By Abigail Loop
Planes not seen since World War II touched ground in Waco this weekend for the second annual Heart of Texas Airshow.
Families from across Central Texas traveled to the Texas State Technical Airport for a day filled with food, activities and airplanes.
The event featured a number of different planes performing formations and acrobatic tricks that gave the audience a show, while educating them on the airplanes’ history.
The opening ceremony for the show consisted of Baylor’s Air Force ROTC presenting the colors and the Blue Skies Parachute Team jumping from an airplane with one jumper waving an American flag.
Old and new airplanes were used in the performances and some of the planes featured were the same ones used in World War II, including a P51 Mustang designed in the 1940s. As each plane flew, show announcers gave the audience a brief history of the plane, detailing its features as onlookers kept their eyes to the sky.
Many attendees agreed the show was more impressive compared to the inaugural show, due to the variety.
“I came to this last year and I see a lot more participation,” said Rose Morales of Houston. “It’s so great to learn about the history of the planes and it provides a great experience.”
Shannon Ernst of Temple agreed with Morales and said this year’s show was improved on variety and the layout.
“This one seems way better,” Ernst said. “There’s more access to the planes and a better setting.”
The airshow included booths and kites that lined the runways, as well as a variety of food vendors such as Outback Steakhouse and Freebirds. A monster truck exhibit called Tantrum Monster and a flight simulator booth were also part of the experience.
One of the crowd favorites in the show was a newer plane made for acrobatic tricks. Pilot Andrew Wright flew a Giles 202 and could be seen doing a number of flips, rolls and drops.
“I’ve been doing airshows for six years and it’s exciting to see lots of people come out,” Wright said.
Adam Baker, another acrobatic pilot, flew an Extra 330lx, which Baker said was great for highlighting aerobatic moves.
The crowd cheered as Baker flew into the sky, turned off his engine and twirled toward the ground before turning his engine on again and shooting back up toward the sky.
“The interaction with the crowd is the best thing,” Baker said. “They think you’re a crazy guy but you’re really just an airplane nerd.”
Rachel Easterling, an instructor of aircraft dispatch at TSTC, the second airshow proved to be a success.
“We’ve had great advertising and beautiful weather,” Easterling said. “The show was great.”