Air & Space Airshow Spotter's Guide
You know how to tell a Viper from a Hornet, but does your airshow-newbie friend? Here are recognition tips, bite-size histories, specs and info links for the airplanes most likely to appear at airshows this year.
- By airspacemag.com
- AirSpaceMag.com, April 01, 2012
Illustrations by Harry Whitver
How to recognize: Open-cockpit biplane with wings staggered fore and aft and connected by struts and flying wires; round engine, usually cowled.
Claim to fame at airshows: Kyle Franklin painted his UPF-7 Mystery Ship black and white, with rounded flames and a skull-and-crossbones on the upper wing and tail; he replaced the 220hp engine with a 450-hp monster. He reinforced struts and flying wires for muscular loops, twists, nose-overs, rolling vertical climbs, inverted flat spins, and tail slides.
Mission: The Waco “F” series of biplanes followed the company’s line introduced in 1927, the “O,” and with its lighter airframe allowing the same performance with a smaller engine, became popular in general aviation for both touring and sport flights. A tandem-cockpit version was chosen by the Civilian Pilot Training Program to aid military preparedness from 1938-44.
Performance and specifications: With a crew of one and the capacity to carry at least one passenger or trainee, the basic UPF-7 has a maximum speed of 128 mph and range of 400 miles while flying at up to 14,800 ft.
Main variants: At least a dozen variations of the “F” were introduced throughout the 1930s, from the 125-hp model INF with a Kinner engine, to versions with a Warner Scarab engine, Continental, or Jacobs powerplant and with modifications to the width of the fuselage and height of the vertical tail. In 1986, the Waco Classic Aircraft company revived the line with its powerful YMF-5 model and introduced the latest unit.
Waco “Mystery Ship”
National Waco Club