December 17th – News Items

It isn’t news as such, but I couldn’t allow December 17th to pass unrecorded on an aviation related blog. 111 years ago today the Wright Brothers made their historic flight at the Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

The Wright Flyer at the National Air and Space Museum, 2008 – Photo by RadioFan
CC BY-SA 3.0 (
GFDL ( via Wikimedia Commons

I noticed that History Today published an older article on Facebook today re-stating the bizarre rival claim of Alberto Santos Dumont that he made the first powered flight 3 years later, since his 14Bis was the first aircraft to take off under its own power in 1906, the Wright Flyer having being launched.  Since the Wrights’ engine must have helped sustain the earlier flight I think this is a nice but irrelevant argument.  I’m happy to stay with the American claim.

Meanwhile in Kansas

However, this is news. published an article and a picture today of the continuing restoration of the old China Lake B-29 Doc (44-69972). The article says the volunteers hope to have Doc back in the air in Spring 2015. A link to the article is in the photo caption.

Renovation continues on “Doc,” a Boeing B-29 bomber. December marks the plane’s 70th birthday. It was delivered to the USAAF in Dec., 1944. The plane was going to fly before the end of this year, but it now will be spring before it will make its first flight. Mike Hutmacher Photo – The Wichita Eagle
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