Restored B-29 Superfortress Rolls out of Wichita HangarMolly McMillin
A B-29 Superfortress known as “Doc” rolled out of a former Boeing Wichita hangar on March 23, 2015, following 15 years and 300,000 hours of work by scores of volunteers.
The bomber, built by Boeing in Wichita in 1945, had been parked in the California Mojave desert for 42 years. The aircraft was discovered in 1987 and, in 2000, was trucked to Wichita where restoration began. The project went through a hiatus, the victim of a poor economy and lack of hangar space, when a group of Wichita business leaders and aviation enthusiasts formed a nonprofit group called Doc’s Friends and restarted the restoration. Boeing donated the hangar space.
The plan is to restore the aircraft to flying condition, and it will be one of only two to be flyable. Doc is expected to fly in the next couple of months. The next step is to secure a permanent home in Wichita for the aircraft and to operate the B-29 as a flying museum. Organizers estimate it will take another $7 million to $9 million to finish restoration and secure permanent hangar space.
All photos by Molly McMillin.