More exciting news from Wichita, Kansas today, as on May 11th, 2016 the B-29 Superfortress known as ‘Doc’ taxied using her own engines for the first time since 1956. The restoration team needed to check the performance of the B-29’s brakes and her turning ability, so what better way to demonstrate this than to maneuver the old bomber around on the ramp. Using just her outer engines to propel her, the crew slowly steered the aircraft on the ground, describing figure eights on the tarmac and traveling more than half a mile in the process.
They regularly applied braking power to slow or stop the aircraft, and Doc performed “better than expected” according to Doc’s Friend’s Restoration Program Manager Jim Murphy and Project Manager T.J. Norman. The team needs to run a couple more taxi tests, and after that she should be just about ready to fly once the FAA approves her airworthiness certificate. Doc’s Friends expects the B-29 will pass these hurdles very soon. Then it will be time to request the Pentagon’s permission to use the military runways at the co-located McConnell Air Force Base. WarbirdsNews will endeavor to bring progress updates as they arrive, and we wish to thank Doc’s Friends for the details in this article, and look forwards to their achieving a safe first flight for the Superfortress in the near future!