal Canadian Air Force CH-147F Chinook helicopters to provide urgently needed transport and logistics capacity for the MINUSMA mission, as well as four CH-146 Griffon helicopters to provide armed escort and protection, along with aircrew and groundcrew. The deployment will include a number of Canadian Armed Forces troops who will facilitate medical evacuations for troops on the ground and provide logistical support.
“As a responsible member of the international community, we recognize the importance of working collaboratively with our partners to promote peace and security. Supported by our diplomatic negotiations, I am confident we can help make a real difference in this region through the deployment of the Air Task Force,” said Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan.
Canada’s contribution will join 57 MINUSMA partner countries in their continued efforts to bring sustainable peace and stability to Mali and the Sahel. Today’s announcement builds on the Government’s significant development, peace and security initiatives in the region.