Reviving the Golden Age
WACO Aircraft, a family-owned, American company, is the only FAA approved manufacturer of 1930’s sport biplanes worldwide. Originally founded in 1983 as Classic Aircraft Corporation, WACO started off with a simple dream: To revive the Golden Era’s open cockpit flying experience.
Between 1919 and 1947, in the midst of the Golden Age of Aviation, the WACO Aircraft Company of Troy, Ohio was the first family of aircraft manufacturing. Between World War I and World War II, WACO built almost twice as many aircraft as any other manufacturer, with more WACO's registered than the aircraft of any other company. The jewel of WACO’s efforts, and their last open-cockpit model for the barnstorming pilots of the 1930’s, was the WACO YMF. This gorgeous yet rugged biplane offered absolutely delightful flight handling qualities.
In 1983, the founders of Classic Aircraft Corporation in Lansing, Michigan were determined to reincarnate the WACO YMF. In the history of aviation, no company had ever taken a 50-year-old design and manufactured it as a new FAA certified aircraft.
To accomplish this mission, Classic hired experienced engineering talent from Piper, Taylorcraft and Ford. While maintaining the sanctity of WACO's original masterful design, this team of proven professionals modernized the aircraft with more than 300 engineering changes, redesigning over 1400 drawings and building new tooling for production.
In March 1986, the first WACO YMF Classic rolled off the assembly line and received FAA certification under the original WACO type certificate. With more than 5000 labor hours of fine craftsmanship hand-built into each aircraft, it’s no wonder the WACO YMF was hailed as an aeronautic thoroughbred. This unique biplane was not a rebuild or a kit plane, but a brand new FAA certified production aircraft, with such improvements as the use of sturdy 4130 steel for the fuselage frame, modern hydraulic toe brakes and advanced avionics.
In 1991, the company introduced its first WACO YMF-5C Super. This superior modern day barnstormer boasted even more improvements, such as greater internal width, more legroom, increased useful load, a balanced rudder and large front entry door.
The company moved to Battle Creek, Michigan, in 1999, and into the current facility in 2000.
Most recently, the company’s newest model, the WACO YMF-5D Super, has taken the aviation community by storm. Even with this exalted pedigree, the latest WACO model represents a new pinnacle in aeronautics. Sharpened, refined and rethought in every minute detail, this elite aircraft offers thrilling levels of performance combined with the luxurious accommodation for up to three people.
Today, owners Peter Bowers and Jon Bowers, along with a talented team of craftsmen, carries on the WACO tradition. The company is constantly re-engineering, modernizing and updating their designs to provide the safest, most reliable, highest quality biplanes available. For countless years to come, this one-of-a-kind aircraft manufacturer will continue to provide the world’s finest, most exhilarating biplane.