Aviation

‘Doc’ caretakers find shelter from the storm for historic warbird

World War II bomber “Doc” will safely ride out this weekend’s ice storm in a hangar provided by Air Capital Flight Line.
World War II bomber “Doc” will safely ride out this weekend’s ice storm in a hangar provided by Air Capital Flight Line. Courtesy photo

The caretakers of “Doc,” the restored World War II B-29 bomber, have found temporary shelter to protect the historic plane from the ice storm in Wichita this weekend.

Doc’s Friends Inc. reached an agreement with a local company to store the plane, not only from the coming ice but from spring weather later this year.

“The owners of Air Capital Flight Line in Wichita have been very accommodating and helpful to our restoration efforts since they purchased the facility from Boeing,” said Josh Wells, Doc’s Friends spokesman. “This is another example of their willingness to go above and beyond to help us keep our historic warbird safe.”

B-29 Doc landed at Wichita's Eisenhower National Airport for the first time ever on Saturday, Nov. 5, 2016. The crew left McConnell Air Force Base around 10:30 a.m. and flew for about 90 minutes to the east of Wichita. (video courtesy of Doc's Fri

“We are concerned that the approaching ice storm and ice accumulation could be potentially devastating to the airplane’s flight control surfaces and exterior skin,” Wells said in a statement Saturday.

“Not only are we concerned about ice, but we’re also concerned about snow, and even springtime weather threats. Any weather-related damage to Doc could delay or even derail our mission of operating Doc as a flying museum for years to come.”

The restored B-29 "Doc" flew for the first time since being junked in 1956 and after a 16-year restoration in Wichita. (Video by Travis Heying/The Wichita Eagle)

The plane’s caretakers are also working on a new flight schedule for Doc for 2017. Announcements will come later, Wells said.

They will also soon announce the location of a future home/hangar for Doc, and a time line for construction, Wells said.

Crews at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport pretreat the pavement ahead of this weekend's ice storm. (Jan. 13, 2017 / Courtesy of Wichita Eisenhower National Airport)

  Comments