Waco Aircraft Company

Waco CG-4A troop glider

Waco CG-4A troop glider

The Waco Aircraft Company was a company aeronautical U.S. with headquarters in the city of Troy, Miami County in the state of ‘ Ohio and has been in business from 1919 to 1947, with a brief and unsuccessful attempt to resurgence in the sixties.

The company began as Weaver Aircraft Company of Ohio (WACO) the name of its principal founder, but the ‘ acronym did not want to refer to the city of Waco in Texas , but at the airfield of Waco Field in Troy, near which was later established the factory.  After the release of Weaver from the company, this was briefly called Advance Aircraft Company, but the acronym WACO had already come into use, so around 1928 the company took its definitive name of Waco Aircraft Company.

The company, initially starting from the production of aircraft derived from the ubiquitous Curtiss JN-4 , specialized in the construction of airplanes biplanes for use in civil with advanced features for its time, robust and good performance, resulting in a growing success.  Tens of different models were gradually produced, totaling thousands of specimens over time, so that at the end of the thirties the three main lines of the models, or to open cockpit biplanes, biplanes in the cockpit closed and sesquiplani a closed cabin, the latter Custom Cabins named by the company, were among the most sold in the U.S. market for light aircraft and Waco biplanes were certainly the most popular.  All of these models could be easily transformed into seaplanes, increasing its flexibility.  Important were also sales in Canada, where they were very much appreciated their characteristics of reliability and robustness.

During World War II the company produced hundreds of trainers for the training of pilots and tried his hand successfully in the design and construction of gliders for military use , the most known and used of which was the Waco CG-4 , which was produced in almost 14000 specimens from sixteen different companies since 1942.  Several aircraft were also requirements, some of which received the military designation C-72, and used for many different purposes, including patrol armed anti-submarine by the Coast Guard and the Civil Air Patrol.

At the end of the war the company, like many others, he found himself in serious difficulties by the end of contracts for military and have your product catalog now no longer move with the times. All remaining resources were used for the production of a monoplane single-engine with innovative features, the ‘Aristocraft, which enter the market of transport aircraft lighter, but the failure of the project, which was completed only a prototype because of failure commissioning production of motor specially commissioned, brought the company to bankruptcy in 1947.

In the early sixties an attempt was made ​​to resurrect the name has become legendary with the licensed production of the aircraft lighter SIAI-Marchetti S.205 , but even that eventually ended with a stalemate, for which the mark disappeared permanently in 1965 .

After the failure, the projects held by the company were sent to the Library of Congress of the United States, in order to become public domain , so by 1986 a small company, autodenominatasi WACO Classic Aircraft and located in Battle Creek (Michigan) , he resumed Small series production of the Waco YMF, one of the models biplane best known and most successful of the firm, produced for the first time in 1934 and also used as a trainer during the Second World War, of course updating safety standards and current building.  Although the production is a few specimens a year, in time he found a good number of fans, so the total number of aircraft delivered by 2012 nearly one hundred.  The company, as do the other, is also in charge of the restoration and maintenance of the original aircraft, as dozens of biplanes Waco are still in flight conditions, in addition to the many preserved in the various museums.

References

CG Grey, Leonard Bridgman, Jane’s All the World’s Aircraft, 1938, 28 ed. (In English), London, Sampson Low, Marston & Company, Ltd., December 1938, p.  307c-311c. (ISBN not available)

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