A priceless piece of World War II history is in town, but only for a few more days. Lots of people are taking advantage of this rare opportunity to see, and perhaps even fly in a B-29 Bomber. News 3's Sandra Gonzalez reports from Henderson.
HENDERSON (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The B-29 Superfortress is in town, the World War II aircraft that is also known as the one to drop the first atomic bomb. This particular B-29, called “Fifi” is the only one that flies, and people in the Las Vegas Valley are flocking to Henderson to see it, perhaps even fly inside it, before it departs Saturday.
One of them knows the aircraft well. Korean War veteran Charlie Abner of Summerlin flew the B-29 on six missions.
“B-29s was my life for 4 years basically that's all I did was B-29s,” Abner said.
The site of the plane brought back so many memories for him.
World War II Veteran Donald Friday also had to come and see the warplane too.
“….a monster, it was a monster in those days, now we fly those bigger jets,” Friday said.
Colonel David Oliver takes a lot of pride in flying the B-29. The young pilot travels across the country to display the aircraft.
“The airplane is what I consider a national treasure. I think preserving this plane is as important as preserving the national anthem,” Oliver said.
About 16 people can fly inside, and it’s mostly manually operated.
“It's all “arm strong” muscle as we call it and when you're flying the airplane, it takes a lot of arm strength to make it turn left and turn right, and it's big movement,” Oliver said.
While the warplane is old, there is something different, it has new engines.
“They are the same type of engines, the same manufactures, the same size and horse power but they are actually more out of a Vietnam vintage and these engines are much more reliable and carry us far into the future,” Oliver said.
While it preserves history, it also brings back happy times for Charlie Abner.
“The guys I was with, all the guys we flew together it was like a big family,” Abner said.