The Taperwing WACO is the most fun to fly airplane ever made.

*** Link to detailed pictures of wing redo.
*** Link to detailed pictures of fuselage and tail feathers.
*** Link to detailed pictures of assembly hardware.

Questions Gladly Answered. Contact: Stu Moment * StuMoment@aol.com * 217-367-0288.

1929 Taperwing WACO (WACO CTO)
NC763K sn#A140
1929 Taperwing WACO

Pricing $165,000. You’ll find most Taperwings priced between $180,000 and $250,000. This old bird still has original 1920's hardware which is a plus if you want authenticity but a minus if you want pretty.

I really need to move on in life so reasonable offers may be accepted ... or in May it will be auctioned, probably on EBay. I'll fly it to a buyer if the buyer is in range of a couple of grass strip refueling stops. Any further than that ... let's be smart. It's so easy to take apart and reassemble that you will want to ship it. Yeah, probably $3500 but you really don't want to risk a plane of this stature.

An extra, higher horsepower version of the Wright R-760 (an E2) is available.

This is a great, fun, daily flyer. It is not pretty.

While $165,000 sounds cheap, most buyers will want to invest (up to 10 grand) for modern brakes, shocks and stiffer torsional tail wheel support. Given these modifications, you will end up with a machine with excellent ground handling on pavement. Spend another 40 grand for custom paint and you will have a creampuff ... if that's what you want.

It is my opinion that you should fly it off sod for about 25 hours and get to know it in and out. While you are grinning after a flight you can do a half hour of work on it, such as reworking wood screw holes.

Besides feeling the Taperwing while practicing traditional stalls and stalls in slips (like experienced in cross wind landings) compare the roll coupling and adverse yaw at low vs. high airspeeds. By the way, it's control authority is great. 20 knot cross winds on grass are easy. Given redone shocks, brakes and better tail wheel mounting should make it good for easy 15 knot cross wind landing on pavement.

The extra engine and prop is a Wright R760-E2 (de-rated to 320 HP) with a HS 2B20 Constant Speed Propeller. This will cost an additional $15,000. (No dealing here. Have people waiting for this combo should the Taperwing buyer not want it.)

I have flown this Taperwing, 'Wiley T. Waco' about 400 hours since it was redone by Bob White in 1989. When I purchased it the original fuselage tubing was a wreck. I chose another fuselage from his collection. Most of the hardware was not reconditioned, just preserved. All wood was new. The wood and fabric is very good. Wiley T. sleeps in an environmentally controlled environment, in an addition to my house. I has been in the sun, probably less than 3 total weeks of it's life.

The silver wings and tail feathers were dope covered with some non meltable clear coat. Over time the paint cracked and it was difficult to make re-glued tapes look nice. About 2 years ago I took it apart, and repainted the bottom wing and elevator. The repaint revealed really good fabric and wood. You could repaint the top wing but, at some time in the future you may decide to redo the whole plane and make it into a cream puff.

During repaint the excellent condition of the wood and fabric was confirmed.

The first flight after reassembly, in April 2011, showed that I had enough brains during disassembly to ensure the maintenance of proper rigging. Center section rigging was maintained and the landing wires were not loosened during disassembly. After reassembly the Taperwing flew in perfect trim.

After a couple of test flights it was time to reward my assembly crew of 4 with a flight. Somehow that crew of 4 became 10 (including the support crew of the support crew). I’m not into giving rides in the Taperwing. I am selfish and prefer this aircraft for personal joy. With the front cockpit covered it is 5 MPH faster plus makes me feel like a 1920’s Air Corps pilot...but, the few rides I give are well remembered.

Taperwing waiting for passengers.


Loading the Taperwing. Preflight Talk: “This is a 1929 Taperwing WACO. It has a Wright Whirlwind engine, designed in 1928. It is the next version of the Whirlwind which came after Lindbergh’s crossing of the Atlantic. Note that it has seven cylinders. At least 4 of the cylinders still work which gives us a safety factor since I think it would still run OK on 3 cylinders. … If you are scared, you will be happy to know that your feelings are shared. I’m scared too. … but I’ve developed a good attitude should we be worried that we may die … there is a fairly good chance that we may live.”


With the passengers comforted by my Preflight Talk, we taxi out for take-off.


Airborne. The Whirlwind gets you airborne quickly even if you’re hauling the football team.


I am reminded that flight in a 1929 Taperwing is an extraordinary experience to the non-vintage aviator. Somehow, I forget this until giving occasional rides. Anyway, the few rides I give are well remembered and free beers seem to flow for a couple of months after such rides.


We made it again. Getting good at this. Wonder if I can get a contract flying the mail.


Specs

-Wright R760-8, 235 HP, 250 SMOH
-102" Hamilton Standard Ground Adjustable Propeller, 250 SMOH
(This aircraft has paperwork approved for installation of Wright R760-E2 (derated to 320 HP) and HS 2B20 Constant Speed Propeller)

42 Gallon Main Fuel Tank
31 Gallon Center Section Tank (top wing)
73 Gallons Total

Fuel Burn - 12 to 15 GPH. 12.5 GPH @ 115 MPH
Endurance - 4.8 hours

7:50 X 10 tires with Hays Brakes (I ordered the rebuild with Cessna 310 Clevelands and the FAA equipment list shows them, but the re-builder died and the guys finishing off the airframe put the Hays Brakes on.) Still have the new Clevelands but they need different spacers. I also have 30x5 wheels.
Rudder Bar
Outrigger Style landing gear.
Scott 3200 Tail Wheel

Jasco 50 amp alternator, 2 Grimes retractable landing lights, Grimes nav lights, Grimes cockpit flood, Old style Rotating Beacon Housing with modern slow flash beacon. Collins Com.

The Taperwing WACO is known as the best flying of the Roaring 20's aircraft. Excellent aileron authority accompanies great elevator and rudder authority to make the plane a joy to fly when maneuvering, sightseeing or landing. The Taperwing has a rich history as described in the book by Ray Brandly which is available from the National WACO Club. With 2 passengers up front the joy is shared by more passengers. This aircraft is always the front plane in the hanger, eager to give rides to neighbors as well as those reading this description who haven't experienced the Taperwing.

Taperwing WACO

I've heard of some Taperwings coming out of rebuild looking beautiful but missrigged for flight trim as well as landing track. This aircraft was no exception. After it came out of rebuild in 1990 I reset the wing rigging, had landing gear axles re-welded, and reset the center of gravity to produce a flying machine to which you [look forward] to flying.

The rear windscreen is about 2 inches wider than standard. You can fly with just sunglasses even with the airflow spillage over the front windshield. The front windshield comes off in about 5 minutes and 7 dzus fasteners secure a tri-fold front cockpit cover. This is the perfect winter setup. I have flown a 1.5 hour flight to Wisconsin in 18 degree weather with this setup. For business cross-country flights, the front cockpit holds more luggage than you can use. Night flying is a joy in this Taperwing. 2 huge grimes retractable lights flood the runway with light. The antique grimes nav lights light up wisps of snow. You become a 1920's air mail pilot.

The front flight controls pull out in 15 minutes and a cover installs over the aileron/elevator gimbal to ensure that passengers can't interfere with the flight controls.

Taperwing WACO

Flight Characteristics:

This aircraft has a gentle stall. It mushes straight forward. Accelerated stalls produce a roll to the right, much slower than modern light aircraft. Landing directional stability is predictable. Most taildragers have a area of rollout speed where the pilot needs to pay attention (transition between aerodynamic control and tailwheel steering). In this Taperwing this area is between 20 and 30 MPH. Good aileron and rudder authority make crosswind landings a breeze up to 20 knots on grass, 15 knots on pavement.

Aerobatics produce little stress on the pilot. Loops can be done with only 3G's starting at 125 MPH. A 140 MPH entry gives a newcomer extra an extra cushion. If you get slow at the top of a loop or Cuban 8, the Taperwing's fantastic rudder authority keeps you on heading. Rolls are beautiful. You can roll fast but as you gain a feel for the Taperwing you will do beautiful, effortless, super-slow barrel rolls. Spins are delightful. A consistent, clean recovery does require that you hold opposite rudder 1/4 turn before you move the stick forward.