Following a failed Kickstarter campaign, Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems have stepped forward with a “major gift” that will ensure that a hangar the newly restored B-29 Superfortress “Doc” will be built.
Board members and volunteers of Doc’s Friends, Inc., which owns and operates the bomber, announced the development along with executives from Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems and officially broke ground on the structure.
As previously reported, the proposed $6.5 million B-29 Doc Hangar and Education Center will be based along the 1700 block of south Airport Road on the grounds of the Eisenhower National Airport in Wichita, Kansas. Offering a total of 32,000 sq ft (including 24,000 sq ft of hangar space), the new facility will not only serve as a home for the historic bomber, but also as “a working maintenance facility where the public can come and watch crews maintain Doc with hands-on learning experiences inspired by science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.” [click to continue…]
On Saturday, the world’s only airworthy B-29 Superfortresses, “FIFI” and “Doc”, returned to the air for their second flight together during AirVenture 2017’s Bomber Day.
The occasion gave crowds an opportunity to witness the two machines flying in close formation, a sight that was lacking when they performed their first flight together last Tuesday. The B-29s were joined by a B-17 and B-25s which were on hand to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Doolittle Raid. The event also included a B-1B, B-2, and B-52H formation flight.
Click below to check out video of the historic performance, as well as a wonderful EAA video containing stunning air-to-air footage and background information on Doc’s history and restoration.
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On the one-year anniversary of its return to the air, Doc’s Friends have announced plans for the future home of B-29 Superfortress “Doc”, which recently began a touring schedule after undergoing nearly two decades of restoration.
The proposed $6.5 million B-29 Doc Hangar and Education Center will be based along the 1700 block of south Airport Road on the grounds of the Eisenhower National Airport in Wichita, Kansas. Offering a total of 32,000 sq ft (including 24,000 sq ft of hangar space), the new facility will not only serve as Doc’s permanent home, but also as “a working maintenance facility where the public can come and watch crews maintain Doc with hands-on learning experiences inspired by science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.” [click to continue…]
Over the weekend, Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets IV manned the copilot’s seat as the newly restored B-29 “Doc” headed from McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas to the Wings Over Whiteman Airshow at Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.
As previously reported, Tibbets IV is a B-2 Spirit pilot, the commander of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman and the grandson of Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets, Jr. who commanded the B-29 “Enola Gay” during its mission to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945.
Tibbets IV states that military aviation has played a significant role in the defense of the nation and shared his fascination with the idea of taking history on the road, referring to the B-29 as a type that “changed the world.”
“Doc” is currently one of only two flying B-29s in existence. Click below to check out video of the historic flight, as well as local news coverage of the story.
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McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas has announced that Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets IV will take the controls of the newly restored B-29 “Doc” when it travels to Whiteman Air Force Base for the Wings Over Whiteman Airshow in Missouri this weekend.
Tibbets IV, a B-2 Spirit pilot and commander of the 509th Bomb Wing at Whiteman, will reportedly act as copilot, flying Doc from the right seat. The event will be especially significant as he is the grandson of Brig. Gen. Paul Tibbets, Jr. who commanded the B-29 “Enola Gay” during its mission to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan on August 6, 1945.
Doc, one of only two airworthy B-29s in existence, returned to the air in July 2016 following a 17 year restoration and began its first tour last month with a performance at the Defenders of Liberty Air Show in Louisiana. On June 3, it became the focus of an open house which saw hundreds of people line up for hours in order to get an up-close look at the historic bomber.
(via The Wichita Eagle Photo: Erin McClellan via Wikimedia Commons Thanks, Pascal!)
Yesterday, newly restored B-29 Superfortress “Doc” completed its winter maintenance program, paving the way for the bomber to begin its 2017 tour season.
Earlier today, Doc departed from McConnell AFB in Wichita, Kansas bound for Barksdale AFB in Louisiana, where it will participate in this weekend’s Defenders of Liberty Air Show – an especially significant event as Barksdale was the base where Doc was originally commissioned after being delivered to the U.S. Army Air Corps more than 70 years ago.
Doc’s Friends Program Director Jim Murphy says, “Returning to Barksdale for this weekend’s air show will be memorable and full of emotion. It’s the first travel milestone of our mission of operating Doc as a flying museum to honor the men and women who built, maintained and flew these majestic warbirds to protect our nation. Hundreds of volunteers have poured their heart and soul into this airplane since it was pulled from the desert nearly 20 years ago. This weekend’s mission to Barksdale celebrates their hard work and dedication.”
Doc will reportedly participate in multiple air show formation and demonstration flights on Saturday before returning to Wichita on Sunday. For additional information on the event, click here.
(via Doc’s Friends)
The newly restored B-29 Superfortress “Doc” will make four national tour stops through the first half of 2017 according to a tour schedule announced earlier today.
Doc’s Friends, Inc. will be bringing the aircraft to Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri and Wisconsin as part of their effort to “honor those who built, maintained and flew B-29s to protect America’s freedom at home and abroad” and “educate current and future generations on the contributions made by the Greatest Generation during wartime.”
The group is also in negotiations to participate in four additional events that could bring Doc to Oklahoma, Colorado and Texas later in the year.
Click below to check out the current 2017 tour dates.
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The newly restored B-29 Superfortress “Doc” has completed phase one of its flight test operations and has received a new airworthiness certificate that allows the aircraft to begin touring with with reduced flight limitations.
Specifically, the new, “special airworthiness certificate” removes flight limitation restrictions on distance and flight pattern, and Doc’s Friends, the team that oversees the massive warbird, are now in final negotiations with multiple regional air shows including EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.
Doc’s Friends Restoration Program Manager Jim Murphy says that the team is not yet ready to release details regarding a 2017 tour, as they still have some minor winter maintenance to perform before Doc returns to the air, which could happen in early April. However, multiple public events are reportedly being planned in at least six states.
(via Doc’s Friends Photo: Erin McClellan via Wikimedia Commons Thanks, Pascal!)
Recently restored B-29 Superfortress “Doc” will be protected from the elements during the winter and spring thanks to a new agreement with Air Capital Flight Line.
In a move Doc’s Friends spokesman Josh Wells describes as “another example of their willingness to go above and beyond”, the Wichita company has provided a hangar to temporarily shelter the historic warbird from potentially devastating weather conditions.
“Not only are we concerned about ice, but we’re also concerned about snow, and even springtime weather threats. Any weather-related damage to Doc could delay or even derail our mission of operating Doc as a flying museum for years to come.”
With Doc’s safety secured, the machine’s caretakers will be turning their attention to a flight schedule for the new year, and are also expected to announce the location of the bomber’s permanent home, including a timeframe for construction, in the near future.
The aircraft returned to the air in July 2016 following 17 years and hundreds of thousands of hours of restoration, departing from McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kansas. It has since performed several additional test flights, including a journey to Eisenhower National Airport. It is currently one of only two examples of the type in airworthy condition.
(via The Wichita Eagle Photo: Erin McClellan via Wikimedia Commons)
Newly restored B-29 Superfortress “Doc” is continuing its flight test program with its first ever flight to Eisenhower National Airport in Wichita, Kansas.
The crew departed Wichita’s McConnell Air Force Base on Saturday and flew for approximately 90 minutes to the east of the city. In the process, the landing gear was retracted and high-speed flight tests were performed at more than 200 mph, with the historic bomber performing as expected with no issues.
The B-29 spent 42 years in the desert before being rescued by Tony Mazzolini and a group of volunteers who spent 17 years and 300,000+ hours restoring the machine to airworthy condition. It is now one of only two remaining B-29s capable of flight. Click below to check out a video of Saturday’s takeoff and landing.
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