The World’s second airworthy B-29 Superfortress was ceremoniously rolled out of its restoration hangar and “redelivered” 71 years to the day after its original hand-over to the Army Air Forces—once again in Wichita, Kan., on March 23. “Many of us, especially our dedicated volunteers, have waited a very long time to see this day,” Jeff Turner, chairman of Doc’s Friends, which is undertaking and funding the project, said at the ceremony. “It means Doc is that much closer to being ready to fly again,” he added in a release. Volunteers have spent 15 years since the B-29 was salvaged from a target range in the Mojave Desert preparing Doc to fly again. “Doc represents the sacrifices of ‘the greatest generation,’ to whom all Americans owe their freedom,” said Col. James Dermer, vice commander of the 22nd Air Refueling Wing at neighboring McConnell AFB, Kan. Volunteers plan to taxi-test Doc later this month or next, and hope to fly the aircraft to this summer’s Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in in Oshkosh, Wis. If all goes well, crowds will have the chance to see Doc fly formation with Fifi—the only other airworthy B-29 in the world—at Oshkosh. (Read about Doc‘s restoration in Wingman Magazine.)
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.