Following a successful 30-day Kickstarter campaign, “Doc,” the historic warbird soon to become the world’s second operational Boeing B-29 Superfortress, has secured the additional funding the restoration team needs to support the WWII-era bomber’s flight-testing phase. Doc’s Friends, the aircraft’s non-profit support group, concluded their campaign with 1,007 backers pledging a total of US$159,151, significantly exceeding their original goal of US$137,500. The Kickstarter effort was Doc’s Friends first attempt at crowd-funding for the B-29.
“This was a leap of faith for us. We knew Doc had a lot of friends, but now we know Doc has family around the world,” said Tom Bertels, Doc’s Friends board member. The group met their goal with one week to spare, following a sudden surge in pledges as time grew short. In fact the project received more than US$65,000 over just two days following the announcement by an anonymous donor willing to match donations, up to $10,000.
Doc’s Friends reported a high number of direct donations as well, outside of the Kickstarter process so the total raised will be well in excess of the published numbers from Kickstarter. Additional funds will cover the costly flight-test program and go toward Doc’s operational requirements. “It’s truly humbling. The outpouring of interest and goodwill from so many people inspires us to get Doc back in the air, and that’s exactly what we’re going to do,” said Jeff Turner, retired Spirit Aerosystems CEO and Doc’s Friends chairman.