AFVN Group Conversations

Restoring this WWII B-29 Bomber has Taken 300K Hours So Far

February 2015

    From:  Joe Ciokon

   Dated:  February 14, 2015

Subject:  Restoring This WWII B-29 Bomber Has Taken 300K Hours So Far

Great!  I’m still in touch with a couple of guys in Saint Louis: Bill Laingen and Jim Erlinger.  I was there 1956-7 when it was McDonnell Aircraft.  Laingen still works there.
JoeC

    From:  Jim Anderson

   Dated:  February 14, 2015

Subject:  Restoring This WWII B-29 Bomber Has Taken 300K Hours So Far

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    From:  Forrest Brandt

   Dated:  February 15, 2015

Subject:  Restoring This WWII B-29 Bomber Has Taken 300K Hours So Far

During our ill-fated reunion in Dayton I was able to take the tour of the restoration hangers at Wright-Paterson The first thing we saw was a just-completed Zero--the final adaptation of that excellent base design with a bigger engine, heated for operations at the level required to take on the Superfort, and armed with 20MM cannons for the punch needed to take down one.  Next we saw Memphis Belle stripped down and being lovingly reassembled.  Last were the crated engines for a B-29 they were just starting to work on including one extra crate with an engine that had burned out, probably for a display on the problems the developers ran into.
I guess we’d still be fighting WWII if it had taken 300K work hours to put a B-29 together the first time.  Anyone know how many man hours were involved in putting a four-engine bomber together in those days?
Forrest


    From:  Steve Pennington

   Dated:  February 14, 2015

Subject:  Restoring This WWII B-29 Bomber Has Taken 300K Hours So Far

This is an amazing airplane project.  Before I retired from Boeing 9 years ago I would check out the progress whenevver I was in Wichita.  Andy Labosky , who was one our Navs in the 11th ARS when I was at Altus, was one of the drivers in the effort.  I have a chunk of the airplane on my bookshelf in my den.  What a great success story.

Steve Pennington