Text & Pictures: Chris Tonthat (an i2i Production) ©sbap 2021
 

Saturday, May 8th, I spent a full day at KEFD to capture 'Doc', one of only two airworthy Boeing B-29s in the world!

'Doc' is currently on a promotional tour around the US and she made a stop in Houston during the week of May 3rd. As a part of the tour, 'Doc' is available for paid rides and viewing of the beautifully restored aircraft. 'Doc' was certified by the FAA to fly again for the first time in July 2016, 60 years after her last flight with the USAF in 1956.

 

Delivered in March 1945, 'Doc' had a short non-combat service history in the USAF where she was named by one of her crews after the Disney character in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. After retirement, 'Doc' ended up in the Mojave Desert serving as a sitting duck for target practice by the US military.

'Doc' was rediscovered in 1987 and it took another eleven years before she was secured and rescued from the desert. 'Doc' was returned to her birth place in Wichita, Kansas in 2000 to begin the restoration effort. Today, after countless hours to restore her to airworthy condition, 'Doc' shines through the sky with her polished aluminum-clad skin. If you are like me, easily distracted or attracted by shiny objects, you would not want to miss a chance to see 'Doc' on the ground or in the air. Hopefully you will add this experience to your bucket list and perhaps take a ride in this beautiful airplane one day. Call me and I will be there to take pictures for you!

  
'Doc' taking off a little after 09:00 for the first flight of the day reflecting the rising sun with her shiny aluminum-clad finish
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Returning to KEFD thirty minutes after a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a small group of enthusiasts
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Almost a perfect left-hand profile of the Superfortress on final approach toward Runway 22
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
The second flight of the day took off at 11:00 without a hitch
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Another almost-perfect profile of 'Doc' initiating a left hand bank to continue with the climb at about 600 feet AGL
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Gracefully climbing and heading toward Galveston Bay
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Meeting 'Doc' upclose after the first two flights of the day
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Just in case someone doesn't know the model and name of this iconic aircraft
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
If only each ding and dent could tell a story...
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
A look at the best seat in the house
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
A peek of 'Doc' from the #2 engine
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
A look at the tail gunner position
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
S/N 44-69972 is shown but the actual vertical fin is from S/N 44-61975
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Port waist gunner position
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
#3 and #4 Wright R-3350-26WD/95W hybrid engines
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
A nose landing gear door fitting with the original Boeing part number
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Getting 'Doc' ready for a pushback to start the third flight of the day at 17:30
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
The massive power from the four Wright engines easily move Doc along to the taxiway
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Returning from the successful third flight and racing for another launch to beat the setting sun
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
The final launch at 19:00 reflects the runway below along the shiny belly
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
A slow and shallow climb to 1700 feet for the last joyride of the day
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
Final turn to line up on Runway 17R
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
'Doc' on final approach to KEFD during the golden hour to close out Saturday, May 8th
(Chris Tonthat© * an i2i Production)
'Doc' is the Superfortress
(DR© * Via 'Doc' Friends)
Somehow 'Doc' survived as a target in the practice range
(DR© * Via
Chris Tonthat)
May 'Doc' never get left behind in the desert again!
(DR© * Via 'Doc' Friends)
   
 
Are you interested in a visit where 'Doc' is based? You want to know more about the history of 'Doc'? Or you want to plan a ride with 'Doc'?
Just click on the site page here above

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