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Written by Stan Alexander
WACO Air Museum and Learning Center


WACO Air Museum and Learning Center

WACO Air Museum and Learning Center
When going to Toledo, Ohio, for The Toledo Show: R/C Model Expo, I often stop at antique shops, which, in some cases, are good places to find dummy pilots for scale models. But when I saw a sign on the side of the interstate that said WACO Museum, well … I’m just a sucker for an aircraft museum. WACO spells biplane to me, and I took the next exit to investigate.




The front entrance of the WACO Air Museum and Learning Center.


The WACO Air Museum and Learning Center in Troy, Ohio, isn’t far from the interstate and I visited it at approximately noon on a Sunday. The museum and learning center were dedicated in 2010. There are several hangars and a nice grass runway near the museum. After entering the museum and looking through the gift shop, I took a self-guided tour through the history of the WACO Aircraft Corporation brand of aircraft.




A uniform that belonged to record-breaking stunt pilot Bettie Lund.




A restored gas truck similar to what was used at airports in the early days of aviation.




The Pratt & Whitney R-985 Wasp Junior engine that was featured on many WACO aircraft.


There are several WACO aircraft sitting in various parts of the museum, with a replica of the first WACO, the Cootie. Really, that is the name and it isn’t a biplane. There are also a WACO 9, WACO 10, and two WACO taperwing aircraft there. It’s always interesting to examine the different engines associated with aircraft types. WACO aircraft had nearly anything that was available in them at the time, and several of these engines are represented at the museum.






The WACO Cootie replica.




The WACO Model 9.


The aircraft that interest me are the WACO JYM Taperwings, of which only a few still exist and only in pieces, as far as I know. The museum does have photos of these aircraft that were built for Northwest Airlines to carry mail in the early 1930s. The JYM model used a standard fuselage that was stretched to accommodate the mail cargo, where the forward cockpit would have been. It also had the aerobatic taperwing associated with other WACO taperwing models.




A photo of the full-scale WACO JYM taperwing.






An aerobatic WACO taperwing.


There were models of WACO aircraft throughout the museum. Many seemed to be the Pica or Dave Platt YMF-3 models marketed in the early 1980s. Overall, I had a good time and the museum was clean and well-lit for photography. I recommend visiting this museum when you are near Troy!






The Linco Special Taperwing WACO.


Sources:

WACO Air Museum and Learning Center
(937) 335-9226
www.wacoairmuseum.org




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