After catching up with Tony Mazzolini for an update a couple of weeks ago, yesterday we had the opportunity to talk with Scott Sarver.Scott is volunteer of ‘Doc’s Friends” ,the group of business leaders from Wichita, KS which founded the organization in early 2013 with a vision to see the historic Boeing B-29 Superfortress restored to flying condition.” Doc has all four engine nacelles installed, most of all the new cables have been installed or at least received and in the process of final installation. Final wiring is being completed and we have received our new fuel cells. We have all four new engines (Hybrid -23/-95’s) and have done a test fit of the number one engine to confirm proper fit and clearance. We have received our last two propellers from the rebuild shop and have them stored on new racks supplied by a sponsor.” Scott tells Warbirds News.
The team now in the process of locating and installing the backer boards for the various wing fuel cell locations (all 22 of them) and will be working on that for a while. It was decided to rebuild the cells because the original ones were deteriorated by the long years sitting in the desert heat.The backer boards are fiberboard pieces that fit between the fuel cells and the wing structure. They are used to prevent any chafing that may rub holes into the fuel cell. The backer boards are like a huge jigsaw puzzle as each of the boards are a separate part number with a very specific locations called out in the drawings.
“The outside of the airplane has never looked better! One of our volunteers is from the Air Force, he has been coming in donating his off hours to polish the skin for Doc, and it is looking beautiful. This is going to be one shiny bird!” Scott told us.
One of the next milestones is getting starters and generators rebuilt,a supplier was located and he should provide the team with the rebuilt starters and generators. In fact they are in the process of being shipped to Washington State for this process with the hope to have all of them back by early March. The team is looking for gun turrets (Doc’s guns were never installed since it was a part of a radar squadron) so if anyone has a good lead lets us know and we will make sure Doc’s Friends will be informed.
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