The Western Sky Aviation Museum is Super Fly and Meaningful
The Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum has some real beauties this weekend including a B-29 named Doc and a C-47 named That’s All...Brother.
The museum has plenty of other planes, notably the T-38 Talon, F5, Cessna T-37 Tweet and many more planes with rich history. However, the B-29 and C-47 are only here for the weekend for the History Restored Tour presented by the Commemorative Airforce.
It’s a super cool sight and both planes are available for ground and cockpit tours when they aren’t doing flight rides.
Unfortunately, the C-47 was not able to make it on Friday due to some technical difficulties but is expected to arrive tomorrow.
The B-29 Doc has a fascinating history, and I was told by the head pilot Mark Novak just how intricate that history is.
“There were 3,960 B-29s built during World War II and after,” Novak said. “Doc was one of the ones built in Wichita. They build them at four different bases, Wichita having the most constructible (constructed), over 1600 built... And then Doc didn't go to overseas and did not go on to fight in the war.”
According to Novak, roughly 25% of the B-29s were modified for missions outside of bombing including airborne radar missions (Doc was modified for this), rescue missions, and reconnaissance missions.
Doc was used up and down the East Coast to calibrate radars and ground system radars from 1945 to the mid 1950s.
Afterward, the U.S. Airforce gave the Navy 250 B-29s to use in China Lake (a Navy test range) in the Mojave Desert as target practice, Novak said.
A gentleman at the test site set 10 B-29s aside to keep which resulted in the some of the remaining B-29s around today. There are about 20 left Novak said. Most are in museums.
“This plane was only designed 40 years after the Wright brothers flew,” Novak said. “So, the Wright Brothers first flight was 120 feet. Our wingspan is 140 feet. The first flight, 40 years before this plane flew—we didn't have an airplane that could fly from one end of the plane to the other. If you look at it that way, that is an amazing accomplishment. So, we went from the Wright Brothers flying their plane made out of balsa wood and wires, to a plane that can fly over 3000 miles carrying 20,000 pounds of bombs.”
Another cool aspect of the B-29 is that it was the first pressurized aircraft meaning you could be up 30,000 feet and not need an oxygen mask or a giant sheepskin jacket.
So, head out to the Western Sky Aviation Warbird Museum this weekend for a chance to catch a glimpse of some of the coolest planes you’ll ever see and a history lesson you'll never forget.