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Eyes to the sky: B-29 Doc Hangar to host Warbird Weekend

Connor Madison
The B-25 Berlin Express, provided by the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Nine historic and vintage aircraft will be on display at the B-29 Doc Hangar starting Wednesday.

Several vintage and historic aircraft will dominate Wichita skies this week in celebration of the second annual Wichita Warbird Weekend.

The event is being held at the B-29 Doc Hangar, Education and Visitors Center at 1788 S. Airport Road near Eisenhower National Airport.

Beginning Wednesday, the five-day event will feature nine World War II-era planes, four of which will offer ride-along opportunities.

Sean Elliott, crew member of the B-25 Berlin Express, said he is excited to give visitors a unique experience to come face-to-face with the historic machines.

"We'll be there operating shoulder-to-shoulder with B-29 Doc," Elliott said. "It's going to be a great weekend."

Elliott also noted that the Berlin Express is the last B-25 Mitchell bomber in existence that allows passengers to move between the bombardier seat at the nose of the plane to the tailgunner seat while in-flight.

"It brings you that next level of one, understanding; two, respect, and three, appreciation for what the Greatest Generation did in these machines of war," said Elliott, who also is vice president of advocacy and safety for the Experimental Aircraft Association.

The B-25 Berlin Express rolled off the assembly floor in Inglewood, California, in 1943 and was fully restored to flying order in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in 2019. Oshkosh is home to the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Hugo Phan
KMUW/File photo
B-29 Doc prepares for takeoff in 2016.

Another warbird, Doc, the iconic B-29 Superfortress, is also available to view and ride at the event. Doc was originally constructed in Wichita in 1945 and made its first flight post-restoration in 2016.

Other aircraft on display include a Stearman PT-13; a Cessna UC-78 Bobcat; a Cessna L-19; North American Aviation T-6 Texan; Beech Staggerwing; a Fairchild PT-26, and Taylorcraft L-2.

Tours of the B-29 Doc Hangar, Education and Visitors Center and Kansas Women in Aviation Hall of Fame and Exhibit will be offered at the event.

Saturday brings a live music performance and food trucks to the hangar.

Admission to the event is $10 per person or $20 per family and can be bought at the door.

The Berlin Express is offering rides to passengers beginning Thursday. Tickets are $400 per seat for a 45-minute flight and are available at flytheb25.org.

More information about the event can be found at b29doc.com.

Hours for the event

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

8 a.m. to 10 p.m. (concert begins at 7 p.m.)

10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Andrew Lopez is the Korva Coleman Diversity in Journalism Intern at KMUW this summer. He is currently a student at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism and is on track to earn a Masters of Journalism degree next year.