It took 16 years of labor and nearly 60 years since its last flight, but the B-29 SuperFortress known as “Doc” is flying again. (Sunday July 17, 2016)
It truly is a labor of love. 16 full years to get only the second airworthy B-29 SuperFortress up and flying again–but Doc’s friends did it on Sunday July 17.
The Wichita-built bomber lifted off from a McConnell Air Force Base runway this morning. Tony Mazzolini, a former flight engineer led the effort to bring it to Wichita for restoration. Mazzolini found Doc sitting in the Mojave Desert and decided to start an effort to bring the SuperFortress back to life.
Doc is one of 1,644 manufactured in Wichita during World War II. It rolled off the assembly line in March of 1945. In May 2000, Doc returned in sections to Wichita via flat bed truck. The restoration project involved hundreds of volunteers providing countless hours of work to get Doc airworthy again. Restoration volunteers even included some who worked on the original Boeing production line or were B-29 crew members.
The B-29 is a four-engine propeller driven heavy bomber. It was designed by Boeing and was flown primarily in WWII and the Korean War. The plane was the first ever pressurized bomber. One of the most famous B-29’s was the Enola Gay, the plane that delivered the atomic bomb “Little Boy”on Hiroshima.
Also check out Doc’s Friends Facebook page here
Top Photo: ‘Doc’ on startup. Courtesy: kansas.com
Hat Tip to Jim Homan