Destination Kansas: Take a ride in B-29 Superfortress ‘Doc’

Destination Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – From being shot at by the Navy in the desert as target practice, B-29 Superfortress Doc is now a target destination in Wichita.

It measures 141 feet which is 20 feet longer than the Wright Brother’s first flight. It even has a wider wingspan than a Boeing 737. This is a big plane.

“It is the first time I have ever seen it,” said Larry Anderson who is retired from the Air Force. “It is pretty interesting to see an old airplane this big.”

B-29 Superfortress Doc in its hangar in Wichita, Kansas, June 2020. (KSN Photo)

Doc is a national treasure.

“Doc is one of only two flying B-29 Superfortresses in the world that remain in flying condition,” said Josh Wells, Doc’s Friends, executive director and general manager.

And it’s Wichita’s to keep.

“It is Wichita,” said Dwayne Lake who is also retired from the Air Force

“If you want to talk about aviation, you have to talk about Wichita,” Anderson adds.

“We want to educate future generations about the greatest generation and about the story of this airplane and what it did,” said Wells.

Doc flew important missions. The B-29 Superfortress was birthed from Boeing and the demand to build a plane that could go the extra distance and drop bombs on the enemy. A B-29 was used to drop the two atomic bombs that effectively ended World War II. There were more than 1,600 built in Wichita.

Doc B-29_218500
(KSN Photo)

Now that Doc is back, you can take a full tour at the B-29 Doc Hangar, Education and Visitors Center, 1788 S. Airport Road in Wichita. You can visit on the dates the museum is open.

For an individual person, admission is $10. If you pay $15, you also get to go inside the cockpit and get a tour of the plane. For a family wanting to visit, group admission is $20 for up to five people per family, plus an additional $10 to get cockpit access.

But if you want to take things to another level and take a ride in Doc, you will have to spend anywhere between $600 to $1,500. $600 gets you a ride in the back of the plane in what is called the gunner seats which provide a great view of the plane. $1,200 will get you a navigator, cockpit, or pilot observer seat. If you spend $1,500, you can be the eyes in the seat where the person directing the bombs sat.

“We want people to come and get up close and personal and touch the airplane and learn about the history,” said Wells. “It’s about a 30-minute ride. We let you walk around the airplane in the compartments that you’re in and then we get back on the ground and we spend about 30 minutes or so letting you crawl through the airplane, through the tunnel, through the tubes and those types of things.”

It is a must see experience from the cockpit and the hangar.

“It really is an opportunity for people to experience what those young men did during World War II,” said Wells. “You get to sit in those seats of our nation’s heroes and think about the sights and the sounds and the smells and really take it in.”

To find a link to when the next ride in Doc will be or the days the museum is scheduled to be open, visit Doc’s website.

In the next video, click and drag your cursor to get different angles of Doc in flight. If you are using a smart phone or tablet, just move it around to see the other angles.

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