“Doc,” the B-29 that has been lovingly restored by hundreds of volunteers over many years in Wichita, was taken outside this fall in hopes of a return to flight — but now winter is setting in, putting those flying dreams on hold, and there is no space available in the local hangars to bring the airplane indoors. Doc’s Friends, the volunteer group working to restore the airplane, says the engines can’t be run when the temperature goes below 50 degrees. They are worried about leaving the airplane outside and vulnerable to snow, rain, freezing rain, ice and hail, but so far they have no other option.
Jim Murphy, of Doc’s Friends, says volunteers are continuing to work the problem. “We have no place that we can put the airplane inside here,” said Murphy. “Right now we’re at the mercy of the elements.” It might be possible to erect some kind of temporary structure to protect the airplane, he said. Murphy also assured donors who responded to the group’s recent Kickstarter campaign to support flight testing: “That money is protected and will be used for exactly what you wanted it to be used for,” he said.