FELIKS BANEL

Tour a rare Boeing B-29 bomber in Seattle this weekend

May 20, 2022, 11:36 AM | Updated: 11:44 am
A restored and airworthy Boeing B-29 bomber dating to World War II is open for cockpit tours this w...
A restored and airworthy Boeing B-29 bomber dating to World War II is open for cockpit tours this weekend at The Museum of Flight. (Feliks Banel/KIRO Newsradio)
(Feliks Banel/KIRO Newsradio)

The Museum of Flight at Boeing Field is playing host this weekend to one of the rarest aircraft in the world: an airworthy World War II Boeing B-29 bomber.

B-29s were an engineering and technological marvel designed by Boeing in Seattle, and then built at Boeing plants in Renton, Wash., and Wichita, Kansas (as well as by other manufacturers in Omaha, Nebraska and Atlanta, Georgia). While nearly 4,000 were built, only two remain airworthy, including “Doc,” which was rescued from the Mojave Desert and restored by a non-profit group based in Wichita.

With a pressurized cabin, B-29s were capable of high-altitude, long-distance flights and thus were used to drop the two American atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. They were also used earlier in 1945 in the controversial American firebombing of Tokyo. The ‘DNA’ of some of the technologies used in the B-29 informed the first generation of civilian jet transports and jet-powered military aircraft, including the Dash 80 prototype that launched Boeing into the jetliner business in the 1950s.

Tickets to fly aboard “Doc” on this visit are sold out, but the bomber will be open for cockpit tours on Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 4:30 p.m.

You can hear Feliks every Wednesday and Friday morning on Seattle’s Morning News, read more from him here, and subscribe to The Resident Historian Podcast here. If you have a story idea or a question about Northwest history, please email Feliks here.

Feliks Banel

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Tour a rare Boeing B-29 bomber in Seattle this weekend