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Waco GXE (Model 10) of 1928 with Curtiss OX-5 engine
1929 model Advance Aircraft Company/Waco ATO 'Taperwing' of Vintage Wings of Canada.

The Waco Aircraft Company (WACO) was an aircraft manufacturer located in Troy, Ohio, USA. Between 1919 and 1947, the company produced a wide range of civilian biplanes.

The company initially started under the name Weaver Aircraft Company of Ohio but changed its name to the Waco Aircraft Company in 1928/29.


Company name

WACO (referring to the aircraft) is usually pronounced "wah-co"[1] (the first syllable pronounced as in "water"), not "way-co" like Waco, Texas, whose name is entirely unrelated. The name comes from a field near Troy, Ohio - Waco field, which in turn received its name from a local war-cry, which had several variations. Although an acronym, the company was universally referred to as "Waco".

Several companies operated under the Waco name, with the first company being the Weaver Aircraft Company, a firm founded by George E. Weaver, Clayton Bruckner, and Elwood Junkin in 1920 in Lorain and Medina, Ohio after they had already been collaborating for several years. In the spring of 1923 this became the Advance Aircraft Company in Troy, Ohio, after the departure of Weaver.

At some point (when is not at all clear from the records but 1928 or 1929) it was changed from Advance Aircraft Company to Waco Aircraft Company. The firm is often confused with Western Aviation Company, the name of four unrelated aircraft enterprises in Chicago, Illinois; San Antonio, Texas; and Burbank, California.


Waco's history started in 1919 when businessmen Clayton J. Brukner and Elwood Junkin met barnstorming pilots Charley Meyers and George Weaver. Although their initial floatplane design was a failure, they went on to found the Waco company in 1920 and established themselves as producers of reliable, rugged planes that were popular with travelling businessmen, postal services and explorers, especially after the company began producing closed-cabin biplane models after 1930 in addition to the open cockpit biplanes.

The Waco name was extremely well represented in the US civil aircraft registry between the wars, with more Wacos registered than the aircraft of any other company. Production types including open cockpit biplanes, cabin biplanes and cabin sesquiplanes (known by Waco as Custom Cabins) as well as numerous experimental types.

During World War 2, Waco produced large numbers of military gliders for the RAF and US Air Force for airborne operations, especially during the Normandy Invasion and Operation Market Garden. The CG-4 Hadrian was the most numerous of their glider designs to be produced. At the same time Waco produced over 600 of its UPF-7 open biplanes and 21 VKS-7F cabin biplanes for the Civilian Pilot Training Program, which supplemented the output of the military training establishments. 42 privately-owned models of sixteen types were impressed into service as light transports and utility aircraft with the USAAF under the common designation C-72/UC-72.

The Waco company ceased operations in 1947[2], having suffered the fate of a number of general aviation companies when an anticipated boom in aviation following World War II failed to develop.[3] The final Waco relied on an experimental Franklin engine which, with the cancellation of other contracts became so expensive the Aristocraft that relied on it was cancelled.[4]

The Waco name was briefly revived for a scheme to produce a series of Italian lightplanes under licence in the US.

The WACO Classic Aircraft company (unrelated to the original Waco) began building its WACO Classic YMF in 1986, an upgraded version based on Waco's original type certified design[5].

A large number of survivors exist, with the largest single collection residing at the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum at Dauster Field near St Louis, Missouri.[6].


Note: Waco civilian designations describe the configuration of the aircraft. The first letter lists the engine used, the second the specific type, and the third the general series. The coding system was changed in 1929 with several letters reassigned, and later with the introduction of the Custom Cabin series, the third letter 'C' was initially replaced with C-S (Cabin-Standard) and finally S.[7] The numeral suffix represents the first year of production if it is 6 or higher (6=1936), or a sub type if 2 or less. Thus EGC-7 is a Wright R-760-E2 (350hp) engined, cabin biplane airframe, custom cabin model first manufactured in 1937.[8]


Open Cockpit Biplanes & Monoplanes

Single seat biplane/parasol monoplane, 1 produced, then re-built
Waco 4-7 
Used many Curtiss JN-4 parts with new interchangeable wing panels and powered by a 90hp Curtiss OX-5.
Waco 8 
First Waco cabin biplane, powered by 200hp Liberty - 1 built
Waco 9 
First mass-production model, steel-tube framing, powered by OX-5, equipped for EDO floats. Many re-engined. 270 built.
Waco 10 giving joy rides, c.1930
Waco 10 
Most produced model of any Waco aircraft, 1,623 built between 1927 and 1933. Refinement of Waco 9 with 90hp Curtiss OX-5 V8 engine. Redesignated GXE by Waco in 1928.
1 conversion of Waco 10 with 240hp Continental W-670 radial engine.
Waco 10 variant with 220hp Wright J-5 radial engine, known as J-5 Straightwing, Waco Sport, and Whirlwind Waco. 95 built.
Variant of ASO 165 hp Wright J-6-5 radial engine. 45 built.
Variant of ASO with 225hp Wright J-6-7 radial engine. 59 built.
Variant of ASO with 180hp Hispano-Suiza A/E V8 engine. 62 built.
Taperwing variant of ASO. 54 built.
Taperwing variant of CSO. 35 built.
Modified from HSO. 1 built.
300 h.p. Wright J-6-9. 1 built.
U.S. Navy version of JTO for evaluation. 2 built.
Preserved 1929-built JYM mailplane of Northwest Airways
Straightwing mailplane with 330hp Wright R-975 engine. Derivative of ASO with 14" fuselage stretch. 2 built.
Taperwing mailplane with 300hp Wright J-6-9 radial engine. Derivative of ATO with 14" fuselage stretch. 4 built for Northwest Airways
Waco PBA side-by-side biplane of 1932
Improved KBA, side by side two seat biplane with optional canopy and 125hp Kinner B-5 engine. 3 built.
100hp Kinner K-5 radial engine. 50 built.
IBA variant with 170hp Jacobs LA-1 radial engine. 4 built.
IBA variant with 110hp Warner Scarab radial engine. 4 built.
IBA variant with 210hp Continental R-670 radial engine. 6 built.
Improved IBA, known as Waco Sportsman, with Jacobs LA-1 radial engine and greater range. 4 built.
PLA variant with 210hp Continental R-670 radial engine. 1 built.
Multipurpose Military Biplane with 250hp Wright R-760 radial engine. 6 built (may include JHD).
Multipurpose Military Biplane with 365hp Wright R-975 engine. 6 built for Uruguay.
Multipurpose Military Biplane with 400hp P & W Wasp Jr. TB. 1 built.
Multipurpose Military Biplane with 420hp Wright R-975 engine.
Multipurpose Military Biplane with 250hp Wright J-6-7. None built.
Waco UBF of 1932 flown by Texaco in the early 1930s
210hp Kinner C-5 engine. Unknown if built.
170hp Jacobs LA-1 engine. 4 built.
160hp Kinner R-5(?) engine. None built.
UBF & UBF-2 
210hp Continental R-670 engine. Around 11 built. US Navy trainer XJW-1 for airship skyhook.
170hp Jacobs LA-1 radial engine. 3 built.
165hp Continental A-70 radial engine. 31 built.
210hp Continental R-670 radial engine. None built, became UBF.
A brand new 2006 model WACO Classic Aircraft YMF-F5C at Sun 'n Fun 2006
UMF-3 & UMF-5 
210hp Continental R-670 radial engine. 18 built.
225hp Jacobs L-4 radial engine. 18 built -3 & -5.
245hp Jacobs L-4 radial engine. Basis for YMF-5 Super currently in production.
125hp Kinner B-5 radial engine. 50 built.
100hp Kinner K-5 radial engine. 20 built.
125hp Menasco C-4 Pirate inline engine. 4 built.
165hp Continental A-70 radial engine. 1 built.
110hp Warner Scarab radial engine. 150+ built.
CPF & CPF-6 
250hp Wright R-760 radial engine. 41 built, redesignated DPF.
DPF-6 & DPF-7 
285hp Wright R-760 radial engine. Was CPF.
320hp Wright R-760 radial engine. 1 built.
300hp Lycoming R-680 radial engine. Possibly not built.
210hp Continental R-670 radial engine. Prototype for UPF-7.
Second-most produced variant, over 600 built. Continental W-670 (220hp) engine. Widely used in the Civilian Pilot Training Program. 14 became YPT-14 trainers, but not adopted by USAAF for operational use.
VPF-6 & VPF-7 
240hp Continental W-670 radial engine. 6 built.
YPF-6 & YPF-7 
225hp Jacobs L-4 radial engine. 8 built.
ZPF-6 & ZPF-7 
285hp Jacobs L-5 radial engine. 5 built.
240 hp Wright R-760 radial engine, later a different Wright R-760.
Low wing open cockpit monoplane trainer prototype, similar in concept to Fairchild PT-19. 1 built.

Standard Cabin Biplanes

with 210hp Kinner C-5 engine. 3 built.
with 210hp Continental R-670 engine. 40 built.
with 165hp Wright R-540 engine. 1 built (converted from OEC or UEC).
with 250hp Wright R-760 engine. 41 CJC & DJC built.
with 285hp Wright R-760 engine.
with 210hp Continental R-670. 40 built.
with 225hp Continental R-670-B engine. 18 built.
VKS-7 for CPTP with flaps. 21 built.
with 225hp Jacobs L-4
Waco YKS-6 cabin tourer of 1936
with 285hp Jacobs L-5 engine. 60 YKC built, 22 YKC-S built, 65 YKS-6 built.
Waco UIC standard cabin biplane
with 165hp Wright R-540 engine. None built.
with 210hp Kinner C-5 engine. modified to QDC.
with 170hp Jacobs LA-1 engine. 2 built on special order.
with 165hp Continental A-70 engine. 37 built.
with 210hp Continental R-670 engine. None built.
with 210hp Continental R-670 engine. 83 built.

Custom Cabin Biplanes (Sesquiplanes)

300hp Jacobs L-6 engine. 17 built, 2 modified to EGC-8.
285hp Wright R-760 engine. 2 built.
EGC-7, EGC-8, 
320hp Wright R-760 engine. 38 built. 3 used by US Navy & Coast Guard as J2W.
Menasco Pirate inline engine. Unknown number built.
210hp Continental R-670 engine. None built.
240hp Continental W-670 engine. None built.
YGC-7, YGC-8 
225hp Jacobs L-4 engine. Possibly none built.
ZGC-7, ZGC-8 
285hp Jacobs L-5 engine. 28 built.
300hp Jacobs L-5 engine. 7 built.
250hp Wright R-760 engine. None built.
285hp Wright R-760 engine. 11 built.
Waco EQC-6 Custom at the Calgary Aerospace Museum in 1996 showing the longer cabin glazing of late C series aircraft
320hp Wright R-760 engine. 20 built. USCG used 3 as J2W-1.
300hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp Jr engine. None built.
210hp Continental R-670 or 225hp W-670-K or 220hp W-670-6. Probably none built.
250hp Continental W-670 engine.
225hp Jacobs L-4 engine. 13 built. 1 ex-RAAF example re-engined with 200hp DeHavilland Gypsy 6 inline engine.
285hp Jacobs L-5 engine. 68 built.
Waco CUC of 1935 showing the extended cabin and windows of the later C series models. Anoka-Blaine airport near Minneapolis, June 2006
250hp Wright R-760-E engine. 30+ built of all CUC types.
285hp Wright R-760-E1 engine.
320hp Wright R-760 engine.
210hp Continental R-670-A or 225hp Continental R-670-B engine. 4 built.
225hp Jacobs L-4 engine. 50+ YOC & YOC-1 built.
285hp Jacobs L-5 engine.
Nosewheel Type with 300hp Jacobs L-6 engine. 15 built.
ZVN-7 & ZVN-8 
Nosewheel Type with 285hp Jacobs L-5 engine. 6 built.
ARE Aristocrat 
300hp Jacobs L-6 engine. 4 built.
HRE Aristocrat 
285hp Lycoming R-680 engine. 5 built.
SRE Aristocrat 
450hp Pratt & Whitney R-985 engine. 21 built.
WRE Aristocrat 
420hp Wright R-975 engine. None built.


Waco CG-4A troop glider.
Waco CG-3 
Troop Glider intended for training CG-4 pilots
Waco CG-4, aka "Hadrian" 
Troop Glider
Waco CG-13 
Troop Glider
Waco CG-15 
Troop Glider


Powered version of CG-4 Glider
Waco YC-62 
All-wood twin-engine Transport (Not built)
Waco W 'Aristocraft' 
Monoplane pusher cabin transport with engine in nose. Last Waco design to be built. 1 Prototype only.


  1. ^ Kobernuss, P.4
  2. ^ O'Neill Sport Aviation March/April 1964
  3. ^ Guillemette, Roger. "WACO Aircraft Corporation". U.S. Centennial of Flight Commission. Retrieved 2006-10-10.  
  4. ^ O'Neill
  5. ^ Waco Classic Aircraft Co. About Page
  6. ^ Donner, Brad Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum - List of Aircraft
  7. ^ Aerofiles 'That Waco Coding System'


  • Juptner, Joseph P. U.S. Civil Aircraft Vol. 1 Los Angeles, California: Aero Publishers, Inc., 1962. Library of Congress # 62-15967.
  • Brandly, Raymond H. Waco Aircraft Production 1923-1942 Troy, Ohio: Waco Aircraft Co., 1986 (2nd Edition). ISBN-10 096027345X, ISBN-13 978-0960273454
  • Kobernuss, Fred O. Waco - Symbol of Courage and Excellence unk : Mystic Bay Publisher, 1999. ISBN 1887961011.
  • O'Neill, Terry. from Sport Aviation March/April 1964
  • Various. Aerofiles Waco Page

External links


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