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Doc (aircraft)

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Doc flying at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in 2019
Type Boeing B-29-70-BW Superfortress
Manufacturer Boeing
Manufactured 1944
Registration N69972
Serial 44-69972 United States Army Air Forces
Owners and operators United States Army Air Forces
United States Air Force
United States Aviation Museum
Doc's Friends, Inc.
In service 1945–1956
Status Airworthy

Doc is a Boeing B-29 Superfortress. It is one of two that are flying in the world, the other B-29 being FIFI. It is owned by Doc's Friends, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Wichita, Kansas, United States.

Doc attends various air shows and offers rides.[1]

Military career[edit]

The B-29 was built in 1944 as part of a production run of 1620 aircraft built by Boeing at Wichita, Kansas, and allocated the military Serial Number 44-69972.[2][3] It was delivered to the United States Army Air Forces in March 1945. The aircraft did not see combat and was converted to a radar calibration aircraft in 1951 and based at Griffiss Air Force Base, New York. While based at Griffiss, the squadron's members named their B-29s after characters in the Disney movie Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and 44-69972 became Doc.[4] In 1955, the aircraft, modified as a TB-29, was moved to Yuma County Airport in Arizona to be used as a target tug.[5] Retired from the United States Air Force in 1956, it was sent to the Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake for use as a ballistic missile target.[6]


Doc over McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas, on July 17, 2016

The airframe was acquired by the United States Aviation Museum of Cleveland, Ohio, for restoration to flight status. After extensive restoration work at the Boeing plant in Wichita, Kansas, where it was originally built, the aircraft was moved in March 2007 to the Kansas Aviation Museum. In February 2013, the aircraft was acquired by the non-profit organization "Doc's Friends". As of June 2014, all four overhauled engines and propellers had been reinstalled, a spokesperson for the group stating at that time that the aircraft would be airborne by the end the year.[citation needed] This timetable was not achieved, with the aircraft being towed out of the workshop for the first time on March 23, 2015.[7] A few months after the rollout, the first post-restoration flight was anticipated to take place by the end of the year.[8] At 8 a.m. on September 18, 2015, Doc successfully completed its first engine starts and testing of all four engines in Wichita.[9] On May 11, 2016, the restoration crew performed the first of many low-speed taxi tests as the final preparations for the post-restoration flight began. This marked the first time since 1956 that the B-29 moved under its own power. Doc traveled more than a half mile during the taxi test and the crew was able to successfully test the brakes and steering.[10][11] The aircraft received a certificate of airworthiness from the Federal Aviation Administration on May 20, 2016, allowing it to be flown.[12]

On July 17, 2016, the aircraft flew for the first time since 1956, piloted by members of FIFI's flight crews.[13][14] Take off was delayed due to issues with the forward bomb bay doors latching shut, and the flight was conducted with the undercarriage down.[15] The event was livestreamed on YouTube and the Doc's Friends website.[16][17][18]

The nose art for Doc

Doc participated in its first airshow since the restoration, the Defenders of Liberty Airshow, on May 6 and 7, 2017, at Barksdale Air Force Base near Shreveport, Louisiana.[19][20] Two months later, it participated in EAA AirVenture Oshkosh with the only other flying B-29, FIFI.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Take a Ride of a Lifetime". B-29 Doc. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  2. ^ John M., Andrade (1979). United States Aircraft Designations and Serials Since 1909. Leicester, England: Midland Counties Publications. p. 50. ISBN 0-904597-22-9.
  3. ^ "Airframe Dossier - Boeing TB-29 Superfortress, s/n 44-69972 USN, c/n 10814, c/r N69972". Aerial Visuals. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  4. ^ Siebert, Roger (12 July 2015). "Rome Art Flies High Again on Restored B-29 Superfortress". Rome Sentinel. Archived from the original on 15 July 2018. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  5. ^ "United States Martin B-29 "Super Fortress" Bomber Aircraft A.A.F. Serial Number 44-86XXX". QuestMasters Museum. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  6. ^ "B-29 Superfortress 'Doc' Makes First Flight". Flypast. Stamford, Lincolnshire, England: Key Publishing Limited. September 2016. p. 6. ISSN 0262-6950.
  7. ^ "B-29 "Doc" Rolls Out In Wichita". AVweb. 23 March 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  8. ^ Grady, Mary (24 August 2015). "B-29 'Doc' Inches Closer To Flight". AVweb. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  9. ^ Kauh, Elaine (18 September 2015). "First Engine Start Completed For B-29 "Doc"". AVweb. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  10. ^ Doc's Friends (11 May 2016). "VIDEO: Doc is on the move with low-speed taxi test". b-29doc.com. Archived from the original on 3 October 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  11. ^ Siebenmark, Jerry (12 May 2016). "B-29 Doc Moves Under own Power for First Time in 60 Years". Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  12. ^ Horwath, Bryan (20 May 2016). "World War II Bomber 'Doc' Cleared for Takeoff". Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  13. ^ Waller, Rachel (17 July 2016). "B-29 'Doc' Takes to the Skies from McConnell". McConnell Air Force Base. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  14. ^ Siebenmark, Jerry (17 July 2016). "It Wasn't Easy, But B-29 Doc Takes to Wichita Skies". Wichita Eagle. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  15. ^ Joiner, Stephen (October 2016). "Meet "Doc," One of Only Two Flying B-29s in the World". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 1 January 2024.
  16. ^ "B-29 Doc First flight". YouTube. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  17. ^ "B-29 "Doc" First Flight in 60 years! World's 2nd Superfortress Takeoff from Wichita, Kansas 7/17/16". youtube. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  18. ^ "Doc's Friends". Doc's Friends. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  19. ^ Bergqvist, Pia (9 May 2017). "B-29 Doc Makes Triumphant Entrance at Barksdale AFB". Flying. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  20. ^ Grady, Mary (9 May 2017). "B-29 'Doc' Makes Airshow Debut". AVweb. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  21. ^ Johnsen, Frederick A. (25 July 2017). "FIFI and Doc: The Gang's All Here". EAA. Retrieved 1 January 2024.

External links[edit]