Hopes for bringing a B-29 Superfortress named Doc back to life grew stronger this week as several business leaders in Wichita came together to form a non-profit organization called Doc’s Friends. The organization took ownership of the Superfortress, which was rescued in 1987 by aviation enthusiast Tony Mazzolini and a group of historians who found the airplane in the Mojave Desert near China Lake, California, where it had deteriorated for more than four decades.
In 2000 Doc was brought home to Wichita, where it was built in 1944 at the Boeing factory. It was one of eight B-29s named after characters from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Some restoration work was completed, but hangar space and funds ran low and the project was halted.
The airplane has been moved to a large hangar space donated by Boeing for the next two years. The board will now get to work on securing the significant amount of funds and volunteers required to complete the project.
“We will not rest until we raise enough funds to restore Doc, find a permanent home, and operate Doc as a flying museum for the world to see,” said Doc’s Friends chairman Jeff Turner, president and CEO of Spirit Aerosystems. Other board members include Charlie Chandler, Jack Pelton, Steve Clark, Lynn Nichols, Brad Gorsuch, Vic McMullen and Ron Ryan.