B-29: Restore And Remember

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There are too many young pups out there who donít really realize, let alone appreciate, the extent of what has been sacrificed in so many conflicts around the globe so that the rest of us can live and prosper in the freedom we enjoy today. Sometimes the best way to convey that understanding is to rebuild a piece of history. That's what Boeing is doing with its B-29 Restoration Project. With an army of volunteers, the company has embarked on an ambitious project to return "Doc," the last B-29 Superfortress considered to be restorable to flying status, to the skies. "The B-29 Restoration Project currently has about 900 volunteers on the books. About 200 of that 900 are 'regular' contributors to the restoration," Dick Ziegler, restoration project director, told AVweb. "We're targeting December of 2003 to launch the airplane. Any number of variables could have an effect on our ability to realize that goal, but December 2003 is our target."

It's not merely a walk down memory lane for retired military pilots. It's an effort to remember what got us to the present, and most important, an effort to never take the freedom we enjoy for granted. "The Boeing Company is assisting the U.S. Aviation Museum in this restoration effort for a couple of different reasons," Ziegler said. "The airplane that we're restoring was built here in Wichita, Kansas. Some of the very same men and women who created it are still with us and are participating in the restoration. It's a wonderful piece of Kansas history and heritage."