Model Airplane News
July, 1958

Model Airplane News Cover for July, 1958 by Jo Kotula WACO 9

WACO Model Nine
Model Airplane News Cover Art for July, 1958
by Jo Kotula
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The Waco Model Nine general aviation aircraft, introduced in 1925, was built by the Advance Aircraft Company (later known as WACO).

 WACO Model Nine      WACO Model Nine      WACO Model Nine

WACO Model Nine
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The Model Nine sold well because it delivered better performance than the readily available war surplus Curtiss Jennys at a affordable price. The design of the Nine was state-of-the-art for its time—a fabric-covered wooden wing structure strengthened with welded steel tubing. The front cockpit was equipped with a bench seat that accommodated two passengers with a single cockpit for the pilot in the rear of the aircraft. An engine radiator mounted under the forward edge of the upper wing became a distinguishing WACO trait. Its wingspan was 29.6 feet and it was 23 feet long. It had no radio or brakes. The WACO Nine won second place in the 1925 Ford National Reliability Air Tour. The accompanying publicity quickly translated into increased aircraft sales and 276 Nines were sold between 1925 and 1927. An outstanding barnstormer, more than 14 Nines competed in the 1926 National Air Races with several finishing first in their events. WACO Nines also saw duty as crop-dusters—the airplane could be outfitted with floats for water landing—and were also used as an early commuter aircraft.

Handling and Reliability aside, the most appealing aspect of the WACO Nine was its capacity: it could could carry up to 800 pounds and flew at a speed of nearly 100 miles per hour at a flight altitude of 1,000 to 5,000 feet. The "Nine" was introduced at the same time that the Post Office was awarding contract for air mail delivery. One of the only surviving "Nines" is Miss Pittsburgh, a history-making airplane that made the first airmail flight from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Cleveland, Ohio on April 21, 1927. She now hangs at Pittsburgh International Airport Terminal. Two other planes made up the Western Pennsylvania airmail fleet, Miss Youngstown and Miss McKeesport.

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