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NASM Announces National Tour For Enola Gay
Famous Airplane Will Fly Again, Thanks To Extensive, Secret Renovation



The National Air and Space Museum made a surprising announcement Thursday. In honor of the 65th anniversary of the end of WWII, the NASM staff has been secretly preparing the B-29 Enola Gay to make her airworthy for a commemorative flight across the United States. The tour will begin in June and run through August. After the tour, the plane will be disassembled into large pieces that will be shipped by a special train from the final tour stop back to the Udvar-Hazy Center, which is at Dulles Airport in Washington, DC. The announcement is being made to enable the warbird community as a whole to modify the airshow schedule so that other WWII aircraft will be able to participate in the historic event.



This will be a one-way trip that will be long-remembered by the warbird and historical community.


FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt and NASM Director Gen. John R. Dailey, USMC (Ret),made the surprise joint announcement at a news conference at the Udvar-Hazy Center Thursday. The media release indicated Dailey would be talking about the building of another hangar at the Center to house more aerospace artifacts, such as the famous Memphis Belle. That B-17F was recently “recalled” by the USAF Museum from its previous home on Mud Island in Memphis, TN. But instead the media were surprised with the Enola Gay announcement.


The itinerary will take the famous B-29 to some thirteen airports from one coast to the other. Since the B-29 will not be carrying bombs (or an A-bomb like she did in August, 1945), she will be able to make trips of several hundred miles at a time as she works her way across the Nation. Some of the stops are at unlikely places, but because the time of the flight will correspond with part of the summer airshow season, towns that are not on the airshow circuit become logical choices for stops on the tour. The Enola Gay will spend between two and four days at each stop, depending upon the size of the crowds expected, and to give the crew time to rest and maybe do a little fine-tuning and/or tinkering with the B-29.


The stop at Omaha, NE will be special, because the Enola Gay, while designed by Boeing, was one of the 531 B-29 Superfortresses manufactured by the Glenn Martin Aircraft Company in Omaha. Col. Paul Tibbets, her chief pilot, picked her off the assembly line himself, and named her “Enola Gay,” in honor of his mother.



The stop at Salt Lake City, UT will include a special recognition of the crew of the Enola Gay, and every other B-29 crew in the 509th Composite Bomb Group. B-29 pilots trained for their top-secret bombing mission at Wendover Air Force Base (now closed), about 60 miles from Salt Lake City.


The anniversary tour was conceived when the Enola Gay was undergoing a complete restoration that began in the 1980s. Under the orders of the NASM administrators, everything on the Enola Gay was restored to airworthy condition. Wright R-3350 radial engines were test-run in the Garber facility one at a time in 2001, and NASM personnel explained to curious neighbors that the racket the whole neighborhood had heard a few nights in a row was caused by blown mufflers on a rented auxiliary generator that they had to use during a “wiring problem”. In all, the restoration crew kept the actual condition of the Enola Gay secret for over ten years.


Exxon Mobil and AeroShell will sponsor the national tour. Exxon has donated all of the fuel and AeroShell will donate the oil, and Enola Gay will need lots of both. "We're proud to be able to give America one more chance to see this flying piece of history," Dailey said. "If it wasn't for this airplane, America might not be the country she is today."



Itinerary:

• Andrews Air Force Base in DC
• Philadelphia , PA
• Richmond , VA
• Indianapolis , IN
• Lawrence , KS .
• Ft. Leavenworth , KS
• Omaha , NE
• Odessa , TX
• Longmont , CO
• Salt Lake City , UT
• Davis/Woodland/ Winters, CA
• Astoria , OR
• Yakima , WA




FMI: www.enolagaytour2010.aero
 

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It will be a sight to see; but IMHO, in very poor taste. Just what we need to raise our status in the world today, glorify the dropping of the first atom bomb.

Now I'll duck and cover!
 

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It will be a sight to see; but IMHO, in very poor taste. Just what we need to raise our status in the world today, glorify the dropping of the first atom bomb.

Now I'll duck and cover!
Oh brother - I expect this kind of reaction from that POS in the white house. Don't think our enemies wouldn't have used it if they had it during the war. Time to stop bowing & apologising. Those two bombs saved many more lives than they took. Good grief.
 

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That's cool. I'd love to see it. I just hope someone doesn't make a command decision to cancel so as not to offend our friends and neighbors around the world community...It's been such a well-kept secret that I bet our very own president didn't know about it!
 

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Oh brother - I expect this kind of reaction from that POS in the white house. Don't think our enemies wouldn't have used it if they had it during the war. Time to stop bowing & apologising. Those two bombs saved many more lives than they took. Good grief.

Tangentaly I love to read the paper in Japan arround mid-August. At least the last time it had a japanese vetran that basically said 'hell yeah we would have dropped it if we had it'. A refreshing change.
 

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Yes it was an April fools Joke. Total HOAX. O'well
 

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Read the first letter of each proposed stop, all the way down. Too bad though. I can think a few places we could use the ole girls' services again.
 

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Hehehe, bit late for the 4.1 pull eh ?

This topic has been covered many times over the years, but Dawgs, I disagree with you on one thing. The bomb needed to be dropped to get the sucker Hirohito and the Imperial Japanese military machine to it's knees quickly, yes I may be able to understand that part, but dropping them intentionally on known heavily civilian targets was not a choice that would ever be appreciated, especially by the receiving end. But I guess this topic belongs to be talked about when August comes around.
 

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I detected a hoax as soon as I started reading it. I checked the sources without reading the rest of the thread, and was not surprised (though alittle dissapointed) to see that it was indeed fake.

I see though that others have quickly confirmed this before me.
 

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I detected a hoax as soon as I started reading it. I checked the sources without reading the rest of the thread, and was not surprised (though alittle dissapointed) to see that it was indeed fake.

I see though that others have quickly confirmed this before me.
I think the tipoff was the statement that Exxon and Shell were going to donate something.
 

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Hehehe, bit late for the 4.1 pull eh ?

This topic has been covered many times over the years, but Dawgs, I disagree with you on one thing. The bomb needed to be dropped to get the sucker Hirohito and the Imperial Japanese military machine to it's knees quickly, yes I may be able to understand that part, but dropping them intentionally on known heavily civilian targets was not a choice that would ever be appreciated, especially by the receiving end. But I guess this topic belongs to be talked about when August comes around.
Edokko, what do you think the effect would have been had the U.S. first demonstrated the weapon to Japan by exploding one over Mt. Fuji? Some of the history I've read says the hard cases in the Army weren't ready to quit even after Hiroshima.

There was a Japanese salesman,who past away this year, he was visiting Hiroshima when the bomb fell. He survived and they rushed him home to recover with his family, in Nagasaki. The only man in history to survive two nuclear weapons attacks!
 
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