June 22, 2009
By Alton K. Marsh
Waco Classic President Peter F. Bowers got to thinking one day, “What’s changed about our product?” Little had changed with the luxury Waco Classic biplane, other than the introduction of glass cockpits and aircraft entertainment systems. So he developed a new model with a larger, 300-hp Jacobs R755-A2 radial engine. The 275-hp engine of the older model is still available.
The more powerful engines feature an updated oil filtration system with chip detector, a JPI EDM 930-7 engine instrumentation system, and a new Sensenich Taper Tip propeller. Front cockpit brakes are now standard, as is a leather interior. There are also new carbon fiber wheel pants and wheel pant fairings available.
Bowers said he expects the YMF-5D model will be certified by October. The engines come from a supply built during World War II and kept in new condition in their original crates. They were used on Cessna’s famed multiengine Bamboo Bomber trainer and on the Cessna 195. They are upgraded to modern standards by primarily two firms in the United States.
More power will improve takeoff performance and may modestly increase the 120-mph cruise speed of the $395,000 aircraft.
The new D model is based on a survey asking customers what they would like. The feedback then went into the upgrade effort. The company has a few prospects for new orders, but like many manufacturers facing the current economic downturn, there is currently no backlog. The positive side of that is a short 90-day delivery time for the next customer, Bowers said.
Aircraft Components and Gear
The Government Accountability Office concluded that the FAA rationale for not mandating the use of an emergency vision assurance system on commercial aircraft is sound.
Dynon Avionics has begun shipping a new series of products related to its highly integrated SkyView glass panels.
The eventual pairing of a capitalist King Air C90 made in the American heartland with engines designed and built behind the Iron Curtain would have been hard to imagine at the time they both were originally designed.