Historic B-29 bomber visits Cedar Rapids

A group of well over 1,000 Rockwell Collins employees and family members braved the heat and rain to get a glimpse of Doc, a historic B-29 Superfortress bomber that made a stop at the Clayton M. Jones Aviation Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Doc’s Friends, a group out of Wichita, Kansas, restored the aircraft with the help of part sourcing through Intertrade, a Rockwell Collins company that maintains one of the largest used equipment inventories in the industry.

Jerry Holt, now retired from Intertrade, was part of the effort to assist Doc’s Friends with the restoration. Holt reflected on how the team took pride in making their part of the project go smoothly.

“We worked hard to find all of the parts and instruments they requested,” said Holt. “A few were a real struggle because they were older, and some of those parts are getting pretty hard to find.”

Among the refurbished parts were various aircraft instruments and radios. Many of those parts required additional work to be airworthy, so Rockwell Collins’ Wichita Service Center spent a few months making necessary repairs to make them usable on the B-29.

Doc, now flying and beginning a tour of the country, is one of only two B-29 aircraft flying today. Rockwell Collins has also played a role in the other B-29, FiFi, which took to the skies years ago.

“We’ve developed somewhat of a reputation for helping older aircraft like FiFi and Doc. We always felt it was important to help any way we could to keep these historic planes flying,” explained Holt.

The aircraft is at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, this week where several bombers will be featured. Both Doc and FiFi will take to the skies, marking the first time two B-29 aircraft have flown together in decades.

Photos from the visit:

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Story posted: July 25, 2017

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