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Rollout a Major Milestone for B-29 Superfortress Doc
March 24, 2015 - EAA congratulates all the volunteers and supporters of the restored B-29 Superfortress Doc, which was rolled out Monday, March 23, at a special event at Wichita’s McConnell Air Force Base – exactly 70 years to the day after its original delivery to the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. The airplane slowly emerged from a former Boeing hangar as the Air Force Song (Wild Blue Yonder) played and assembled volunteers, backers, and supporters cheered.
Over the coming weeks and months, the airplane is scheduled to undergo engine run-up, followed by a first flight and additional test flights. Once airborne, Doc would become the world’s second flying B-29 along with the Commemorative Air Force’s FIFI.
Doc’s Friends, the non-profit organization that owns the aircraft, has stated a goal to fly Doc to Oshkosh for EAA AirVenture 2015 (July 20-26). Since the CAF has confirmed it will bring FIFI to Oshkosh this summer, the prospect of the world’s only two flying B-29s appearing together could create a historic event for aviation enthusiasts.
According to the Doc’s Friends website, Doc was originally one of eight B-29s in a squadron nicknamed “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” It flew in the latter days of WWII as well as the Korean War. It was decommissioned in 1956 and parked in the Mojave Desert where it served as a ballistic target on a China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons range. Tony Mazzolini, who served as a flight engineer on a B-29 during the Korean War, acquired the airplane in 1987, and restoration began.
Doc was relocated to its Wichita birthplace in 2000, where over the past 15 years hundreds of volunteers have contributed some 300,000 hours to restore it. Volunteers included retirees from Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems, veterans, active duty military, and others wanting to honor those who have served. Other countless individuals and organizations have made financial and in-kind contributions to keep the project going.
EAA Chairman of the Board Jack J. Pelton serves on the Doc’s Friends board of directors.