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‘Doc’ flight prep underway, but flight date elusive (+video)

VIDEO: New engines bring new life to restored B-29 'Doc'

The first engine test on the restored B-29 "Doc" was done on the tarmac at Spirit AeroSystems on Friday morning. The World War II bomber was salvaged from the Mohave Desert 15 years ago and has been undergoing restoration in Wichita. Video by Trav
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The first engine test on the restored B-29 "Doc" was done on the tarmac at Spirit AeroSystems on Friday morning. The World War II bomber was salvaged from the Mohave Desert 15 years ago and has been undergoing restoration in Wichita. Video by Trav

Volunteers are making preparations for a first flight of “Doc,” the restored B-29 Bomber, but a date for the milestone flight remains elusive.

Doc’s Friends, the nonprofit group overseeing the World War II airplane’s restoration, posted an update on its website Thursday along with a video.

Josh Wells, a spokesman for Doc’s Friends, said in an e-mail to The Eagle that the group has gained temporary shelter for the airplane in case of severe weather this spring.

Wells said the group hasn’t set a day for first flight because there are still too many variables affecting such planning.

“The first being the weather, since we need sustained warm weather to run the engines,” Wells said in the e-mail, adding that there needs to be a sustained period of temperatures above 50 degrees.

“We also must be satisfied that Doc is airworthy, and the FAA also must be satisfied that Doc is airworthy. We’re also awaiting permission from Washington, D.C., to allow us to a non-joint-use active military airfield as an operating base for test flights. A few other details we are working to confirm are the logistics of getting the qualified B-29 crew in Wichita to conduct preliminary ground operations and ultimately flight testing.”

The first engine test on the restored B-29 "Doc" was done on the tarmac at Spirit AeroSystems on Friday morning. The World War II bomber was salvaged from the Mohave Desert 15 years ago and has been undergoing restoration in Wichita. Video by Trav

So stay tuned, Doc watchers.

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