“It’s been nearly 60 years since Doc has flown and 16 years since this majestic warbird arrived in Wichita to be restored, and now we are another major milestone closer to a return to flight,” stated Jim Murphy, the Restoration Program Manager for Doc’s Friends. He added, “Today, we celebrate this major milestone and honor the hundreds of thousands of hours of volunteer work that has gone into restoring our B-29. From the team who saved Doc from rusting away in the Mojave Desert in California, to the dedicated volunteers who have been working tirelessly on the restoration project since Doc was brought to Wichita 16 years ago, today is great day.”
Now that they have an airworthiness certificate, the next step is to begin preparing for test flights. And the first step in that process is for the restoration team to submit an official request to the US Air Force and the Pentagon for permission for use the non-joint-use runway at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, for the purpose of test flight operations. Once they have received this approval, they can begin using the runway to run high-speed taxi tests and the other ground-based tests that are necessary prior to the first flight.
Jeff Turner, the chairman of Doc’s Friends, had this to say, “The dream of getting Doc back into the air to serve as a flying memorial and museum to honor the men and women who served our nation in these airplanes, and those who built and maintained the fleet, just took a major step toward reality. It’s because of Tony Mazzolini and hundreds of volunteers who have touched Doc along the way that we have reached this milestone. On behalf of the entire Doc’s Friends board, I thank you for all you have done.”
B-29 Bomber Doc joins Fifi, as the only currently airworthy B-29 Superfortresses. For those interested in keep up on the status of the flight testing, and the announcement of the first flight, you can sign up for updates on the Doc’s Friends website.
Featured Image: Doc’s Friends