cavalcade of wings
Cavalcade of Wings founder, the late Harry Davidson, is cleaning one of the aircraft models on display at the Sunport.
Cavalcade of Wings and the incredible scale aircraft model collection are here today only because of one man’s unrelenting determination to document and display New Mexico’s rich aviation history.
The Cavalcade of Wings collection was first installed at the Albuquerque Sunport in 1965 by the late Harry Davidson. Harry was at the time a US Navy pilot starting on his return to civilian life. Harry, as a kid growing up in Clovis, New Mexico, became involved in flying with his father. Like many kids at the time who were fascinated with aviation, Harry started to build airplane models. Going to the Clovis airport with his dad he asked if the airport would like to display his models. That was in 1958. The original model collection was on display at the Clovis airport until 2021 when the small terminal was renovated to accommodate security staffing by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The Clovis model display case will be returned when a new and much larger terminal is constructed that is currently in the planning stages.
By now living in Albuquerque, in 1965, Harry approached Clyde Sharrer, the Director of the soon to be completed Sunport, Albuquerque’s new airport terminal. He asked if he could start a display of models showing the history of Albuquerque’s aviation. The response given was an okay but the cost of the project was at Harry’s expense. The agreement was the Sunport provided the space and Harry, through his unrelenting pursuit in finding the funds and then the people to help in building models got the collection to its current state that can be seen at the Sunport today. Cavalcade of Wings salutes Harry Davidson and his determination to preserve the rich aviation history of the City of Albuquerque, Kirtland Air Force Base, and the State of New Mexico for future generations to enjoy.
Along the way, Cavalcade of Wings became a 501(3)(c) nonprofit managed by an all-volunteer Board of Directors that continues to document, display, and maintain the aviation history of New Mexico. The aviation history museum at the Albuquerque Sunport has been on continuous display since beginning in 1965 and now contains over 900 scale aircraft models. Cavalcade of Wings also collects and displays aviation artifacts such as insignia, photos, and artifacts for use in educating the public of this exciting history.
Anyone who visits the Albuquerque Sunport’s Great Hall has a chance to see the Cavalcade of Wings aircraft display of over 900 models that have actually landed, serviced, or was assigned to the Sunport, Kirtand AFB, or other New Mexico locations. The display primarily focuses on the history of aviation directly impacting the Albuquerque area beginning with the first Balloon flight in 1882, the first airplane to visit the state in 1911, the first military use of airplanes for a campaign in 1916, the first commercial airplane service to Albuquerque in 1929, to the commercial and military aircraft still flying into New Mexico today.
This extensive aircraft model collection covers all aspects of history from private, commercial, and military aviation. Just about everything that took to the air throughout aviation history came through Albuquerque at one time or another. The display captures this history through a large collection of high quality built scale replicas in miniature of aircraft that had an impact in Albuquerque’s aviation. Most of the models on display are painted and marked in the livery of how the real plane looked when passing through here.
Many pieces of the collection were donated by the actual airlines during their tenure in Albuquerque and other models were built and donated by members of the Albuquerque Scale Modelers club as well as by board members of the Cavalcade of Wings, retired pilots, aviators, and aviation enthusiasts. The mission of Cavalcade of Wings is to continue to record the aviation history of the city of Albuquerque, Kirtland Air Force Base, and the State of New Mexico. In keeping with the founder’s legacy, Cavalcade of Wings has plans to expand the collection incorporating more aviation artifacts, narratives, and photos into the display. This website will be used to build on this in-depth history of New Mexico aviation’s past and to ensure all future aviation is documented that directly impacts the great State of New Mexico. The Cavalcade of Wings Board of Directors appreciates your patronage and look forward to your return visit.
Visit Our Model COLLECTION
The Cavalcade of Wings aviation history museum is located on Level 2 on the west side of the Albuquerque Sunport’s “Great Hall”.
The Sunport is located at:
2200 Sunport Blvd SE Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106.
We are open year-round and the exhibit is free to the public, although airport parking may be charged.
SEE FLOOR PLAN
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