New Center For B-29 Superfortress Doc To Host Open House
Doc, the restored B-29 Superfortress, will host an open house at its new home this month.
The B-29 Doc Hangar and Education Center will open to the public on Jan. 26. It is located at 1790 S. Airport Road, just north of Eisenhower National Airport.
Construction on the $6.5 million dollar facility began in the fall of 2017. The hangar was completed last November and work on the education center was finished this month.
Doc spokesman Josh Wells said visitors “will be able to get up close and personal with Doc and also our new facility.”
He said the center includes artifacts, stories about the history of the plane and its lengthy restoration. Wells said the center is meant to both honor veterans of World War II and educate future generations about the sacrifices they made.
“That's our mission … to make sure that the nation's history and that our war heroes are not forgotten, and that we can learn from our past history so we don't go down that path again.”
Doc was built in 1945 in Wichita by Boeing. A lengthy restoration effort began in 2000 and the plane flew again in 2016. It is one of two airworthy B-29s in the country.
Spirit AeroSystems, Boeing, the city of Wichita and Sedgwick County were among those contributing to the hangar project. Wells said Doc’s Friends – the nonprofit that owns the plane – is still raising money to meet its fundraising goals. It wants to raise enough money to develop a hands-on STEM curriculum and education program at the center.
Doc will start offering rides again this spring.
“Doc will continue to serve as an ambassador and a piece of history to honor those who … designed, built and flew these airplanes during World War II,” Wells said, “and then really all men and women who served to protect our freedom and home abroad.”
Doors will open on Jan. 26 at 9 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony at 10 a.m. The open house lasts until 6 p.m. and includes tours of Doc’s cockpit. Admission is $10 per person or $20 for families.
For more information, go to www.b29doc.com.
Tom Shine is director of news and public affairs at KMUW. Follow him on Twitter @thomaspshine