First of all, it's a WACO, pronounced wah-ko. Way-ko is in Texas. OK? :)
The first owner of this 1942 Waco ZPF-7 was Uncle Sam from 1942-1944. It then served as a primary trainer in civilian life for a few years before a member of the Weaver family (as in Weaver Aircraft COmpany ... WACO. Get it?) bought it back. The aircraft remained in Dr. Weaver's possession for almost fifty years, until purchased by the present owner in 1999.
The canopy over the aft cockpit was not factory original on 32162. Only about six UPF-7s were manufactured that way. This aircraft was modified to factory specifications during a 1983 restoration. The original Continental R-620 engine of 220hp was replaced with a Jacobs R-755, producing 282hp, during a more recent renovation, changing the aircraft's designator from UPF-7 to ZPF-7.
Some more specifications, for you gear heads:
The engine is from Radial Engines Ltd., in Guthrie, OK..
The prop is a Hamilton Standard 2B20-9 constant speed (variable pitch).
Aircraft empty weight is 2,150 lbs.; gross weight 2,650 lbs.
Fuel; 50 gallons and burns about 16 per hour.
Carries 4 gallons of oil. We use 100w mineral oil, which is easy on the engine and smells nice. (Radial engines don't actually leak oil, by the way. They just mark their territory!)
Top speed is 220 mph and stalls about 40 mph.
Touchdown about 55.
Normal cruise is about 100 mph, 20/20 (inches of manifold pressure/RPM).
The airplane has less than 1000 hours total time since new and is a joy to fly. It has been on TV, on 'Wings' and the Discovery Channel, and was the Custom Antique Champion at Sun 'n Fun in 2002.
Wacos were in competition with the Boeing Stearman for military contracts as primary trainers in 1939-40. The Stearman was chosen for many reasons: easier to produce, for one. A Stearman has about 1,200 parts, a Waco over 5,000! And the bottom wing on a Stearman sits about a foot higher off the ground, allowing a student pilot to get away with the occasional misjudgment on landing, although a Waco is a bit easier to land. At any rate, over 12,000 Stearmans were manufactured, compared to only about 1,200 total Wacos, 600 of which were UPF-7s, the three-place open-cockpit biplane you see here. The War Department persuaded the Waco factory to switch to glider manufacturing during the war, and Waco never resumed aircraft production. 1942 was the last year for these magnificent machines.
John's WACO before its spiffy new paint job!.... and how it how it looks today!