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.

n June 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.

C.C. Briscoe, one of the original workers who helped build Doc at Boeing

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.

Restoration efforts under way in Boeing Wichita's Experimental Flight Hangar.

Doc will undergo a complete "debugging" -- that is -- being sprayed inside and out to destroy any varmints that may have been in it during its stay in the desert. It will then be power washed and prepared for photomapping in preparation for the restoration process itself.

Doc is one of more than 1,600 B-29's made by Boeing Wichita employees and it the last known B-29 capable of being returned to airworthiness. When finished, Doc will be only the second, and possibly the last, flyable B-29 in existence. The work will be done in Boeing's Wichita experimental hangar and is expected to take at least 18 months to completion.

As of June 25, 2000 Boeing is in the process of organizing the volunteer effort. "Doc" is still being dismantled by a small band of volunteers for inspection, cleaning, inventory, etc.

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.

Boeing will hold an Open House on the 23rd of September. The public will be allowed to walk through the area where the B-29 work is being done.

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.

Doc Volunteer Update October, 2000

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.

Photo taken by Hap Halloran of Doc's engines (that's Hap in there)

Another of Hap's great photos - this one of Doc's rear fuselage