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B-29 Lift
Exhibit specialists aided by the 402nd Expeditionary Depot Maintenance Group work to lift a B-29 Bomber on display at the Museum of Aviation World War II Hangar March 13, 2014. (U.S. Air Force photo by Misuzu Allen)
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WW II bomber gets a raise

Posted 3/21/2014   Updated 3/21/2014 Email story   Print story


by Brian Shreve
Robins Public Affairs

3/21/2014 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- This bomber may never again soar to the heights of its World War II glory days, but this week it did manage to get off the ground.
The B-29B - a fixture at the Museum of Aviation since 1983 - was raised 8 feet above the floor of the WW II Hangar Thursday by a team from the 402nd Expeditionary Depot Maintenance Group with the assistance of museum exhibit specialists.

The crew used aircraft jacks to lift the bomber and position it onto large display stands in an effort to add walking space beneath the plane for visitors while making room for new aircraft in the building.
"Preserving these aircraft for future generations is the name of the game," said Bill Paul, museum collections manager.

The process began roughly three months ago with the engineering work and the actual lifting taking several hours.

"Because this is a vintage aircraft, we have to take precautions," said Anthony Faircloth, museum exhibit specialist. "It may have issues being that old, so we have to make sure we protect it and that the workers are safe."

The B-29B, weighing about 70,000 pounds without its wartime armor, is the largest aircraft on display inside the museum. It used to be displayed outside with other planes until 1997 when it was brought into the Century of Flight Hangar. It was moved to its current home five years ago with the addition of the World War II building.

Built in 1944, the aircraft is one of only 16 B-29s known to remain of the 5,000 built.
It's the only B-model of the aircraft in existence and the last B-29 built at Bell Bomber in Marietta, Ga., which closed immediately following World War II.

It arrived at the museum from Aberdeen Air Force Base and had originally been planned to be used as a target. Instead, it was fully restored as an addition to the museum, according to Paul.

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