If you want to ride on Wichita’s restored Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Doc,” tickets for 2019’s first flights are available now for $600 to $1,500.
The B-29 Doc Flight Experience program kicks off this year’s flying season during two weekends this spring: April 13-14 and April 27-28.
The program lets members of the public take a 30-minute ride on the decommissioned WWII-era bomber for a fee, plus gives paying passengers an hour-long history lesson and crew briefing.
Tickets cost $600 a piece for gunner seats (there are six available per flight); $1,200 each for navigator or cockpit observer seats; and $1,500 each for bombardier seats.
Sale proceeds will pay for Doc’s operating expenses, including aircraft maintenance, insurance, hangar operations and the more than $3,000 cost of fuel per flight hour, said Josh Wells, executive director of B-29 Doc’s Friends, the nonprofit managing the bomber’s operations.
“The B-29 Doc Flight Experience provides a unique perspective into what it was like for our nation’s war heroes to fly in a B-29 Superfortress to protect freedom during one of our nation’s greatest challenges,” Wells said by email.
“Passengers will experience the sights and sounds of the B-29 that only a few have ever been able to experience. A ride on Doc will change your perspective on aviation and the heroes of World War II.”
Flights are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. on April 13, 14, 27 and 28. Additional dates will be announced in the future.
For more information or to book a flight, go to www.b29doc.com/rides.
Doc is one of 1,644 Boeing B-29s manufactured in Wichita during WWII and one of just two that can still fly. Discovered rotting in the Mojave Desert in 1987, Doc took volunteers around 450,000 hours over a 16-year time span to restore.
The public got its first look at the bomber’s new permanent home, a hangar and education center at Eisenhower Airport, during an open house last month. The facility expects to announce regular operating hours sometime early this year.