By Jason Spencer
Live in the DC region long enough, and you get used to history being all around you — but on Friday, you'll have a chance to see history in the sky above you.
More than 30 original North American Texans will participate in a large-formation flyover Friday in the skies above the Pentagon and Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate the planes' 75th anniversary. The ceremonial flight will follow the Potomac River and the historic planes should be visible around Arlington and Alexandria.
The North American Texan was a two-seat aircraft used as the advanced trainer for World War II fighter pilots, according to a news release. Designed by North American Aviation and first flown in 1938, the Texan was widely used as a training craft by the U.S. military in the 1940s and '50s.
Friday's flyover — scheduled for about 12:30 p.m. but subject to change — is designed to be a "tribute to the service and sacrifice of the hundreds of thousands of veterans" who flew the the plane, the news release states. It was known as the AT-6 by the U.S. Army Air Corps and the U.S. Army Air Force, the SNJ by the U.S. Navy and the Harvard outside of the United States.
More than 15,000 Texans were built between 1938 and 1947 and more than 400 of these craft, privately owned, are still flown today, the news release states.
The Texans will fly out of Culpeper Regional Airport, and the celebration of the planes will culminate Saturday at the annualCulpeper AirFest at 12517 Beverly Ford Road in Brandy Station, Va.