FAA Deems B-29 Doc Airworthy, First Flight Imminent

Doc emerging from the hangar. (photo by Brett Schauf VLG LLC)
Doc emerging from the hangar. (photo by Brett Schauf VLG LLC)
Doc emerging from the hangar. (photo by Brett Schauf VLG LLC)

As some of our readers will know by now, the Federal Aviation Administration awarded the Boeing B-29 Suprfortrss known as ‘Doc’ her Airworthiness Certificate today. Doc’s Friends is now planning the first flight for the mighty WWII bomber as I type! It is an auspicious day, especially as ‘Doc’ first arrived in Wichita, Kansas to begin her transformation from a dusty forgotten relic into a living, breathing flying machine almost sixteen years ago to the day; on May 23rd, 2000.

Doc’s Friends press release continues, “It’s been nearly 60 years since Doc has flown and 16 years since this majestic warbird arrived in Wichita to be restored, and now we are another major milestone closer to a return to flight,” said Jim Murphy, Doc’s Friends Restoration Program Manager. “Today, we celebrate this major milestone and honor the hundreds of thousands of hours of volunteer work that has gone into restoring our B-29. From the team who saved Doc from rusting away in the Mojave Desert in California, to the dedicated volunteers who have been working tirelessly on the restoration project since Doc was brought to Wichita 16 years ago, today is great day.”

A screen shot from Doc's Friends latest video showing the Superfortress during her first taxi trials on May 11th. 2016.
A screen shot from Doc’s Friends latest video showing the Superfortress during her first taxi trials on May 11th. 2016.

With the FAA airworthiness certificate in hand, the restoration team will soon submit an official request to the U.S. Air Force and Pentagon to be granted access to use the non-joint-use runway at McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita, Kan., for test flight operations. Upon approval, the restoration crew can use the runway for high-speed taxi tests and other ground testing needed prior to first flight.“The dream of getting Doc back into the air to serve as a flying memorial and museum to honor the men and women who served our nation in these airplanes, and those who built and maintained the fleet, just took a major step toward reality,” said Jeff Turner, Doc’s Friends Chairman. “It’s because of Tony Mazzolini and hundreds of volunteers who have touched Doc along the way that we have reached this milestone. On behalf of the entire Doc’s Friends board, I thank you for all you have done.”

As for the scheduling of ground testing and eventually first flight, information will be provide online at www.b-29doc.com and via releases delivered to the media. Those who are interested are encouraged to sign up to receive instant updates from the restoration crew as they are released by visiting www.b-29doc.com/signup.

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11 Comments

  1. Congratulations, folks! A wonderful plane; did some great jobs. Will look forward to seeing “her” in Arizona,.

  2. Tony; Congratulations, you have done such a wonderful thing in restoring such a beautiful airplane for the the public to see. you and others really put a lot of hard work in accomplishing the beauty of such a great bird.
    Congratulations and I will see you when you fly that beautiful big bird up to the Cleveland area. Let me when.
    From a kid from the Woodland Projects, hope to see you and Doc soon.

    John Kalnasy

  3. Hi WArbirds, DOc never looked that great when I flew on her from 1952 til 1955. I am proud to say that it was my initiative that came up with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to be painted on our squadrons planes. I flew 2400hours on Doc and the rest of the dwarfs . It was also my pleasure to meet and become friends with Tony Mazzolini who made this all possible.. I hope to ride as scanner again on one of her air show flights.. Wishing you all Blue. Skies. Former S/agt Bob Deutsch

  4. Hi Fellow Warbirds, Great news about “DOC”. I named her and the rest of our squadrons B-29’s , Snow White, the 7 Dwarfs and the Wicked Witch. A fellow airman in the squadron painted them and the rest is history. I flew 2400 hours on them all between 1952 and 1955. In 1952, I was the Editor of the squadron Book which thanks to Tony Massolini and Boeing will follow “DOC” around forever. Tony, as you know, we will be friends, always.
    Your comrade in blue skies and whatever. Formally, S/Sgt Bob Deutsch

  5. Tony,
    It is great delight to see the progress you have made to get this magnificent warbird back in the air. I well remember day one when you located the relic and started making arrangements to get it out of the desert. That was a long time ago!
    My hat is off to you for making the impossible happen.
    Ollie Crawford
    Founder and Chairman Emeritus
    San Antonio Airpower Heritage Foundation

  6. Congratulations from all the team at The People’s Mosquito Ltd!

    The restoration of ‘Doc’ is a magnificent achievement.

    Your example is truly an inspiration, and will make us want to get RL249 into the as as soon as we can.

    Ross Sharp
    Director, Engineering & Airframe Compliance
    The People’s Mosquito Ltd

  7. Félicitations,
    pour tout ce travail, à tous ces bénévoles qui ont œuvré pour atteindre ce résultat,
    garder le longtemps pour l’histoire de nos parents et le futur des enfants
    Salutations d’ un mécanicien bénévole français

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