"Doc" receives a new lease on life

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posted on Mar, 13 2013 @ 10:18 PM
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The B-29 known as "Doc", believed to be the last B-29 capable of being restored to flyable condition, has received a new lease on life. A group of Wichita business owners have formed a group called "Doc's Friends" to continue the restoration on the aircraft.

Work will be performed by volunteers, in a space donated by Boeing, which originally built the aircraft at their Wichita Facility in 1944.

The aircraft was found in the Mojave desert in 1998, and was brought to Wichita in 2000, by Tony Mazzolini and a group of others. They performed much of the needed restoration work, before a lack of hangar space, and poor economic conditions brought work to a stop. The new group of sponsors, have said they will not stop work on the aircraft until it is restored, has a permanent home, and is flying as a museum.

This is great to see this project getting started again. The last attempt to restore a B-29 to flying condition resulted in it burning to the ground on the runway after a lot of work to get her flyable again. Someone left a can of kerosene on a heater in the fuselage (it was found in an ice field), and during taxi to the runway, it tipped over and caught fire.

There is a picture of Doc in the article, and she looks really good. The restoration appears to be mostly done on the external portions of the fuselage. Some flight controls are missing still, but she's looking good.


A vintage B-29 has been given a new lease on life thanks to a group of Wichita, Kansas, business leaders who are determined to see the airplane restored to flying condition. A new non-profit group, "Doc’s Friends," has taken ownership of the airplane and will support the effort to refurbish the vintage airplane. It is believed that Doc is the last known Boeing B-29 Superfortress that is restorable to flying condition.

Doc was originally built in Boeing Wichita’s Plant II facility in 1944. The plane was rescued from the California desert in 1998 and brought to Wichita in 2000 by aviation enthusiast Tony Mazzolini and a host of dedicated volunteers. Mazzolini and the volunteers made great strides restoring the aircraft before efforts stalled due to poor economic conditions and available hangar space.

Doc’s Friends, a group of Wichita aviation enthusiasts, was recently formed to help make Mazzolini’s dream of a flying museum come true. The board is chaired by Jeff Turner; other members include Charlie Chandler, Jack Pelton, Steve Clark, Lynn Nichols, Brad Gorsuch, Vic McMullen, and Ron Ryan. The airplane was recently moved from a storage hangar to active hangar space donated by Boeing, which will allow volunteers to resume work to restore the aircraft.

Source




posted on Mar, 14 2013 @ 08:37 AM
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It would be great to see 'Doc' fly into a local airshow.

I'll keep my fingers crossed.



posted on Mar, 14 2013 @ 08:48 AM
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Ah if only they could get it over to the UK they would be lovely. This is one plane I've always wanted to see fly. I've seen the b-2, b1-b, b52, f-111s, f-117s, b-17 and a few odd old bombers from the RAF for example the Lancaster bomber and the light mosquito bomber of the RAF.

But a super fortress I have never seen I would love to do so though. Also always wanted to see f14 Tomcat but never got the chance


Oh and I missed the chance to see an SR71 .. All because I was asleep lol

edit on 14-3-2013 by ThePeaceMaker because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 14 2013 @ 08:51 AM
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reply to post by ThePeaceMaker
 


I got to get up close and personal to an SR-71 when I was about 8. He had a problem with his navigation system coming into the east coast, so we had to send a tanker up to guide him in. He sat on base in a hangar for a few days while they flew a team in and fixed him. My father arranged for us to be able to get right up under it and walk around it.

But I agree, I'd love to see a B-29 flying around.



posted on Mar, 14 2013 @ 08:59 AM
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reply to post by ThePeaceMaker
 

My favorite sighting ever was an SR-71 coming in to land at Edwards AFB in 1983.

I wish that I could have watched one take off.



posted on Mar, 14 2013 @ 09:00 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Ha you lucky so and so .. When the SR 71 appeared in the UK at RAF Fairford one year I must of been about 4 or 5 I was too busy having a nap in my buggy lol. Although I was kind of rewarded a few years later when I saw two MIG 29s crash at RAF Fairford both pilots ejected safely I must add. Although at RAF Mildenhall I was able to reach out and touch the tip of the wing of a f-117, the armed guards on duty missed that :p

Anyways yes I'd love to see the b-29 it must sound fantastic with those four engines goin



posted on Mar, 14 2013 @ 09:25 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


The aircraft fire you are talking about happened in the frozen wastes of Greenland. Not on some runway. The Kee Bird was salvaged on the ice by Darryl Greenamyer, an aviation legend. The story about it is heartbreaking.




posted on Mar, 14 2013 @ 09:29 AM
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When I was about twelve years old and living on Okinawa, the SR71's used to fly missions out of Kadena Air Base. One time one of them had to make an emergency landing at Naha Air Base where my little league team was practicing at the time. The whole base was shut down and nobody was allowed to come or go until the repairs were made to the aircraft. When it took off, as soon as it cleared the runway it went straight up like a rocket in a thunderous roar. One of the most awesome things I have ever seen!



posted on Mar, 14 2013 @ 09:34 AM
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reply to post by Zaphod58
 


Don't forget that FiFi is still out there flying around. FiFi I have seen FiFi fly over Mesa, Arizona on several occasions and it was awesome!



posted on Mar, 14 2013 @ 11:22 AM
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reply to post by groingrinder
 


Yes, it was the frozen wastes, but they had prepared a runway for it to take off, and it was heading for that when it happened.



posted on Mar, 14 2013 @ 11:24 AM
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reply to post by groingrinder
 


Doc will be the last besides Fifi. All the others are too badly damaged, or have decayed beyond the point they can be salvaged.





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