Jan. 21, 2019 – The expertise of the Cosmosphere SpaceWorks team will be on display at the new B-29 Doc Hangar and Education Center in Wichita when the new facility opens to the public for the first time on Jan. 26. Doc’s Friends, the organization that owns and operates the B-29 known as ‘Doc’ will host an open house and dedication ceremony from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26.
A combination of working hanger for the aircraft and a hands-on educational facility, visitors to the B-29 Doc Hanger will have the opportunity to watch technicians maintain one of two operational B-29s in existence. Additionally, visitors will experience stories and artifacts related to WWII and the restoration of Doc, a process which was 16 years in the making and took more than 100 volunteers 450,000 hours to complete.
The Cosmosphere was contracted to help with the design and layout of the visitor’s and education center portion of the new facility, including historic exhibits, assembly of the artifact cases and creation of coinciding educational curriculum.
Josh Wells is a member of Doc’s Friends, the organization who oversees volunteer efforts and fundraising for the aircraft. Wells said that in planning the facility, the group realized the need for help to showcase the legacy of the B-29, and thought of the Cosmosphere.
“We knew we wanted this to be more than a ‘museum’, we wanted visitors to truly be engaged,” said Wells. “We wanted people to see and touch and learn about these heroes—both the war heroes and the heroes of this project, our volunteers—and we knew the Cosmosphere could take that vision and make it a reality.”
“It’s very humbling to give the volunteers, the war heroes and Doc a home and to be able to showcase this work, as only it could be done here in the ‘Air Capital of the World’,” Wells added.
For more information about Doc or the hanger opening, please contact Josh Wells at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the Cosmosphere’s involvement, please contact Jim Remar, CEO and President at email@example.com or by calling 620.665.9335.
Doc is a B-29 Superfortress and one of 1,644 manufactured in Wichita during World War II. Since 1987 when Tony Mazzolini found Doc sitting and rotting away in the Mojave Desert, plans have been in the works to restore the historic warbird to flying status to serve as a flying museum.
Over the past 15+ years, hundreds of volunteers have worked on Doc and the restoration project. Skilled workers and retirees from Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems, veterans, active duty military and others wanting to honor those who served, have spent tens of thousands of hours on Doc’s restoration. Countless individuals and organizations also made financial and in-kind contributions to keep the project going.
About Doc’s Friends
Doc’s Friends is a 501c3 nonprofit board managing the operation of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress known as Doc. The group was formed in 2013 and is led by retired Spirit AeroSystems CEO Jeff Turner along with other Wichita business and community leaders: Charlie Chandler, Jack Pelton, Steve Clark, Lynn Nichols, Brad Gorsuch, Ron Ryan, Tim Buchanan, Jeff Peier, Esq., Mark Paolucci, Tony Mazzolini, Jim Murphy, Sam Frey, Scott Flemming and Josh Wells.
About The Cosmosphere
The Cosmosphere International SciEd Center & Space Museum is located at 1100 North Plum in Hutchinson, KS. Its collection includes U.S. space artifacts second only to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, and the largest collection of Russian space artifacts outside of Moscow. This unique collection allows the Cosmosphere to tell the story of the Space Race better than any museum in the world while offering fully immersive education experiences that meet the Next Generation Science Standards and introduce students to the power of wondering—asking the critical questions that lead to discovery. SpaceWorks, a division of the Cosmosphere, is world renowned for high-fidelity restoration, replication, conservation and fabrication. Visit the Cosmosphere online at www.cosmo.org.