She's old, she's hard to handle, she's unique, and she's a main attraction at the Aviation Museum of Kentucky this weekend.
A bomber nicknamed "Fifi," the only remaining airworthy B-29 Superfortress, is being displayed for the museum's 20th anniversary. The plane costs close to $10,000 an hour to fly and features state-of-the-art technology — for 1940.
"It's like wrestling a bear to fly it," said co-pilot Paul Maupin, a retired commercial pilot who's been flying the plane as a volunteer for three years. "There's nothing new on this airplane. It's all ancient technology."
However, in 1940, when Boeing submitted the proposal for the plane, it was a substantial step forward in technological development.
Turrets positioned at the rear of the B-29 could be controlled remotely by a gunner looking through a window positioned about 10 feet closer to the nose of the plane, which was unique to aircraft of that era.
The museum began its anniversary celebration Thursday; it will continue through Sunday with several of the best World War II-era planes the Commemorative Air Force has to offer.
Rides on Fifi and three of the other four planes on display will be offered Saturday and Sunday.
The fleet of five planes consists of two fighter planes — the SB2C Hell Diver and P-51 Mustang Gunfighter — and planes used for training and cargo transport — the C-45 Expeditor and the Boeing Stearman.
But the main attraction is Fifi.
"One of the things that amazes me when I look at aircraft like this is (the lack of) armor in there," Commemorative Air Force contributor and vintage plane enthusiast Ed Ford said. "To fly in combat and go through that, my hat goes off to anyone who's brave enough to withstand it."
Ford, who lives in Richmond, has visited Fifi numerous times in different locations. And though he hasn't ridden in the plane, he said he hopes to get the chance.
The bomber arrived this week and was open to the public for tours Thursday. It is one of only 25 that remain today, and it's the only one still flying.
Maupin, 71, said his favorite part of piloting Fifi is when he's on the ground talking to people older than he is who flew the planes during World War II.
He said it's great to hear firsthand accounts because history can get lost on those of a younger generation.
"The B-29, it's not just this one plane. It embodies an entire generation and what they went through," said Jessica Andrews, who admired the plane with her four children Thursday while teaching them about the country's history.
Her son Will, 15, said learning about this time period was important to him because his great-grandfather flew planes in WWII.
It's a shame when those his age don't understand something as incredible and horrible as World War II, he said.