'Doc's' takeoff fulfills dream of an original 'Rosie The Riveter'

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

The date of July 17, 2016 will have a permanent place in the history of Wichita. 'Doc' took flight on this day after years of restoration. 

The B-29 bomber, restored to what some call better than new condition, flew for the first time in decades. It was not an easy task, getting the plane to fly; the volunteers who wanted to restore the plane spent 16 years doing so. 

"I'm afraid I'm going to cry," said Connie Palacioz. She worked as a riveter during WWII, building Doc. "I never thought I would be 91 to be here and restore it," she added. 

Palacioz says the group of volunteers has become close friends. Many of those who volunteered are older and some of them died before they could see the plane completely restored. 

""I'm kind of sad because of a lot of the volunteers that worked so hard, have passed away. We lost quite a few. That is one time that I get tears in my eyes cause I can remember how they wanted to see it fly," Palacioz said. 

The B-29 Super Fortress took off and landed with only a few errors. The plane hadn't flown under its own power for 60 years, leading some would say that a few errors should be expected. 

As Palacioz watched from the gates separating the crowd from the tarmac, she knew her hard work would be remembered. 

"This is great, oh my goodness," she proclaimed as the plane took off, "what an exciting moment."