Big Updates on B-29 Doc Project

Historic airplane restoration inches closer to first flight.

B-29 Doc
B-29 Doc
Photo courtesy of Doc's Friends

The volunteers that have been hard at work restoring Doc, a Superfortress that was one of eight B-29s named after characters in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, didn't quite get the airplane flying by AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, as the group had hoped. But Doc's Friends, the organization that is spearheading the restoration, says the airplane is just about ready for its first flight in several decades.

While it has been nearly a year since the organization first said the airplane was getting close to first flight, much progress has been made to make that complex mission a reality. The airplane has been partially fueled and checked for leaks, of which none were found. The fuel system is now being fine tuned in preparation for the first start of the engines. Turbocharger casings have been installed on all four engines and the avionics are ready to be installed.

The FAA has started its review in preparation for issuing the required airworthiness certificate. Once that process is complete, Doc's Friends will submit a request for approval from the McConnell Air Force Base to conduct its flight test phase there. A Kickstarter campaign is also in the works to help fund the cost of the flight test program.

Once the flight test phase has been completed, Doc's Friends hopes to base the B-29 at the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport (KICT) and use it as a flying museum in a similar fashion as the nation's currently only flying B-29, FIFI.

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