The restoration team for the B-29 “Doc” received Pentagon approval this week to use McConnell Air Force Base in Wichita for completing ground tests and future flight tests. The authorization allows Doc’s flight crew to work with base officials for arranging high-speed taxi tests, followed by a first flight. Josh Wells, a spokesman for Doc’s Friends, told AVweb that the ability to base the Superfortress at McConnell speaks to the significance of the bomber’s wartime origins at the field, where workers – some volunteering on the project today – assembled B-29s. “It’s important to keep that heritage here,” he said.
Doc achieved twomilestonesin May, completing initial taxi tests then receiving an FAA airworthiness certificate.“We still have to run medium and high-speed taxi tests, as well as other ground, systems and instrument testing prior to first flight,” said Jim Murphy, Doc’s Friends restoration program manager. “Those tests will begin soon and we hope to have the plane in the air within the next few weeks. Our restoration volunteers have worked 16 years to get this far and we’re a few final steps away completing the first stage of Doc’s mission to honor those who built, flew and maintained the B-29 warbird.”