Air Capital Insider

Kansas Aviation Museum puts B-29 Doc on ‘watch’

Tony Mazzolini hugs the fuselage of "Doc." He recovered the Boeing B-29 Superfortress from the California desert in 1987. The airplane marked a milestone in the nearly 15-year restoration effort during a roll-out ceremony in March. The airplane was part of a squadron known as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. (Mar. 23, 2015)
Tony Mazzolini hugs the fuselage of "Doc." He recovered the Boeing B-29 Superfortress from the California desert in 1987. The airplane marked a milestone in the nearly 15-year restoration effort during a roll-out ceremony in March. The airplane was part of a squadron known as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. (Mar. 23, 2015) The Wichita Eagle

In preparation for certification testing of the B-29 Bomber known as Doc, Kansas Aviation Museum has launched Doc Watch.

KAM officials say the effort is in conjunction with Doc’s Friends, a nonprofit group restoring the Wichita-built World War II aircraft.

Because of the secured location of Doc’s hangar at Air Capital Flight Line, the former Boeing Wichita facilities on the east side of south Oliver, KAM officials say the museum will offer the best vantage point for the public to view the four-engined bomber, which museum executive director Daniel Bateman says is outside of its hangar most days.

“We’re just trying to be good friends and neighbors,” Bateman says. He adds that the museum is “not completely altruistic” in Doc Watch because viewing Doc requires the cost of museum admission. But a portion of the proceeds from museum admission will go to support Doc’s Friends and restoration of the B-29, says Richard Moore, the museum’s board president and a volunteer on Doc’s restoration.

Bateman and Moore say when the aircraft is outside of its hangar it can be easily viewed from the museum’s second floor patio and control tower. The museum, at 3350 George Washington Boulevard, is housed in the former Wichita Municipal Airport terminal.

Bateman and Moore say beginning in July, Doc will begin its path to hitting a number of certification testing milestones, including the firing up of its R-3350-26WD hybrid engines and eventually, first flight.

They will begin providing weekly updates on Doc’s milestones on the KAM website in early July, they say, through progress reports they will receive from Doc’s project manager.

Once the airplane reaches first flight, it would be only the world’s second flying B-29 Bomber.

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