- Associated Press - Monday, May 23, 2016

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) - Volunteers have achieved another major milestone in their efforts to restore a World War II bomber.

The Wichita Eagle (https://bit.ly/1WI0Fox ) reports that the nonprofit group Doc’s Friends announced that the Federal Aviation Administration has given the B-29 Superfortress, known as “Doc,” an airworthiness certificate. The announcement came exactly 16 years after the bomber’s parts were transported to Wichita.

Several dozen Doc’s Friends members and other supporters attended a ceremony Friday at the World War II aircraft’s hangar at Air Capital Flight Line.

Tony Mazzolini, who discovered “Doc” on a bombing range in California’s Mojave Desert in 1987, traveled from his home in Cleveland for the ceremony. Mazzolini said he originally thought it would take only two or three years to restore the four-engine plane once it was brought to Wichita.

“I’ve been involved with this for about 30 years,” Mazzolini said. “It has been much more difficult than I originally thought, but it’s all been worth it.

The certificate was one of the last obstacles to getting the plane off the ground. The nonprofit will now seek permission to operate the plane at McConnell Air Force Base.

Jeff Turner, board chairman of Doc’s Friends, says the plane could fly in the next few weeks.

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Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, https://www.kansas.com

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