Military aircraft will soon make a reappearance at North Texas Regional Airport — Perrin Field. Airport officials recently announced the Cavanaugh Flight Museum plans to hold American History Warbird Ride Day in early June, with plans to expand the event into a larger flight show in 2020 and following years.
The flight day and plans for the flight show were briefly discussed by airport officials Thursday during a meeting of the Grayson County Regional Mobility Authority. The event is currently slated for June 8 at the airport.
“They want want to create a really top-bill airshow out here,” NTRA Director Bob Torti said. “This summer they will have a mini air show. Next summer it will be a lot bigger and two to three years down the line they are thinking they can get the military, Blue Angels involved.”
The Cavanaugh Museum recently became one of the tenants at the airport and operates a maintenance facility there. Doug Jeanes, director of the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, said the organization is considering opening a satellite location for the primary museum in Addison.
“This is primarily to show people who we are and what we have to offer,” Jeanes said.
Jeanes said the flight day would likely include vintage military aircraft including the Bell UH-1 Iroquois, more commonly known as the Huey, the T-6 Texan and a B-25 Mitchell.
“Then hopefully in the near future — I don’t want to say in two years, three years — where you get the military and static displays … and the blue angels, but you have to start somewhere,” Torti said.
This is not the first time the museum has been involved with a flight show, but Jeanes said it is the first time that Cavanaugh has planned one. One of the organization’s mainstays for flight shows is a simulated search and rescue mission using Vietnam-era aircraft, he said.
Torti said the flight show is still far in the future and agreements still need to be put in place with the county, Federal Aviation Administration and other organizations. There are other factors to consider, including the impact that the show might have on other tenants. Torti said the airport likely will be shut down temporarily during an airshow.
Additionally, Torti said organizers will still need to raise the funds for a larger airshow, noting that some shows cost between $800,000 and $1 million to organize.
“That’s what it is going to take. God bless them I hope he’s successful. He’s got his hands full, so we will see where it goes,” Torti said.
Despite this expense, Torti said a large air show could be an economic boon for the area and draw crowds to the airport. For the first airshow in 2020, Jeanes said he hoped to attract crowds of 10,000 to 15,000.
“When you have an airshow like Alliance does, where in two days they will bring in 100,000 people — 100,000 people — it is significant to the community and a huge economic gain,” Torti said.
Michael Hutchins is a reporter for the Herald Democrat. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @mhutchinsHD on Twitter.