The B-29 Doc Story

Doc is a B-29 Superfortress and one of 1,644 manufactured in Wichita during World War II. Since 1987 when Tony Mazzolini found Doc on sitting and rotting away in the Mojave Desert, plans have been in the works to restore the historic warbird to flying status to serve as a flying museum.

Over the past 15+ years, hundreds of volunteers have worked on Doc and the restoration project. Skilled workers and retirees from Wichita’s aviation industry, veterans, active duty military and others wanting to honor those who served, have spent tens of thousands of hours on Doc’s restoration. Countless individuals and organizations also made financial and in-kind contributions to keep the project going. Below is a brief timeline of Doc’s military service, the restoration effort and Doc’s current mission.

Discover Doc’s Journey Below

Watch Doc come to life, from rescue to first flight!

  • 1945
    Rosie Riveter building B-29

    1945 - Doc Rolls Off Assembly Line

    In March of 1945, B-29 No. 44-69972 (now known as Doc) was delivered to the U.S. Army.  About five months later another B-29 was used to drop two atomic bombs on Japan, eventually leading to Japan’s surrender and the end of World War II.

  • 1951
    B-29 Doc in desert

    1951 - Doc Serves in Multiple Non-Combat Roles

    In July of 1951, Doc was assigned to radar calibration duty, along with a few other B-29s. The squadron was known as the Seven Dwarfs. In May of 1955, Doc was assigned to target-towing duty and in March a year later, Doc and the rest of its squadron became targets for bomb training at China Lake, California.

  • 1987
    Doc B-29 found in desert

    1987 - Found by Tony Mazzolini

    For 42 years, Doc sat in the Mojave Desert serving as a target for the U.S. Navy. In 1987, Tony Mazzolini found Doc and began plans to remove and eventually restore the B-29 warbird to flying status. It would take another 12 years before Mazzolini and his team would be able to take possession of the airplane from the U.S. government.

  • 1998
    Doc at China Lake

    1998 - Restoration Plans Begin

    After more than a decade of contacting multiple government agencies and working with volunteers in the China Lake area, Tony took possession of the once target practice plane. A few months later in April of 1998, Tony and his team of volunteers towed Doc out of its 42 year resting place on the floor of the Mojave Desert.

  • 2000
    Doc arrives in Wichita

    2000 - Doc Returns to Wichita

    After arranging for an inspection by an expert on aging Boeing aircraft, Mazzolini realized it would take extensive resources and specific expertise to return the Doc to flying condition. So the B-29 returned to Wichita in sections on flatbed trailers in May of 2000. Volunteers began the process of reassembling the B-29 and drew up plans to restore the historic warbird which was now sitting a few hundred feet from where it first rolled off the Boeing-Wichita assembly line some 50+ years before. Dedicated volunteers spent countless hours in the early stages of restoring the historic plane.

  • 2013
    B-29 Doc at sunset

    2013 - Doc’s Friends Makes Restoration Commitment

    In February of 2013, a group of Wichita aviation enthusiasts & business leaders led by retired Spirit AeroSystems CEO Jeff Turner formed Doc’s Friends, a 501c3 non-profit board to manage the restoration project and help see it through to completion.

  • 2017
    inaugural air show tour

    2017 - Inaugural Air Show Tour Season Begins

    Doc attends eight air shows in four states, including the 2017 EAA AirVenture and the 70th Anniversary of Joint Base Andrews in Washington, D.C., attracting record crowds along the way.

  • 2018
    hangar construction

    2018 - Hangar Construction Begins

    Major construction begins on the B-29 Doc Hangar and Education Center

  • 2018

    2018 - Construction on Doc’s Home is Completed

    B-29 Doc was rolled into his new home in November 2018 as major construction on the hangar was completed.

  • 2019

    2019 - B-29 Doc Hangar, Education & Visitors Center Opens to the Public

    In January of 2019, the 42,000 sq.ft. home is opened to the public and officially dedicated.

  • 2019
    April through October  

    2019 - 2019 B-29 Doc History Restored Tour Season

    The 2019 tour season for B-29 Doc included stops in 21 cities across 10 states. Throughout the April through October season, the Doc flight crew and volunteer team executed more than 70 B-29 Doc Flight Experiences and logged more than 115 flight hours in 2019.

  • 2020
    April through October  

    2020 - 2020 B-29 Doc History Restored Tour

    In a year interrupted by COVID-19, the B-29 Doc Hangar, Education and Visitors Center celebrated its second year of being open to the public in Wichita, KS. The highlight of the 2020 tour season was a trip to Washington, D.C., to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II. Although the weather prevented the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover from happening, the B-29 Doc crew was humbled to be part of the historic events to honor our nation’s World War II veterans. Click here to watch a video highlight of Doc’s mission in Washington, D.C.

  • 2021

    2021 - 2021 B-29 Doc History Restored Tour

    The 2021 tour season for B-29 Doc included stops in 17 cities across 12 states, including a return trip to China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station in California, where it had been more than 60 years since Doc last landed. Along the way, our team met thousands of people and made new friends across the country during the tour season. We were honored to share our love of history with those who took part in the B-29 Doc History Restored Tour in 2021. In Wichita, the B-29 Doc Hangar, Education and Visitors Center welcomed aviation and World War II history enthusiasts and visitors from across the United States and the world. We also hosted numerous events, including six high school proms and a dance recital.

  • Now
    Look in on B-29 Doc  

B-29 Doc is Social