By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – The past, present and future of aviation will be on display next weekend during the North Mississippi Aviation Expo at Tupelo Regional Airport.
The two-day event, which is free to the public, will feature vintage and new aircraft.
The star of the show could be the Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon brought in by the Warbird Warriors Foundation. The group’s “Attu Warrior” is a restored World War II-era bomber/patrol plane based off the Lockheed Ventura.
“We’ll have current planes on display, and we’ll also have a UAV (an unmanned aerial vehicle),” said Leslie Pearman, the expo’s organizer.
And for a little added fun, helicopter rides also will be available, weather-permitting.
Also on Saturday, the seventh annual Petals for Patriots Petal Drop will be held at 6 p.m., with rose petals dropped from the air to honor the 670 Mississippians killed during the Vietnam War.
A “Welcome Home” ceremony for the veterans will be led by Brig. Gen. Robert F. Thomas, assistant adjutant general-Army, Mississippi National Guard.
“We’ve had a huge response from the public,” Pearman said. “Especially from the Vietnam veterans.”
Pearman said the Patriot Guard Riders will be at Camp McCain early Saturday, then will get a police escort to the Aviation Expo. They should arrive around 5 p.m.
Large American flags also will be displayed to honor the Vietnam veterans as well as those who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Parking for the public will be available at the Tupelo Regional Airport parking lot. Shuttles will carry people to the site of the expo, which will be at the end of Lemons Drive, near Universal Asset Management.
Other exhibitors will be at the show as well, including engineers, aircraft brokers, maintenance facilities and education programs. Mississippi State University, Delta State University and Hinds Community College, which all have aviation industry-related fields of study available, will be among the exhibitors.
At A Glance
• Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sept. 9 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Tupelo Regional Airport
• For information, contact Leslie Pearman at (662) 489-8331.