Fifty-six years after it rolled out of the Boeing factory in Wichita, Kan., "Doc" arrived home badly needing "medical attention."
The battered forward fuselage section, wings, engines and other major part of the Superfortress, one of the last restorable B-29s known to exist, is home for restoration.
2000, the airplane arrived on flatbed semitrailers and rolled through
Boeing Wichita's Gate 5, completing one journey, and poised to begin another.
Hundreds of employees and retirees turned out to greet the piece of history.
Many of them have already signed on to help restore it - a massive volunteer effort to put the airplane back in flying form.
The Boeing volunteers are a major key element in the success of the restoration. Without their expertise, it would take too long, be too expensive and probably not get done in our lifetimes.
Doc Volunteer Update August 5, 2000
Asbestos was found on wiring insulation, so the fuselage was closed. They hope to have this cleaned up in about three weeks. They are still inventorying parts and trying to identify them. The parts arrived in large boxes--as they were taken off Doc before the plane was sent to Boeing.
They are removing some panels from the vertical stabilizer/fin to determine the internal damage from the target practice. This week they will probably look at the outboard wing to determine some of the damage.
Doc Volunteer Update August 19, 2000
The team is still
accessing damage to the structure and mapping the wiring, hydraulics,
controls, etc. There was a lot of activity on the fin accessing damage
and on the wire mapping.
The asbestos team will begin removing the wires on Monday and is scheduled
to have it done in three weeks.
Doc Volunteer Update August 21, 2000
Asbestos removal is on hold for the present - not enough trained volunteers. Engine removal is progressing and waiting on shipping fixtures.
We are re-skinning the flaps and one of the bomb bay doors as well as working on the tail. Flight control surfaces are also being worked on and soon will be recovered. We are in need of crew seats and other parts.
Another of Hap's great photos - this one of Doc's rear fuselage