Doc, the B-29 Superfortress, Closes in on First Flight

Program seeks new volunteers.

The volunteers in Wichita, Kansas, have been hard at work restoring Doc, a B-29 Superfortress, since the project resumed nearly one year ago. “We have made significant progress recently hanging the first engine on the airplane,” said Jeff Turner, chairman of the board of Doc’s Friends, the non-profit organization set up to restore the Superfortress.

As the work on the engines progresses, the fuel cells are also being installed and electrical continuity checks will follow. Then it’s time to power up the four Wright Cyclone engines. While the project is progressing nicely toward first flight, which Doc’s Friends hopes to achieve later this year, new volunteers are needed to get Doc off the ground. “In order to take the restoration to the next level, we are looking for experienced aircraft electricians, engine and flight control mechanics, sheet metal mechanics and inspectors,” said Doc’s Friends project manager TJ Norman.

One of the volunteers who has been on hand since the project first started in 2000 is 88-year-old Connie Palacioz. Palacioz worked on B-29s at the Boeing plant in Wichita between 1943 and 1945, when she was laid off. Palacioz later became a hairdresser, but when the opportunity came to once again put rivets in the fuselage of a Superfortress she jumped at the opportunity. The riveting needed for Doc‘s restoration is now complete, but Palacioz continues to be involved along with many other passionate volunteers.

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