B-29 Doc Ready to Fly

Restorers overcome final obstacles in quest to return Superfortress to flight.

B-29 Doc
The organization behind restoring Doc says the B-29 has cleared the last hurdle before its first return to flight.Facebook/Doc's Friends

The B-29 named Doc, which has been undergoing restoration in Wichita, Kansas, since it was brought there 16 years ago, is expected to fly in the next few weeks. Doc's Friends, the organization that has spearheaded the major restoration effort, has overcome the last obstacles standing in the way of first flight, having received permission from the Department of Defense to use the runway at McConnell Air Force Base (MAFB), where the airplane is based. Doc's Friends received the airworthiness certificate for the Superfortress from the FAA on May 19.

“With the airworthiness certificate from the FAA we received a few weeks ago, and now permission from the Pentagon to use the runway at McConnell, first flight for Doc is imminent,” said Jim Murphy, Doc’s Friends restoration program manager.

Medium and high-speed taxi tests will be conducted first. Once those tests are completed, Doc’s Friends will schedule a date with MAFB officials to gain access to the runway for the first flight. Then there is only thing that stands in the way of this historic bird returning to the skies, and it is one nobody can control — the weather.