WACO Classic Great Lakes 2T-1A Series Aircraft Receives Type Certificate


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WACO Classic Great Lakes 2T-1A Series Aircraft Receives Type Certificate

By Steve Hall

October 27, 2011 - WACO Classic Aircraft has received Type Certificate by the FAA for the Great Lakes 2T-1A series aircraft. Now, with the Type Certificate in hand, WACO Classic is able to better work with the FAA to return the Great Lakes to the air. 

The Great Lakes by Waco Classic the new airplane is the Great Lakes Model 2T-1A-1/2, a fully aerobatic 180 horsepower aircraft targeted at pilots and flight schools looking for a highly capable aerobatic aircraft with docile handling attributes. The aircraft was most recently produced in the 1980, and is type certificated in the aerobatic category. 

The design and construction techniques are very similar to the current Waco YMF-5D biplane produced by Waco Classic, however, the airplane is smaller and features simple avionics and systems.

Several improvements to the earlier design are planned, including changing from the current wood spar to a new aluminum spar, upgrading the brakes, avionics updates and serviceability improvements. The Great Lakes Aircraft Corporation of Cleveland, Ohio produced a design for a small two-seat sports/trainer in early 1929, with the first prototype flying in March 1929. The resulting aircraft, designated 2-T-1 was a single bay biplane of mixed, fabric covered construction and with a tailskid undercarriage.

Power was by a single 85 hp (63 kW) Cirrus III inline engine (as the Detroit Aircraft Corporation, the holding company for Great Lakes, also held the American rights to the Cirrus, so all Sports Trainers were originally sold with Cirrus engines). Initial testing showed that the aircraft was tail heavy, so after the first four aircraft were built, the upper wing was swept back. 

In January 2011 WACO Classic Aircraft announced that it will put the Great Lakes Model 2T-1A-1/2 model biplane back into production. The aircraft had not been available since 1980. The aircraft will incorporate several changes including metal wing spars. It will be offered in two models, a touring model, with a Lycoming IO-360-B1F6 engine and a higher-performance sport model, with a Lycoming AEIO-360-B1F6 engine. 

Preliminary pricing for the Touring model fitted with a Lycoming IO-360-B1F6 is $219,000. The higher performance Sport model will feature the Lycoming AEIO-360-B1F6 engine, priced at $239,000. The Lycoming O-360 is a family of four-cylinder, direct-drive, horizontally opposed, air-cooled, piston aircraft engines. Engines in the O-360 series produce between 145 and 225 horsepower (109 to 168 kW).  Production and first deliveries are expected in early 2012. The new Great Lakes annual sales are expected to be 10 to 12 aircraft a year and require an additional 20 production technicians, engineers and support staff.


WACO Classic Aircraft Corporation, founded in 1983 and located in Battle Creek, Michigan, is the world's preeminent manufacturer of Sport Biplanes and is the state?s only manufacturer of FAA certified general aviation airplanes. WACO Classic Aircraft currently builds the three-seat biplane, the WACO YMF-5D, based upon the original manufacturing plans, updated to modern safety and avionics systems. The aircraft are constructed on the airport at the W.K. Kellogg Regional Airport (KBTL) in Battle Creek, Michigan. WACO Classic Aircraft also operates a repair and restoration subsidiary that specializes in historically significant vintage aircraft. 


In 2010, the company announced the improved YMF-5D version, powered by a Jacobs 300 h.p. engine and featuring numerous updates. WACO Classic Aircraft Corp. is a family-owned American company, with owners Peter Bowers and Jon Bowers, and a talented team of craftsmen continuing the tradition of building the finest sport biplane in the world.

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