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This Is One of Only Two Flyable B-29s- And They’ll BOTH Be At Oshkosh!

The Saga of the B-29 “Doc” and Her Restoration to Airworthiness.

The recently restored Boeing B-29 Superfortress “Doc” SN 44-69972 will join The Commemorative Air Force B-29 “Fifi” SN 44-62070 at the 65th Experimental Aviation Association AirVenture in Oshkosh. This will be the first time this momentous event has ever hosted two airworthy B-29s. “Doc” served briefly during World War II and was retained after the war ended for specialized missions such as radar calibration flights. These flights were flown along air defense identification zones (ADIZs) with high-precision in order to ensure American air defense radars were accurately reporting the altitude, course, and speed of contacts they acquired. “Doc” was one of a group of seven radar calibration-tasked B-29s named after the Dwarves from the Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

Official Air Force Photo

“Doc” towed aerial targets for a time during 1955. But during the 1950s the Air Force was modernizing. Jet bombers were her to stay. As a result, “Doc” was deemed expendable. She was flown to the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake in California during March of 1956 and, along with about 100 other veteran B-29s, was deposited on one of the complex’s many bombing and gunnery range for use as a target. There she sat for the next 42 years. But “Doc” would finally be rescued in 1998 and restored in a hangar once used to build B-29s, including “Doc”, in Wichita Kansas. Doc returned to flight on July 17th 2016. The video is a segment from CBS News about the restoration of “Doc.”

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Bill Walton

Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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