The WACO Air Museum to Celebrate
100 years of WACO in Troy, Ohio
In 1923, WACO Aircraft moved to Troy from Medina, OH. This was the Golden Age of Aviation. After moving to Troy, WACO became the number one civil aircraft manufacturer in the United States and remained in that first-place spot until shortly before World War II began.
During WWII, WACO employed 3,000 people and was the largest employer in a five-county area. Often entire families worked for WACO. WACO was and continues to be very important to this area. Today, WACO offers adventure as one of the few places someone can fly in an open cock-pit biplane and has an educational facility with available summer camps, aviation and S.T.E.A.M. education, and extracurricular learning opportunities. The museum features the company’s history, artifacts, and WACO airplanes.
We invite you to celebrate this important anniversary during WACO’s annual fly-in, September 15-17, 2023. The weekend’s highlight will be the WACO aircraft gathered at WACO Field. The Troy factory built 100 UPF-7 models in 99 days as trainers for WW2. That was the only time in history that 100 WACOs were gathered in the same place at the same time. It seems only fitting to have the largest gathering of WACOs since that day, with a goal of 100, right back here in Troy… the birthplace of these beautiful biplanes. WACOs will start arriving at the airfield Wednesday evening and throughout the remainder of the week.
The public events will kick off at WACO Field Friday at 9am, with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 3pm, before an evening car show featuring pre-war vehicles. Live music will highlight local Jerry Mullins (4-6pm), Seth Canan and The Carriers (6-8pm), and Rusted Reserve (8-10pm). No event is complete without great food and drinks, so there will be a variety of food trucks and beer trailers to choose from. The fun continues Saturday with the addition of kids’ activities, a local self-guided driving tour of historic WACO sites around Troy, and a chance for up-close viewing of these antique aircraft. Talk to the pilots, learn about notable WACO founders, and test pilots with reenactors dressed in period clothing. Hear the roar of the radial engines as you view an in-air parade of planes from the flight line as these magnificent men and their flying machines pass by the runway. Top off your Saturday with an enjoyable catered meal and dance the night away as the seventeen-piece Tom Daugherty Orchestra recreate Glenn Miller’s Army Air Force Band, complete with the Andrew’s Sisters, all in full World War II uniforms! (Dance and dinner require additional tickets that can be purchased by calling the museum at 937-335-9226.)
For those at the field early Sunday morning, be a part of the Farewell to the WACOs. But this isn’t the end of the celebration. Sunday will feature flyovers, including the B25, the Grimes Flying Lab, an antique motorcycle show, and more! The radio-controlled group known as The Barnstormers, who make their home at WACO field, will be moving their popular RC air show and candy drop, a kid favorite, to the Sunday schedule. Children’s activities and food trucks will continue to be present. And, of course, bi-plane rides tickets will be available for purchase all weekend.
Don’t miss a thing with a weekend pass ($20/adults and $10/students), or choose admission for a day ($10/adult and $5/student). 3 and under are free. Sponsors and partners, including Chevrolet of Troy, the City of Troy, Hartzell Propeller, Jauqua’s Tent & Event, Miami County Visitors Bureau, National Aviation Heritage Area, The Troy Foundation, Tourism Ohio, and Wells Electric! There is still time to participate as a sponsor or volunteer for the event. For more information, we invite you to contact the museum and watch for updated details on all these events and more at www.wacoairmuseum.org. For additional things to do in the area during your stay, visit www.homegrowngreat.com.