MOUNT VERNON — If you think WACO is just a town in Texas, you may need an aviation primer this week as Wyncoop Airport hosts the National WACO Club’s 53rd Annual Reunion for owners and aficionados of WACO aircraft.
Perhaps the best place to begin WACO 101 is with the name of the vintage biplanes: It derives not from Texas but from the Weaver Aircraft Co. of Troy, Ohio. If a favorable long-term weather forecast holds true, as many as 40 classic WACO single-engine planes, produced in Troy between 1919 and 1947, are expected.
This marks the 24th consecutive year that the National WACO Club has chosen Mount Vernon and the well-maintained grass airstrip at Wyncoop for its annual reunion. Veteran event organizer Doug Parsons of Carrollton, says that onlookers can expect to see a diverse selection of vintage planes. Early arrivals were buzzing around the airport Tuesday as Parsons and his crew made final preparations for the event, which officially begins Thursday.
“A lot of aviation events are called fly-ins or air shows, but we call this one a reunion because that’s really what it is really all about,” Parsons said. “For a lot of club members it’s the only time each year they see each other, and it’s just a great social and family event. Planes will be coming and going all week.”
Airport operator Brian Wynkoop said that this is by far the strip’s busiest week of the year and that there will be several hundred takeoffs and landings. “Everyone is invited to come out, bring a lawn chair and meet the pilots,” he said.