The first flight of the restored B-29 “Doc” in July was a huge achievement for the hundreds of volunteers who worked on the project, but the second flight, which took place last week, is also special — it’s proof that the first flight, despite a glitch in the fuel system that cut it short, was just the start, and there’s a lot more to come. The first flight lasted only 15 minutes, but this one stretched 51 minutes, giving the crew time to continue testing the airplane’s systems. “This flight was successful and it gave us another opportunity to put some time on the airplane as we continue to make our way through the flight-test campaign and meeting FAA requirements,” said Jim Murphy, project manager for Doc’s Friends. “The airplane’s engines and control surfaces performed as expected.”
“Each time we fly, we learn more about this historic warbird,” Murphy said. “We found a few minor issues that we will need to continue to fine-tune and maintain as we work through the flight-test schedule. Today we found a small issue on a landing-gear motor, but it was nothing major. Finding these types of fine-tuning necessities is what the flight-test campaign is all about. The flight-test crew as well as our volunteer restoration and maintenance crews have done an amazing job on this project. Thanks to this team, we are getting closer to being able to fly Doc farther, and eventually, make Doc’s mission of being a flying museum to honor our nation’s heroes a reality.” The B-29 took off from McConnell Air Force Base, in Wichita, Kansas. A third flight is expected later this month.