TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – A B-29 Superfortress called ‘Doc’ landed at Hoosier Aviation on Wednesday.
This historic plane is only one of two B-29s that are still capable of flying today.
“The military needed a long range, high altitude bomber. They needed something that could deliver a lot of firepower to the frontline, so they developed the Superfortress,” says Josh Wells, General Manager of Doc’s Friends Inc.
The plane was developed shortly before WWII. With the plane being decades old, routine maintenance is essential for it to continue to fly.
“For every flight hour we fly, there’s about an hours worth of maintenance that goes into this. There’s plenty of caring and loving that goes into the airplane,” says Wells.
Ventilation was not a priority for the B-29. When grounded, temperatures would skyrocket, whereas temperatures would plummet thousands of feet in the air.
Each of these factors made teamwork a challenge.
The Bombardier had to find the target. The flight engineer made sure that all the systems stayed running. The gunners were often looking for enemy aircraft to shoot them down so there was a lot of teamwork required,” says Franklin Berry, crew member of Doc.
The plane gets its unique name from the film Snow White. Each plane in the ‘Snow White Squadron’ received the name a dwarf.
Doc did not see live combat. The plane was stationed in New York and was used for radar calibration.
Over 4,000 B-29s were manufactured for WWII.