As airshow airplanes go, Gene Soucy’s Showcat is different. It started life as an Ag Cat, an agricultural sprayer designed and originally built by Grumman Aircraft in 1958. It was created in 1988, when Swick’s Aircraft in McKinney, Texas, modified it for airshow work by replacing the chemical hopper with a double-wide front seat, a new rear cockpit, dorsal fin, a new fuselage top to give it a sleeker shape, and a new cowling and inverted fuel system for its 450-hp Pratt & Whitney R-985 radial engine.
Designed from the start to maneuver with agility in tight farm fields, the Showcat is perfect for front-and-center airshow performances. At Kaboom Town, Soucy and the Showcat will perform its day and night routines. With fireworks mounted on all four of the big biplanes wingtips, it traces sinuous tails of glittering “firelight” in the evening sky. He also flies a routine with wing walker Teresa Stokes,
Having performed more than 3,000 air shows, Gene Soucy began his professional airshow career in 1968. A member of two world champion U.S. Aerobatic Teams, he was a three-time American and three-time Canadian national champion. Growing up and learning to fly in Kentucky, League City, south of Houston, Texas, is now his home base. For 25 years he was a member of three-plane Red Devils/Eagles Aerobatic Team.
When not performing for airshow crowds, Soucy has flown for the camera. Some of his films include The Pancho Barnes Story and Aces/Iron Eagles III, and he’s been featured on the Discovery Channel, Good Morning America, ESPN, and National Geographic Today. And in July, he’ll be performing for the people of Addison at the Kaboom Town celebration.