Elek Grunwald, Boeing Wichita sheet metal assembler, fastens the skin to the center wing structure of “Doc”, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress undergoing restoration in the Northwest Hangar. Wichita Development and Modification Center workers are helping volunteers in the effort to return the Wichita built airplane to flying condition.
TJ Norman, WDMC manager, said “Doc” will get an all new skin on the lower right wing.
“It’s really going to be shiny and bright,” he said. “The skin on the right side will be as good as a new airplane. Our workers are excited because they know they are helping in a once-in-a-lifetime deal for them.”
It was announced last month by Boeing Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) officials that they would provide structural and sheet metal assistance for the next several months to help get “Doc’s” wings restored as quickly as possible. Part of the work includes replacing a spar on the right-hand wing and putting all the parts together. Many of the mechanics are seasoned aircraft workers who have been involved in a variety of projects including refurbishing and rebuilding a variety of different aircraft from tankers to freighters.
Volunteers, including a number of retired Boeing employees who once worked on B-29s, continue to play a large role in the restoration effort. They appreciate the help of the IDS mechanics who, they say, are “good, experienced Boeing mechanics who are speeding up the restoration plans greatly.”