Aviation

‘Doc’ is getting a visit from WWII plane ‘Betsy’ - and you can see both this weekend

World War II-era C-47 lands at Benton

The World War II-era C-47 "Betsy's Biscuit Bomber" comes in for a landing at Stearman Field in Benton. The plane will head to Europe next month to commemorate D-Day.
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The World War II-era C-47 "Betsy's Biscuit Bomber" comes in for a landing at Stearman Field in Benton. The plane will head to Europe next month to commemorate D-Day.

Wichita’s favorite B-29 bomber “Doc” is getting a visitor this weekend.

“Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber,” a restored Douglas C-47 Skytrain, will make a two-day stop at the B-29 Doc Hangar, Education and Visitors Center on June 29-30 during its return flight from Europe, where it helped commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

The Doc’s hangar and visitors center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children 12 and younger. The cost includes building access and cockpit tours of both planes.

Visitors can also buy rides on “Doc” and a World War II-era North American T-6 Texan warbird on those days. For more information or to purchase advance tickets, go to www.b29doc.com/rides. Tickets also are available in person at the B-29 Doc Hangar, Education and Visitors Center, located northeast of the Eisenhower National Airport terminal at 1788 S. Airport Rd. in Wichita.

“Having three World War II-era aircraft in Wichita at the same time is a special treat for warbird and aviation enthusiasts,” Josh Wells, Doc’s Friends executive director and general manager, said by email.

“Partnering with another group whose mission matches our mission of honoring the Greatest Generation, while educating future generations, is core to the overall objective of keeping warbirds like Doc and Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber airworthy and flying for generations to come. It will be a unique and one-of-a-kind event that will provide up-close access to three of the most unique World War II aircraft still flying today.”

Call 316-260-4312 or email experience@b29doc.com with questions about the two-day event.

“Betsy’s Biscuit Bomber,” based in California, is among WWII Skytrains that are still airworthy. C-47 Skytrains flew in every major WWII battle and filled several roles including hauling cargo, dropping paratroopers and transporting military troops.

“Betsy” spent several days at Stearman Airfield in Benton last month before flying to Europe for D-Day events.

“Doc” is one of 1,644 Boeing B-29 Superfortresses manufactured in Wichita during WWII and one of just two that can still fly. After it was discovered rotting in the Mojave Desert by Tony Mazzolini in 1987, volunteers spent about 450,000 hours over 16 years to restore it.

The plane’s 32,000-square-foot, $6.5 million interactive facility and permanent home opened for regular hours in March.

(Nov. 13, 2018) The B-29 "Doc," originally built in Wichita in 1944, and restored to its former glory over a 16-year span starting in 2000, was parked in a new hangar built exclusively for it, for the first time on Tuesday.

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Amy Renee Leiker has been reporting for The Wichita Eagle since 2010. She covers crime, courts and breaking news and updates the newspaper’s online databases. You can reach her at 316-268-6644. She’s an avid reader and mom of three in her non-work time.
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