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Waco F series
Waco UPF-7 built 1941 ex US Civilian Pilot Training Program at Sun n' Fun, Lakeland, Florida, in April 2009
Role open-cockpit biplane
National origin United States
Manufacturer Waco Aircraft Company
Introduction 1930
Status YMF-5 in production (2013)
Primary user private pilot owners and training schools

The Waco F series was a range of American-built private pilot owner and training biplanes of the 1930s from the Waco Aircraft Company.


The Waco 'F' series of biplanes supplanted and then replaced the earlier 'O' series of 1927/33. The 'F' series had an airframe which was smaller and about 450 pounds (200 kg) lighter than the 'O' series, while continuing to provide accommodation for three persons in tandem open cockpits. A similar performance to the earlier model was obtained on the power of smaller and more economical engines.[1]

The initial models were the INF (125 hp (93 kW) Kinner engine), KNF (100 hp (75 kW) Kinner) and the RNF (110 hp (82 kW) Warner Scarab), all of which had externally braced tailwheel undercarriages. Many further sub-models followed with more powerful engines of up to 225 hp (168 kW). The most powerful in the range was the ZPF of 1936/37, intended for executive use.

Operational history

Waco RNF of 1931 displayed at the Pima Air Museum Tucson Arizona in 1991

Waco UBF of 1932 flown by Texaco preserved at the Historic Aircraft Restoration Museum, Missouri, 2006

Waco ZPF-6 three-seat executive aircraft built for Texaco Oil in 1936. Preserved airworthy at Sebring, Florida

UPF-7, built 1941, arrives at the 2014 Royal International Air Tattoo, England

A new 2006 model WACO Classic Aircraft YMF-F5C at Sun 'n Fun 2006

Waco YPF at Sun 'n Fun 2006

1997 YMF-5C at Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, Maine

The 'F' series was popular with private owner pilots for sporting and other uses and continued in production through the late 1930s. The tandem cockpit UPF-7 was adopted by the Civilian Pilot Training Program and continued in production until 1942 by which time over 600 had been built.[2]

The 1934 model YMF was substantially redesigned with a longer and wider fuselage, larger rudder and other structural changes, and put into production in March 1986 by WACO Classic Aircraft of Lansing, Michigan as the YMF-5.[1] Over 100 YMF-5s were completed as of 2012 with new examples being built to specific orders.[3]

The WACO Aircraft Company of Ohio Inc had built three replicas by December 2011, which they designated MF.[4]

Considerable numbers of 'F' series biplanes, both original and newly built, remained in service in mid-2009.


Listed in approximate chronological order (per Simpson, 2001, p. 573)

125 hp (93 kW) Kinner B-5, Certified ATC#345 on 2 August 1930.
100 hp (75 kW) Kinner K-5, Certified ATC#313 on 12 April 1930.
275 hp (205 kW) Jacobs R-755, built by WACO Aircraft Company of Ohio Inc by 2011[4]
110 hp (82 kW) Warner Scarab, Certified ATC#311 on 7 April 1930.[5]
170 hp (127 kW) Jacobs LA-1 and new cross-braced undercarriage, PCF-2 Certified ATC#473 on 2 October 1931.
as PCF with modified 'B' wings
165 hp (123 kW) Continental A70, QCF-2 Certified ATC#416 on 9 April 1931.
210 hp (157 kW) Continental R-670
210 hp (157 kW) Continental R-670A and longer wider fuselage and larger vertical fin
as UMF with 225 hp (168 kW) Jacobs L-4
YPF-6 and YPF-7
225 hp (168 kW) Jacobs L-4
ZPF-6 and ZPF-7
285 hp (213 kW) Jacobs L-5
tandem training version with wider-track undercarriage and 220 hp (164 kW) Continental radial (designated PT-14 by the USAAC)
new design roughly based on the YMF, built by WACO Classic Aircraft from March 1986 onwards.
further improved variant of YMF unveiled in June 2009.[3][6]
Two UBF designated XJW-1 were used by the US Navy as hook-up trainers for the Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk airship-borne fighters.[7]

Note: from 1936 Waco added year suffixes to designations—e.g. YPF-6, YPF-7, with the numeral being the last figure of the model year.


Military operators

United States

Specifications (UPF-7)

Data from Green, 1965, p. 307

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 1 trainee or passenger
  • Length: 23 ft 1 in (7.04 m)
  • Wingspan: 30 ft 0 in (9.14 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 5 in (2.57 m)
  • Wing area: 244 ft2 (22.67 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1,870 lb (848.22 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,650 lb (1202.02 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Continental W-670-6A seven cylinder radial, 220 hp (161.81 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 128 mph (207 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 114 mph (185 km/h)
  • Range: 400 miles (644 km)
  • Service ceiling: 14,800 ft (4,511 m)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Simpson, 2001, p. 573
  2. Green, 1965, p. 307
  3. 3.0 3.1 WACO Classic Aircraft (2009). "Own the Dream". Retrieved 2009-06-12. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Vandermeullen, Richard: 2012 Kit Aircraft Buyer's Guide, Kitplanes, Volume 28, Number 12, December 2011, page 76. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
  5. Al Hansen (Spring 2004). "The Waco Model F". 
  6. Grady, Mary (June 2009). "Waco Updates Its Classic Biplane". Retrieved 2009-06-25. 
  7. "Waco". Retrieved 2012-08-23. 
  8. Sloot and Hornstra Air International January 1999, pp. 55, 57.
  9. Swanborough and Bowers 1963, p. 535.
  10. Swanborough and Bowers 1976, p. 474.
  • Green, William (1965). Macdonald & Co. (Publishers) Ltd. 
  • Simpson, Rod (2001). Airlife's World Aircraft. Airlife Publishing. ISBN 1-84037-115-3. 
  • Sloot, Emile; Hornstra, Luc (January 1999). "Fueza Aerea Guatamalteca". pp. 55–58. 
  • Swanborough, F. G.; Bowers, Peter M. (1963). United States Military Aircraft since 1909. London: Putnam. 
  • Swanborough, Gordon; Bowers, Peter M. (1976). United States Navy Aircraft since 1911 (Second ed.). London: Putnam. ISBN 0-370-10054-9. 

External links