Friday, July 8, 2016

First Flight Scheduled for B-29 "Doc"

I'm one of "Doc's Friends" in that I've given them what support I can comfortably afford.

WELL.....Doc is scheduled to take to the air next Sunday, July 17th!

Here's the press release I just received:

First Flight Scheduled for B-29 Doc
WICHITA, Kan., July 8, 2016 – Doc’s Friends, the group managing the restoration of the B-29 known as Doc, announced today the historic B-29 will make its return to flight Sunday, July 17. The restored Boeing B-29 Superfortress will take off from the non-joint-use runway at McConnell Air Force Base, adjacent to where the restoration team has spent the last 16 years restoring the warbird.
“Hundreds of volunteers have spent thousands of hours working to restore this national treasure,” said Jim Murphy, Doc’s Friends Restoration Program Manager. “After 16 years of hard work, sweat, tears and tireless attention to detail, we are ready fly.”
Doc’s flight crew expects first flight to be an early morning event on July 17 due to anticipated hot weather. First flight is also dependent upon weather conditions in Wichita and plans could change with little or no advanced notice.
Due to security restrictions at the active air force base, as well as security access at Doc’s home at Air Capital Flight Line, runway and ramp access will be limited.
The public, however, will have multiple locations from which they can view Doc’s first flight and landing. Specific details of those public watch areas and first flight timelines will be released soon.
The public is encouraged to subscribe online at to receive information regarding the public viewing locations as soon as the information is released. The information will be provided to the media for public disclosure via news releases.
About Doc’s Friends
Doc’s Friends is a 501c3 non-profit board managing the restoration of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress known as Doc. The group was formed in 2013 and is led by retired Spirit AeroSystems CEO Jeff Turner along with other Wichita business leaders; Charlie Chandler, Jack Pelton, Steve Clark, Lynn Nichols, Brad Gorsuch, Ron Ryan, Tim Buchanan, Jeff Peier, Esq., and Tom Bertels. Doc’s Friends is committed to returning this World War II warbird to the air to honor previous generations, educate current and future generations and connect the world to the rich heritage of aviation.

I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well. Be nice if Doc and Fifi can get together sometime soon....


  1. Great news. I was able to tour Fifi in Vero Beach in March, 2014. Great experience. Even if they wouldn't let me operate the radio. :)

  2. Terry....I just looked at your blog and you appear to be a railfan!

    Several of the guys I work with on the dIowa are bi-time railfans, and mosel railroaders.

    And one guy is an Engineer for BN&SF!

    1. Thanks for visiting. Hope you enjoyed it. I don't know a lot about trains and have an awful time identifying different locomotives but enjoy it. I should post more on the blog but I tend to post things I have seen or done. I keep telling myself to post more often. Chickenmom, does a Friday Night Steam post every week. Usually trains but not always.
      Speaking of BNSF I guess you have been following the recent tragic accident over at Angel's blog. They have given up trying to find the remains of the lady conductor.

    2. Yeah, that was quite a wreck.

      Years ago when I worked for McGraw-Edison, one of out huge customers (in dollar amount) was CONRAIL, and I used to go to the Enola freight classification yard to help install, check-out, and train the crews on a conversion we sold them.

      Their locos all run "under the wire" like a street car, and the overhead cable had around 20,000 Volts, 25Hz. The rectifiers in the locos were old thyratron tubes, and GE had stopped supporting them years earlier. We designed and produced a solid-state conversion for them so they could keep them in service longer, as the motors could be rebuilt indefinitely, and the structure of the engine just never "wore out".

      One of the things I was constantly reminded of was that this is a dangerous industry to work in. Derailments and other accidents happen all the time, and if the speed is high enough and you're pulling a lot of cars, it can be a genuine disaster.

  3. That's great news. From 1971-1975, when I was going to school in Albuquerque, there was a complete B-29 just sitting in the desert at the Sandia Atomic Energy Museum, on Kirtland AFB. When I left it was still sitting there in the sun.

    Some years ago, I saw a documentary on PBS about a B-29 that was crash landed up in the Arctic during the cold war. These guys went in there, jacked it up, and completely restored it. After many travails, they got the aircraft ready to fly out. They fired it up and were running the engines. Then some kind of electrical equipment they had left in the rear of the fuselage sparked and started a fire. Everybody got out, but the pristine B-29 burned.

  4. That was "Kee Bird".

    The fuel tank for the APU started leaking (it was a temporary lash up), and a fire broke out.

    The remains are still sitting on the ice.


Keep it civil, please....

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