Last updated 17 July 2023
Compiled by Geoff Goodall

Various models of the biplane range produced by Waco Aircraft Co at Troy, Ohio have been imported into
Australia and
were flown extensively in Australia and New Guinea.

This listing does not include new-build models produced by WACO Classic Aircraft Corporation at Lansing Michigan since 1986

THEN: Adastra Airways' Waco YKS6 VH-UYD departs Sydney in 1938 on their scheduled airline service to Bega NSW
Photo: Frank Walters Collection

               NOW:  Guy Bourke's Waco AGC-8 N66206 with Nigel Arnot's EGC-8 VH-EGC, near Echuca Vic in April 2016
Photo by Rob Fox  

                 The Waco company was founded in 1920 as Weaver Aircraft Company in Lorain, Ohio by mechanics Clayton J. Brickner and Elwood J. Younkin.  They based their name on the then widely-known US pilot Buck Weaver. Despite a name change to Advance Aircraft Company, their range of biplanes were still marketed under the name WACO, the company name was changed again to Waco Aircraft Co based at new premises at Troy, Ohio.
                   Initial production concentrated on the Waco 9s and 10s, followed by a variety of civil and military biplanes,  Waco designs earned a reputation for strength, performance and reliability. The 1930s brought the luxurious Waco Custom Cabin series, built to order with the customer's preferred power plant - resulting in a bewildering array of designations.
                  In November 1935 the Australian Government lifted a ban on direct importation of American-built aircraft, which had been imposed to support the British aircraft industry.  Australian businesses quickly negotiated sales agencies for US manufacturers, Adastra Airways at Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney became the agents for Waco Aircraft Co.

                  During WWII the Waco company designed and built thousands of assault gliders for the US military, best known being the Waco Hadrian series. Following the war, the company was unable to make the transition to peace-time civil sales, and ceased production in 1947.

Waco YKS-7 VH-UYD landing at Wiawera Station, Olary SA in the 1980s.                   Photo: John Treloar

                 Australian Waco model designations:

Waco model

 220hp Wright R-760
3 pax. Taperwing variant, open cockpit
 300hp Jacobs L-6
5 pax cabin model
 320 hp Wright R-760E
5 pax cabin model
 210 hp Continental R-670
4 pax cabin model
 210 hp Continental W-670
5 pax cabin model
 210 hp Continental W-6702 pax open cockpit: equivalent to USAAC PT-14
 210 hp Continental W-6704 to 5 pax cabin model
 225 hp Jacobs L-4
4 to 5 pax cabin model
 225 hp Jacobs L-4
4 to 5 pax cabin model
 225 hp Jacobs L-4
5 pax cabin cabin model

Australian Waco aircraft listed in order of appearance on the Civil Register:

            Waco 10T             c/n A.100                                                                                                       VH-ULV
Built at Troy Ohio by Alliance Aircraft Corp as a Waco 10T. Also named Waco CTO series
220hp Wright R-760 Whirlwind radial

Ordered by Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Brisbane Qld

Shipped to Australia
Added to Register as Waco 10T VH-ULV Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield Aerodorme, Brisbane Qld

Assembled at Archerfield by APL
APL advised Civil Aviation Branch that new is assembled and waiting for a propeller, due the next day.
APL advised CAB that the Waco has been test flown. Request allocation of a registration
Registered VH-ULV Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield Aerodorme, Brisbane Qld
Flown by Adair in the third annual Aerial Derby at Eagle Farm racecourse, Brisbane.
Australian CofA issued
Aircrafts Pty Ltd commenced their first scheduled airline service, Brisbane-Toowoomba using this Waco, later DH.75 Hawk Moth VH-UOY. Services expanded to many Queensland towns, with a variety of aircraft
First visit to Rockhampton, flown by Captain E. Shaw of APL, with two passengers
Port lower wing damaged when aircraft swung to the right during landing at Eagle Farm racecourse, Brisbane.
Caused by a jammed tail skid, pilot E. P. M. Shaw unhurt
Engine failure inbound to Archerfield from Stanthorpe, glided to airfield from 3 miles out, no damage
APL advise CAB that VH-ULV has been sold to Captain Les Holden and shipped to New Guinea as cargo on board the coastal steamer Macdui.
Also on board Macdui was pilot Tommy O'Dea who had been engaged by Holden to fly the Waco

Captain Les Holden was an Australian pilot who owned DH.61 Giant Moth VH-UHW Canberra. He made headlines in Aopril 1929 when he located the missing Charles Kingsford Smith, Charles Ulm and crew when their Fokker trimotor Southern Cross made a forced in the remote north of Western Australia.
Holden commenced charter flying in New Guinea in June 1931 with VH-UHW which had been shipped from Sydney. His freight rates of 5 pence per pound (2 pence per pound for natives) undercut the dominant Guinea Airways.
Holden in Salamaua telegrams CAB Melbourne advising that VH-ULV has been assembled and air tested
Register Change of ownership: Leslie H. Holden, Salamaua, New Guinea
Holden introduced a regular service between Wau and Bulolo gold fields with the Waco
CAB Inspection report: good condition, total airframe time 973 hrs

Captain Les Holden was killed on 18.9.32 while in Sydney organising additional aircraft to expand his New Guinea operation. He was a passenger on board DH.80 Puss Moth VH-UPM which crashed near Byron Bay NSW when a wing broke away due structural failure.
His father W. H. Holden and Fred Eager took over the business which was reformed in the name
Holden's Air Transport Service Pty Ltd, Salamaua, New Guinea.
Commenced a major overhaul in Holden's workshops at Salamaua. Completed 29.9.34.
Total airframe time 1,584 hrs

At some time in New Guinea, the Waco was re-engined with the 220hp Wright Whirlwind J5A
Holden's Air Transport Service was amalgamated into Guinea Airways Ltd.
HATS had operated under its own name after Guinea Airways Ltd had purchased a controlling interest during 1934. The HATS fleet had grown significantly with the purchase of DH.50s VH-UGD & -UQX, DH.61s VH-UQJ & -UTL, and Ford 4-AT Trimotor VH-USX.
Change of ownership: J. Ward Williams, Fly River, Papua, New Guinea

Purchased from Guinea Airways by Ward Williams to support an expedition in search of gold desposits along the Fly River and other areas of New Guinea. Williams was a pilot for Sikorsky S-39B NC54V which had been shipped from USA to commence the contract with Selection Trust Ltd from August 1936.
The expedition was disbanded in June 1937 and the Sikorsky was flown to Australia and returned to USA.
Change of ownership: Stephens Aviation Ltd,  Wau, New Guinea.  Based at Wau and Wewak
Damaged in forced landing in a swamp 40 miles west of Madang New Guinea.
Rough running engine over jungle terrain, pilot E. W. Leggatt located an open space but on touchdown realised it was a swamp, aircraft tipped on to its nose
DCA report: Stephens Aviation have not yet salvaged VH-ULV. Due to the terrain, it will have to be completely dismantled and carried out by natives to Madang
Test flown at Madang after re-assembly and repair. 
CofA renewal at Wau. Had flown 213 hours since rebuild completed 2.39
CofA lapsed.
DCA inspector reports that at Salamaua Waco ULV and Ryan UIZ are retired by Stephens Aviation while waiting for the opportunity for overhaul to renew CofAs
Destroyed by Japanese attack on Salamaua Aerodrome
Struck-off Register by DCA "Destroyed by enemy action"

Waco CTO c/n A100 added to US Civil Aircraft Register as N29TW, owner: Artemis Aviation Group, Wilmington DE

Artemis Aviation Group is headed by warbird and antique aircraft dealer Jeff Thomas, who has had recent dealings with Australian warbird restorers.
(Without further information, it can only be speculated that some remains of VH-ULV were recovered from New Guinea during wartime aircraft crash site salvage expeditions)

VH-ULV at Archerfield Qld soon after entering service with Aircrafts Pty Ltd.       State Library of Queensland

VH-ULV at Menyamya New Guinea in 1933.            
John Kingsford Smith collection via Civil Aviation Historical Society

Salamaua, New Guinea while with Holden's Air Transport.                          Frank Walters Collection

VH-ULV in New Guinea service.                                                                      Neil Follett collection

VH-ULV at Lae, New Guinea with Guinea Airways Junkers G31s and Ford Trimotor parked behind.
Frank Walters Collection

VH-ULV on Won airstrip, New Guinea 1937.                                     Photo by Peter N.Johnston

            Waco UIC            c/n 3749                                                                                                             VH-UAX
Built at Troy, Ohio by Waco Aircraft Co as a model Waco UIC.
Metal construction, fabric covered, 4 seat cabin biplane.
210hp Continental R-670 radial
US Export CofA
Shipped to Hamble, England. Carried on cargo deck complete, transferred en-route from a German vessel at Bremen
Assembled, flown from Hamble to Heston by H.F. Jenkins on delivery to Lady Hay-Drummond-Hay
Registered G-ACGJ Lady Grace M. Hay-Drummond-Hay, 76 Strand, London
British CofA issued, based at Heston Aerodrome

This was the only Waco to be imported to Britain

Sold to Australia to Mrs Harriet May Gilbertson, Brisbane: to be operated by Aircrafts Pty Ltd
Urgently needed by APL to replace their DH.75 Hawk Moth VH-UOY which was wrecked in an
accident at Archerfield 12.5.35
Struck-off British Register as sold to Australia

Shipped to Australia, assembled at Archerfield with British registration
G-ACGJ test flown Archerfield after assembly, pilot Ron S.Adair, Managing Director of APL.
Airframe total time: 110 hrs
Adair held all ground engineer licences and signed out the airframe and engine after assembly
Registered VH-UAX Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield Aerodrome, Brisbane Qld
At that time the sequential Australian registration block was the VH-UU series, but CAB was issuing unused earlier registrations.
Australian CofA issued
Civil Aviation Branch approved an APL request to commence flying this aircraft under its British registration and British CofA to  their DH.75 Hawk Moth VH-UOY which crashed at Archerfield 12.5.35
Captain Ron Adair flew VH-UAX to Grafton NSW for weekend local flights
Captain Adair flew VH-UAX from Brisbane to Sydney with two passengers
Test flown Archerfield after annual CofA renewal inspection, pilot A. Spence
Forced landing on a beach near Maryborough Qld due engine failure. Pilot A. Spence, no damage
Forced landing on a beach near Ballina NSW due engine failure. Pilot A. Spence, no damage
Aircraft is stored dismantled at Ballina while waiting for engine parts from USA

CAB investigation into failure of the Continental R-670 revealed serious discrepencies within the engine structure which involved the American CAA and the engine manufacturer.
Captain R.S.Adair was seriously censured over his engine maintenance and criticised over his lack of management of Aircrafts Pty Ltd's operations while frequently absent flying Qantas Empire Airways DH.86 airliners on the Brisbane-Sungapore route
1.8.40Test flown Archerfield for CofA renewal Archerfield, reassembled after 3 years dismantled.
Pilot B. W. Minney. Airframe total time: 662 hrs
2.41DCA inspection at Archerfield reports advanced corrosion in the metal framework of the ailerons.
APL instructed to rectify.  Repaired by 26.2.41
This prompts a memo from T.L.Amos, DCA OIC Archerfield to Head Office:
"Certain leniency has been shown to Aircrafts Pty Ltd in the past owing to the impressment of their DH.84 Dragon VH-UZZ and their present difficulty in obtaining ground maintenance staff. But this appears to have been misplaced since the majority of staff are engaged on reconditioning work for RAAF, to the detriment of aircraft used on the company's civil services."

(APL was an approved civil contractor to RAAF for scheduled inspections and accident repair of Tiger Moth, Moth Minor and Dragon type aircraft)
CofA expired. APL advise DCA that due the war situation they do not have a licenced engineer to carry out the inspection
CofA renewed Archerfield
Damaged in forced landing due engine failure, near Archerfield aerodrome Qld 

DCA investigation blames poor workmanship for engine failure. The aircraft was found to be loaded 290 pounds above its Maximum All-Up Weight when it took off from Archerfield on a scheduled service.
Legal action was taken against pilot M. Blackman and the engineer who maintained the engine
APL advise DCA they intend to put VH-UAX back in service when engine parts arrive from USA
Work on rebuilding the failed Continental R-670 engine had begun at Archerfield. The work is closely monitored by a DCA inspector who reports that some worn parts are being re-used. The mechanic carrying out the work moved the engine to a Brisbane city workshop
APL reply to letter from DCA querying the status of VH-UAX, advising it has been withdrawn from service
Struck-off Register as "Withdrawn from service 5.5.47"

Compiler's note: VH-UAX was not returned to service after the forced landing 3.5.42. Probably due to unavailability of a replacement Continental R-670 engine and doubts over the rebuild of the troublesome original engine. The DCA file also implies the airframe metal structure may have more corrosion problems, probably due to its three years in storage close to the sea at Ballina

G-ACGJ at the Waco factory in 1933 before it was shipped to England.                   Photo: National Waco Club

G-AGCJ was shipped from USA on a German vessel, seen at Bremen being transferred to a vessel to Hamble
Photo: N. Dunmow via Attic site

Archerfield Qld in October 1935 outside the Aircrafts Pty Ltd hangar where it had just been assembled.
This photo was submitted to CAB by APL to be used on VH-UAX's CofA form.

And from the other side - a later picture at Archerfield, now wearing "Aircrafts Pty Ltd Brisbane"on the tail.
The colour is assumed to be a dark crimson or vermillion.               Frank Walters Collection

             Waco YQC-6       c/n 4403                                                                                   VH-UVW, A54-1, VH-UVW
Built at Troy, Ohio by Waco Aircraft Co as a model Waco YQC-6
Metal construction, fabric covered, 4 to 5 seat cabin biplane.
225hp Jacobs L-4M radial
First test flight at Troy Ohio

Ordered by Australian agents Adastra Airways, Sydney on behalf of G.B.S.Falkiner

Shipped to Australia
Assembled at Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney by Adastra Airways
First test flight at Mascot by George Falkiner, registration not yet painted on airframe.
Aircraft overturned on takeoff due the main wheel brakes not fully releasing on one side.

CAB report: Falkiner insisted on test flying his aircraft because of his recent experience on the type at the Waco factory during a visit to USA. Adastra had warned him that their insurance would only cover test flights by their employees.

Repaired by Adastra Airways
Test flight Mascot after repairs, pilot Adastra's Mr. N. Adam. Airframe total time I hr 25 mins.
Lower port wing damaged when it struck the ground during a cross-wind landing at Mascot, pilot G.B.S.Falkiner
Registered VH-UVW: George B. S. Falkiner, "Haddon Rig" via Warren NSW
CofA issued
 by 10.37
Operated by Southern Airlines and Freighters Ltd,  Melbourne Vic
Mostly used on the subsidised air mail airline route Sydney-Broken Hill with intermediate stops, which the company had taken over.
Newspaper report: Southern Airlines and Freighters Ltd's Waco plane carried a woman patient from Wilcannia District Hospital to Adelaide for urgent medical treatment.
Pilot Charles Gatenby departed Broken Hill at 4.45am to Wilcannia to collect the lady, who was carried as a seated passenger under the care of a hospital doctor. Gatenby returned the doctor to Wilcannia at 12.30pm that same day
Civil Register change of ownership date: Southern Airlines and Freighters Ltd,  Melbourne,
c/- Manager Sid De Kantzow 

Forced landing due engien failure, near Mumbil NSW while on scheduled service Sydney-Broken Hill.
No airframe damage, pilot S. De Kantzow, carrying mail but no passengers
Change of ownership Nicholas D. Healy, Sydney NSW. To be based at Canberra ACT           
Fitted with a galvenised-iron tank to carry fish to inland towns
DCA Inspection Report at Mascot: good condition, total airframe time 673 hrs
Change of ownership  Joseph R. Palmer, Sydney NSW
Lower port wing struck ground landing in strong winds at Mascot, pilot Joe Palmer

Flown by Palmer on an charter for an Inland Expedition to central Australia
Serious damage in a precautionary landing at Townsite Aerodrome, Alice Springs NT due to the engine overheating in high ambient temperatures. Joe Palmer made a high approach overhead a Connellan Airways Percival Gull and vehicles which were on the airfield
Repair at Alice Springs by Guinea Airways progressing slowly due loss of ground engineers who had left the airline to enlist in RAAF due to the war situation
Test flown at Alice Springs after repair, pilot Palmer. Airframe time 847 hrs
Ferried Alice Springs to Mascot by Palmer
Palmer advises DCA that he has enlisted in RAAF as an instructor, intially at 9EFTS Cunderdin WA.
He has left the Waco at Mascot
Palmer gave a demonstration flight to a RAAF Sqn Ldr, with a view to RAAF acquiring the aircraft
CofA renewed at Mascot. The reqired camouflaged paintwork for civil aircraft has not yet been applied
Impressed from J. R. Palmer by Australian Government under Impressment Requisition No.9029. To be used by RAAF in the light communications role
Taken on charge by RAAF as A54-1.  Received at 3CF Mascot from J. R. Palmer
Issued to Marshall Airways at Mascot for repairs and to be painted in camouflage
Received 3CF ex Marshall Airways
Starboard lower mainplane damaged in ground-loop on landing. Repaired
Issued to Aircrafts Pty Ltd, Archerfield Qld for repair
3CF was renamed No.3 Communications Unit
Received at No.2 Central Recovery Depot, Richmond ex 3CU. Jacobs engine still installed
Offered for sale by tender by the newly-formed Commonwealth Disposals Commission in aircraft list No.1 for which tender close 20.2.45.  Also included in this first listing were the following RAAF aircraft:
Avro Cadet x 15
Beech 17 x 1
Cessna C34 x 1
DH.60 Moth x 5
DH.84 Dragon x 9
DH.90 Dragonfly x 1
DH.94 Moth Minor x 20
Douglas Dolphin x 1
Fairchild 24 x 3
Lockheed Vega x 1
LJW Gannet x 2
Miles Falcon x 2
Ryan STM x 23
Stinson Reliant x 1
Plus many additional engines as spares for these types
A54-1 sold by Commonwealth Disposals Commission for 125 to W. J. Meehan, Melbourne Vic
Collected by purchaser ex 2CRD
Wing Commander Jack Meehan returned to Geelong following his RAAF career. While establishing a new charter business Geelong Airways, he was also a founder of the Geelong Aero Club at Bemont Common airfield at Geelong. The club was a thriving concern at the start, offering members Ryan STA VH-UYN, Ryan STMs VH-ARR, ARS and Tiger Moths VH-ATA, ATC.
Also on Belmont Common airfield were the workshops of Brown & Dureau Ltd, which were engaged in  civil conversions of a variety of RAAF disposals aircraft, including many Ryan STMs and Avro Ansons.

After a period in storage, VH-UVW was moved to Brown & Dureau's hangar for rebuild and renewal of civil CofA.
The original 225hp Jacobs radial engine was u/s and Meehan wanted to replace it with a
200hp Gipsy Six
, then in plentiful supply. Brown & Dureau senior engineer Dave Bourke submitted a modification scheme to DCA, which was approved. 
The installation of an in-line engine made a significant change to the lines of the Waco, but it was reported to have been a successful modification. DCA did not change the YQC-6 designation
CofA renewed at Geelong. Gipsy Six engine.
20.6.47 Restored to Register as VH-UVW Geelong Airways, Geelong Victoria c/- Manager W. J. Meehan

Jack Meehan was killed on 26.8.47 when the Percival Q6 VH-ABY he was ferrying from Sydney to Geelong went missing over the mountains south of Canberra. He had purchased it for Geelong Airways and was carrying the previous owner Wallace Stillard. The wreckage was not found for a year with the remains of both men.
Meehan's widow continued to operate the aero club and Geelong Airways. Manager role was taken over by experienced pilot Ken Frewin but depressed economic conditions forced her to close both businesses during 1949.
Local flight Geelong, pilot Ross Meehan of Geelong Airways
Crashed, struck power lines on takeoff, Rossmoyne, Colac Vic.
Pilots Chester Fox ex RAAF and Ross Meehan (brother of Jack Meehan)
VH-UVW was being flown from Belmont Common to Port Campbell Vic where it was planned to conduct joy-riding for the Christmas holiday visitors.  En route they landed at the Rossmoyne strip near Colac to collect Charles Miller, a young Geelong Aero Club member. The aircraft crashed on takeoff.

Charles A. Miller went on to a long aviation career. He later wrote this account of the Waco crash:
"I joined the Waco at Colac. Pilot Chester Fox taxied right to the edge of the lake, turned to face uphill, then paused to smoke a cigarette, hoping the cylinder head temperature would lower. There was no wind, it was a hot day, the grass was long and it was an uphill takeoff with power lines to clear . There were five persons on board.
After a prolonged takeoff run without gaining much acceleration, it soon became too late to abort - so the pilot simply dragged it off, under protest from the aircraft as it staggered to clear the power lines. I was peering out the window in the door and got a close-up view as the power lines suddenly twanged and flashed as we went through them.
Then followed a wild ride on the aircraft's belly - across the road, through telephone wires, across the railway line, through a barbed-wire fence and on into a paddock. Visibility in the cabin suddenly became zero and the immediate thought was "Fire".
What had happened was that the undercarriage legs had broken off completely, allowing the burst fuselage to become an efficient earth scoop, shovelling in clouds of dust from the dry earth. Once stopped, I opened the door to be confronted with heavy twisted copper wire, lighter copper wire, No.8 fencing wire and rusted barbed-wire, all rolled up in the remains of the port lower wing - exposed spruce ansd fabric. Luckily no fire occurred even though a wing fuel tank had ruptured and was leaking fuel.
I offered to remain with the aircraft overnight to prevent the good folk of Colac collecting souvenirs as had happened to me in my Tiger Moth crash earlier that year when items as large as the Gipsy Major engine disappeared overnight. (VH-ATU)
Faced with sleeping in the wreckage I sold the remaining fuel to a gateful famer. His wife, in turn, brought out a meal for me that evening."
Damaged fuselage was returned to Belmont Common airfield
DCA memo: Geelong Airways advise they intend to rebuild VH-UVW.
The company ceased operating soon after this and nothing further recorded on the Waco
Struck-off Register by DCA in the 1951 Census of unairworthy aircraft: withdrawn from service 26.12.48

George Falkiner's brand new VH-UVW having the Jacobs radial run up at Mascot in 1936
Bob Fripp collection

Two great aviation characters pose with the Waco in 1936: its owner, wealthy grazier George Falkiner on left with
mischievous former WWI fighter pilot Jerry Pentland
.                            Photo: Nancy Bird Walton

VH-UVW at Ayers Rock NT on an inland expedition flown by owner Joe Palmer in 1939

Circa 1940, rebuilt after the landing accident at Alice Springs in October 1939.

Waco A54-1 in RAAF service. This picture published in the Commonwealth Disposals Commission
Aircraft List No.1 in 1944 is the only view located so far showing VH-UVW in military markings

1947 at Belmont Common, Geelong, where the Gipsy in-line engine was installed.          Photo by Bob Fripp

What a difference an engine change makes - VH-UVW visiting a farm at Rainbow Vic in 1947.    Kevin O'Reilly collection

The fuselage returned to Belmont Common after the Boxing Day 1948 crash.       Photo: Neil Follett collection

               Waco YKS-6      c/n 4534                                                                                                    VH-UYD
Built at Troy, Ohio by Waco Aircraft Co as a model Waco YKS-6
Metal construction, fabric covered, 5 seat cabin biplane.  225hp Jacobs L-4 radial

Ordered new by Adastra Airways Ltd, Sydney
First flight Troy OH

Shipped to Australia. Assembled by Adastra at Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney
Adastra advised Civil Aviation Board that their new Waco is erected and ready for inspection at Mascot
Test flown Mascot by Adastra Airways pilot Norm Rodoni. Airframe time 5 hrs
CAB inspection report when assembled reported that the wing struts and fittings were not as specified for the type and were unsatisfactory. Lengthy correspondence between CAB, Adastra, US CAA and Waco Aircraft Co regarding modifications required.

Adastra Airways Managing Director Frank W. Follett wrote several letters to the CAB critical of the delay in issuing a CofA for his new Waco which was urgently needed in operation.
Provisional Australian CofA issued while discussions over modifications to the wing struts and fittings continued
Registered VH-UYD Adastra Airways Ltd, Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney NSW

Used on Adastra Airways' Sydney-Bega scheduled airline route as well as charter
Forced landing on beach at Sussex Inlet near Jervis Bay NSW while flying the Bega service due engine failure. The crankshaft, front crankcase and propeller detached in flight.  Pilot J. E. Todd.
No airframe damage.
New engine and propeller installed in situ by engineer Hegenham over 4 days, flown out 1.10.38
Letter to DCA from F.W.Follett of Adastra Airways:  their DH.90 Dragonfly VH-AAD has been used for aerial photographic survey, but it will now be used on the scheduled Bega services. Requests approval to install the photographic equipment from the DH.90 in Waco VH-UYD, with provision for the camera operatoron the starboard side of the cabin.  DCA approve the modification drawings submitted
VH-UYD conducting a survey of Yallourn Vic
Adastra Airways letter to DCA: their DH.90 Dragonfly VH-AAD will exclusively operate the Bega air service, releasing the Waco for aerial survey contract work.
Flew extensive aerial photography mapping work across eastern and northern Australia, pilot usually Norm Rodoni.
Annual CofA renewal inspections carried out on schedule each year at Mascot
VH-UYD engaged in aerial survey in conjuction with the construction of the Stuart Highway between Adelaide-Alice Springs-DarwinUsual pilot was Norm Rodoni and photographer Pete Payens
Test flown Mascot after CofA renewal. pilot L. J. Bruckhauser. Airframe time 2,042 hrs
Based at Kempsey NSW on survey for Australian Army, pilot Joseph Boden
CofA expired. Adastra advise DCA they will not renew at this time due to the war situation
CofA renewed Mascot
Change of ownership Dr. Geoffrey L. Young, Forbes NSW
Dr. Young established a flying doctor operation based on the Forbes District Hospital, financed by the NSW State Government. The Waco was modified with a long narrow door along the port side of the fuselage to allow a stretcher patient to be loaded. The stretcher was fitted to the rear fuselage metal frame.
Dr Young also had DH.87B VH-UXO and later Proctor 5 VH-BJY as back-up aircraft.
CofA renewal at Mascot
Letter to DCA from E. J. Connellan, Alice Springs NT: he is negotiating to purchase VH-UYD but because of the high temperartures on his inland Australia services intends to install a more powerful Jacobs L6 radial with a fixed wooden propeller. DCA reply advising that the L6 installation was acceptable and would change the type to a Waco ZKS-6. Sale was not finalised
CofA renewed Mascot
CofA expired. Parked in hangar at Forbes while Dr. Young is away in England
UYD still stored at Parkes and expected to remain there all this year in Young's absence
CofA renewed
Change of ownership Kingsford Smith Aviation Services Pty Ltd, Bankstown Aerodrome, Sydney NSW.
Traded in on a new Auster J5. KSAS were the Australian Auster agents
Sold to Clifford ("Cliff") R. Jackson & Fernand ("Frank") J. Goosens t/a Papuan Air Transport Ltd,
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. 

The Waco was the first aircraft for Papuan Air Transport, which was registered in August 1952 as a partnership between ground engineer Cliff Jackson and pilot Frank Goosens. They had met while earlier working for Guinea Air Traders and Gibbes Sepik Airways.
Papuan Air Transport grew under the name Patair. with a fleet of Avro Ansons, later Piaggio P166s, DC-3s, Turbo Porters, Short Skyvans and other aircraft until taken over by Ansett in 1970.

Cliff Jackson is quoted in James Sinclair's book Balus - The Aeroplane in Papua New Guinea:

"In mid 1952 I decided that it was time for me to have my own aircraft and my own business, mainly for the reason that it sounded like a lot of fun and I went through the process of seeking a suitable charter aircraft. Through Kingsford Smith Aviation Service at Bankstown I purchased for 2,000 (all borrowed funds) a Waco biplane with a Jacobs engine and a huge fixed-pitch wooden propeller. The price included a spare engine and a package of parts.
Unfortunately we had out first set-back right at the beginning. We were taxying at Bankstown when the aircraft stood on its nose and smashed the propeller, the only one of its kind in Australia. We took the remains to George Adams who was an approved propeller manufacturer and he agreed to draw up plans and produce an identical one. This took considerable weeks. Frank and I eventually departed for Port Moresby."
Arrived Port Moresby from Sydney, flown by the company partners Cliff Jackson and Frank Goosens
First PAT charter flight, a search operation of Port Moresby harbour
Lower starboard wing damaged when it struck a ground marker at Fishermans Island airfield near Port Moresby.  Pilot was Tom P. Drury experienced New Guinea pilot, now employed by DCA
Engine change at Port Moresby by Papuan Air Transport, now fitted Jacobs L-4MB with a constant-speed propeller
The Waco was by now flown only occasionally as Papuan Air Transport had built up a fleet of Avro Ansons and ordered new Piaggio P.166s
Sold to J.T. Brown, Austerserve Pty Ltd, Bankstown NSW
Brown had been the founder and managing director of Kingsford Smith Aviation Service, from whom Jackson purchased VH-UYD. A later restructure of KSAS established Austerserve as an associate company managed by J.T.Brown to handle maintenance and sales of Austers and other older types.
VH-UYD departed Port Moresby on ferry to Sydney
Civil Aircraft Register Change of ownership: Austerserve Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport, Sydney
Hire-purchase sale to Ronald G. Akers, "Tyrone North" Station Charleville Qld
Akers traded his Beech C17L VH-UXP to Austerserve 27.10.61 for the Waco
visited Moorabbin Vic

Letter from Ron Akers to the compiler 11.9.62:
"I owned the Beech C17L VH-UXP until last year. It was a good aeroplane especially for long trips, but the retractable undercarriage needed a lot of care when using dusty strips as we have here. The Waco, on the other hand, is an outstanding bush aircraft, able to handle all the hazards encountered out here and I am very pleased with it. Both aircraft had the same Jacobs 7 cylinder radial engines which I have found very reliable.  The Waco is a 5 seater and able to handle heavy loads and cruises at about 100 knots. The Beech, a four-place, cruiised at 120 knots."
Change of ownership Ronald G. Akers, "Tyrone North" Station, via Charleville Qld. Jacobs L-4 engine
Change of ownership John H. Treloar, Broken Hill NSW
Airframe log: ferried from Tyrone North Station to Broken Hill, 5hr 35min, flown by Alan Lewis from the Aero Club of Broken Hill
visited Griffith NSW airshow, cream and green paint scheme
noted at Broken Hill NSW in hangar
Ground-looped on landing and overturned, Goorimpa Station, via White Cliffs NSW. Pilot Alan Lewis
DCA Accident report:  "The pilot did not maintain directional control during a landing in slight downwind and crosswind conditions, the port wingtip struck the ground and the aircraft flipped on to its back."

Damaged aircraft stored dismantled in a shed for some months before transported by truck to Adelaide for repair.
Fuselage standing on its undercarriage arrived by road at Adelaide-Parafield SA at the Rossair hangar.
Torn fabric, cream with green trim

Repair carried out over three years by Cleve Gandy and Eddie Meathrel, Adelaide
A port wing was later damaged by fire in Meathrel's workshop and had to be rebuilt
fuselage standing on its wheels in the rear of Rossair hangar, cream and green, also 6.4.67
fuselage standing on its wheels in Rossair hangar, red doped fabric repairs
both upper wings in red dope finish fitted to the fuselage
Struck-off Register
fuselage standing on its wheels in Rossair hangar, cream and green, new fabric applied on tail
Lower wings now attached, repair work on forward fuselage, rear fuselage and tail all silver. Same 7.2.70
Restored to Register John H. Treloar, Broken Hill NSW, later Adelaide SA
noted at Parafield completed, had just been sprayed all silver
Airframe log: first test flight Parafield after repair
Airframe log: flew Parafield-Broken Hill
noted at Parafield, parked outside Rossair hangar
arrived at Parafield
visited Wallaroo SA fly-in, silver fuselage and tail, cream forward fuselage, cowls, wings and rudder,
red spinner and wheel rims
noted at Parafield
visited Waikerie SA fly-in, same silver and white paintwork
noted at Parafield, parked outside, same silver fuselage cream forward fuse, wings & rudder. Also 16.8.72
noted at Parafield, fuselage now painted beige, no registration
noted at Parafield, outside Rossair hangar, all beige, no registration
noted at Parafield, registration now painted on fuselage in brown
noted at Parafield, repainted white and red
Airframe log: flew Parafield to "Wiawera" Station, Olary SA which was owned by the Treloar family. Appears UYD was stored here for next 4 years
Airframe log: next entry: 40 min flight to Broken Hill for inspection for CofA renewal
noted at Broken Hill NSW in Barrier Air Taxis hangar, white and red
noted at Broken Hill. Also 24.4.83, 16.7.83
Airframe log: flew Broken Hill to Wiawera Station
Airframe log: airframe total time 3,661 hrs 30 mins
noted at Broken Hill, flying. White and red
arrived Parafield
visited Palamana, Murray Bridge SA fly-in
visited Kyabram Vic fly-in
noted at Parafield, in Adelaide Aviation hangar. 
Retired Parafield parked in this hangar until 1992
moved to another Parafield hangar to be a back drop for a classic motor vehicle rally meet
Waco fuselage moved from Parafield by road by John Treloar
Waco wings noted at Parafield, in Adelaide Aviation hangar

Fuselage stored under cover at John Treloar's house in the Adelaide suburb of Linden Park for some years.
The wings later stored in his hangar at Gawler airfield SA with his Cessna 182K VH-AJF.
The Waco fuselage was also later moved to Gawler airfield

Currently Registered to John Treloar, Adelaide. Reportedly stored at Gawler SA awaiting rebuild

Adastra Airways' new Waco just after assembly at Mascot in 1937 outside the company hangar.   
Reddall Collection via AHSA NSW Branch

Adastra aeral survey specialist Peter Payens poses with VH-UYD at Cairns Qld circa 1939.
Photo: Dora Payens via Adastra Aerial Surveys site:

Mascot May 1945 after overhaul prior to sale  by Adastra to Dr. Geoffrey Young
Photo: George Charlwood via Adastra Aerial Surveys site:

Papuan Air Transport founders Cliff Jackson (standing) and Frank Goosens (at the controls) with their first
aircraft VH-UYD on the Fishermans Island emergency airstrip Port Moresby on 8 August 1952.
Photo: Cliff Jackson courtesy Roger McDonald

VH-UYD at Bankstown in January 1961, painted in a pleasant white with green trim.     Photo by Dave Eyre

VH-UYD at the original Townsite Aerodrome at Alice Springs in the 1960s.              Photo: John Treloar

Overturned during landing at Goorimpa Station in outback NSW, July 1966.           Photo by Roland Jahne

VH-UYD arrives at Waikerie SA in October 1970, repaired but not yet painted.                Photo by Nigel Daw

VH-UYD in cream and red paint scheme at Broken Hill NSW in September 1986.          Photo by Paul Daw

            Waco EGC-8      c/n 5051                                                                                       VH-AAF, VH-CGF, VH-EGC
Built at Troy, Ohio by Waco Aircraft Co as a model Waco EGC-8
Metal construction, fabric covered, 4 seat cabin biplane.
320 hp Wright R760-E2 Whirlwind radial

Allocated registration NC19357
Australian Import Licence issued by DCA for a newWaco to Mr. G.B.S.Falkiner
Order placed by G.B.S. Falkiner through Australian Waco agents Adastra Airways, Sydney
First flight at Troy, Ohio

Shipped to Australia
First flight after assembly by Adastra Airways at Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney
Australian temporary CofA issued

Issue of Certificate of Registration delayed by DCA because of airframe modifications and electrical system changes to allow installation of a US-built air-ground radio
Registered VH-AAF George B. S. Falkiner, "Haddon Rig", Warren NSW
Australian CofA issued

Mainly used by Falkiner to fly between his Sydney business office and his large sheep property
"Haddon Rig"
CofA renewed at Mascot
Impressment Requisition by Allied Works Council, Department of Interior.
Required for communications duties between AWC wartime road and airfield construction projects in western Queensland and NT.  The two Qantas Empire Airways DH.90 Dragonfly aircraft previously chartered by AWC were presently unserviceable

Numerous Memos between DCA and Department of Defence, which expressed its annoyance that this impressment had taken place without referring the matter to Defence first. Defence had earlier declined to impress VH-AAF for use for RAAF communications because of its importance to allow Falkiner to maintain wool production, to supply the needs of the military forces.
However by 8.42 Defence had reviewed that decision because of urgent aircfaft requests from No.3 Communications Flight, and was about to issue an Impressment Requisition for VH-AAF

Falkiner responded that its was simply a charter to AWC, and he would fly the aircraft himself, at no charge to the Government. However an AWC representative stated the Waco was acquired under Reg. 6 of the National Security (Allied Works Council) wartime regulations

DCA decided to leave the aircraft on the Civil Register owned by Falkiner
Department of Defence allocated RAAF Dragon A34-78 to AWC, to be based at Townsville and operated by No.5 Communications Flight on  behalf of AWC.  This allowed AWC to release VH-AAF.

However in the meantime Dept of Defence had replaced the Waco for 3CF by issuing an Impressment Requisition for Connellan Airways Beech D17A VH-AFP which became A39-2 with 3CF.
DCA investigation into Falkiner's aviation fuel ration. Records of every flight by VH-AAF were demanded from all ATC and Aeradio units.  Despite an increased fuel ration to cover AWC operations, in fact the Waco had flown exclusively between Haddon Rig and Sydney between February-July 1943.
Landed heavily at Mascot, overturned, pilot George Falkiner and passenger Clive Caldwell unhurt.
RAAF wartime fighter ace Caldwell had just joined Falkiner as a director of his aviation sales company  Aerial Transport Co.
CofA had been maintained current throughout Falkiner's ownership. Annual renewals were done by Adastra Airways and later Australian National Airways at Mascot.  Its main use was flying Falkiner between his Sydney businesses and his large pastoral property "Haddon Rig", where the airfield was now developed to DC-3 standard
VH-AAF visited the annual Royal Aeronautical Society Picnic Air Display at Camden NSW, flown by George Falkiner
Damaged during landing Haddon Rig, no injuries. Quickly repaired
DCA accident report:  "The aircraft ground-looped and rolled during a landing run when one wheel brake failed as a result of maintenance errors."
Advertised for sale by the Estate of the late G.B.S. Falkiner
noted at Bankstown
Change of ownership Country Air Services Pty Ltd, Rockhampton Qld
 62Dismantled at Rockhampton for a complete overhaul, engine replaced by a 300hp Jacobs R-755A radial.
Repainted in bright orange and white Jolly Roger pirate paint scheme to attract tourists. Country Air advertised the Waco for beach and island landings for fisherman, hikers etc.
visited Bouldercombe Qld Agricultural Field Day, Jolly Roger scheme
Country Air Services had expanded its operations to include a Piper dealership. The Waco was replaced by a new PA-32 Cherokee Six.  Waco advertised for sale
Change of ownership Laurie A. Clark, Darwin NT
Local flying at Bankstown,  Jolly Roger scheme. Also 8.7.67. Then flown to Darwin
Port undercarriage collapsed during landing at Darwin, pilot L.A.Clark unhurt.
DCA accident report:
"The pilot, who was inexperienced on the type, did not maintain directional control while landing in a crosswind and the aircraft swung to starboard, collapsing the port undercarriage leg."
Damaged aircraft moved by road from Darwin to Brisbane for repair by Air Express Ltd at Archerfield Airport
noted dismantled in Air Express hangar Archerfield, has been here some months unmoved
noted in Air Express hangar Archerfield, rebuild completed. Allover orange paint scheme
Flown from Archerfield to Bankstown, later returned to Darwin. All red.
noted at Darwin, all red with black cowlings. Also 12.70
minor damage in emergency landing at Delissaville NT due engine problem.
(VH-AAF featured regularly in Darwin Tower's line-book maintained by the RAAF controllers. On this occasion
Overturned due groundloop during stop and go landing at Darwin NT, severe damage
Struck-off Register at owner's request
By now the damaged aircraft has been acquired by Cliff Douglas who had established Chewing Gum Field Air Museum at Tallebudgera in the Gold Coast Hinterland. Aircraft were displayed in a hangar transported from Brisbane's Eagle Farm Airport, and the scenic setting had a grass landing strip and adjacent golf course.
VH-AAF noted in the museum display hangar, stored dismantled. Also 23.4.80, 14.8.80
Airworthy rebuild in the CGFAM museum hangar at Tallebudgera
Test flown at Tallebudgera when rebuild completed
Restored to Register as VH-CGF Cliff C. Douglas, Chewing Gum Field Air Museum, Tallebudgera Qld
Cliff Douglas flew only several hours before the aircraft overturned on takeoff when being flown by another pilot who lost directional control on takeoff
Struck-off Register at owner's request.
Repaired at Coolangatta Airport Qld by Nick Challinor, who had a family business restoring vintage aircraft at nearby Murwillimbah NSW.  After completion Cliff Douglas sold the Waco to Nick Challinor
First test flight Coolangatta after repair, pilot Nick Callinor.
Restored to Register Nick P. Challinor t/a Moth Aviation Services, Murwillumbah NSW
Change of ownership: M. S. Hayes, Brisbane Qld
Struck-off Register

Acquired by Nigel Arnot and commenced an18 month restoration
Restored to Register as VH-EGC: Nigel Arnot, Brisbane Qld
VH-EGC restoration completed by Nigel Arnot. Engine runs at Caboolture. 
Change of ownership: Ross Skerman/ Sker Aviation Pty Ltd, Boonah Qld
(Operated by Nigel Arnot)
Change of ownership: Alan and Carol McVinish trading as Aviation Specialists Toowoomba Pty Ltd, Wilsonton Qld

During its Darwin days, VH-AAF featured in Darwin Air Traffic Control's unofficial log in which the civil and military controllers recorded entertaining radio calls and banter between pilots and ATC. A selection of events were typed up and distributed under the name  Top End Traffic Tangle.
(Acft: aircraft  TWR: Tower, APP: Approach Control)

Acft:    AAF Right Base
TWR:  AAF Clear to Land
(Aircraft nearly leaves runway right side then swerves to left side)
TWR:  AAF all OK?
Acft:    Affirmative, I had flap on one side and none on the other. And could you give me taxy guidance, I have oil all over my windscreen
(Aircraft nearly leaves the taxiway)
Acft:   Sorry Tower, one of my brakes doesn't work

*                     *                    *

Acft:    AAF I am returning to Delissaville, I have smoke coming out of my engine cowl, over
APP:   AAF Roger, report on the ground Delissaville on this frequency or on HF
Acft:    Approach, I now have oil and smoke coming out of the engine and am landing at Delissaville. Oh, and by the way, you can make this a Mayday

*                     *                       *
Acft:     AAF Base Stop and Go
TWR:   AAF Cleared Stop and Go
(Aircraft seen to touch down on the runway, trundle forward then flip over on to its back. As the dust settles and the Crash Alarm is wailing, from the pilot hanging upside down in his seat, comes:
Acft:    AAF I'll make this one a Full Stop

Mascot 1938 just after arrival.                                                                            Frank Walters Collection

"Haddon Rig" NSW 1949: Alex McDonald, then a jackaroo on the station, took this photo on his Box Brownie.
Roger McDonald collection

Bankstown July 1959. A valuable early colour shot, despite the colour slide deterioration
Photo by Dave Eyre

Bankstown April 1962, awaiting sale after the death of its long-time owner Geoirge Falkiner.
Green, black and gold paint scheme.
          Photo by Bob Doherty via Neil Follett collection

The next owner Country Air Services at Rockhampton Qld applied this colourful paint work for tourist work.
Photo by Dave Eyre

The pirate paintwork on the "Country Air Sport Wagon" offered Beach BBQs, Oystering, Hunting and Shooting
Photo: Country Air

VH-AAFseen at an agricultural Field Day at Bouldercombe Qld in September 1963
Photo by Ivan Wilson

The controls and instrument panel of VH-AAF as seen in 1967.                               Photo by Dave Eyre

Basking in the heat at Darwin Airport in October 1967.                                  Photo by Neil Follett

Proud owner Mr. Laurie Clarke poses with VH-AAF at Darwin Airport in December 1970.
Photo by Robert Zweck

VH-CGF seen at Cabooture Qld in September 2002.                                                       Photo by Dave Eyre

Looking better than new, with new registration VH-EGC, at Narromine NSW in July 2016.    Photo by Ian McDonell

Splendid view of VH-EGC visiting a farm fly-in at Clifton, near Toowoomba in June 2022.        Photo by Ian McDonell

             Waco UOC       c/n 4336                                                                             ZK-AEL, NZ575, ZK-ALA, Australia, ZK-AEL                  
Built at Troy, Ohio by Waco Aircraft Co as a model Waco UOC.  Only three other UOCs were built.
Metal construction, fabric covered, 4 seat cabin biplane.
210 hp Continental R-670 radial

Ordered by Marlborough Aero Club, New Zealand
Shipped from New York to NZ as boxed freight on City of Canberra.  
Registered ZK-AEL Marlborough Aero Club, Blenheim NZ
Unloaded at Wellington docks. Assembled at Rongotai airfield by Wellington Aero Club.
Factory paint scheme all over Insignia Blue
Delivered to the Marlborough Aero Club by Sqn Ldr N.E.Stedman (CFI Wellington Aero Club) and
Sqn Ldr N.E. Chandler (CFI Marlborough Aero Club) . 

Used by the club for touring by members, joyflights, medical flights and charter until impressed by RNZAF
Impressed by RNZAF as NZ575. Used by Communications Flight, Rongatai
Declared surplus to requirements by RNZAF.  Had flown 990 hours while with the air force.

Purchased by Marlborough Aero Club 

Overhaul by De Havilland Aircraft at Wellington for re-issue of CofA.
Appears that a different radial engine was installed, because early post-war photograsphs show it had smooth cowlings rather than the pre-war "helmet" cowlings. Painted all silver.
Restored to Civil Register as ZK-ALA Marlborough Aero Club, Blenheim
Delivered to Marlborough Aero Club
Damaged in landing accident at Blenheim. Came to rest on belly, with damaged lower wing and fuselage, undercarriage torn away.  Pilot E.H.Jarvis or his 3 passengers were uninjured. Investigation found a faulty welded joint in the main undercarriage leg had failed.

Spare parts were difficult to acquire. Club management advertised the Waco for sale "as is"
Sold in damaged condition to Stan Blackmore t/a Waikato Aviation Co, Rotorua

Rebuilt by Waikato Aviation, which operated charter and tourist scenic flights. ZK-ALA was named Aotea
Waikato Aviation Co changed name to Blackmore's Air Services Ltd, Rotorua
Change of ownership due company takeover: James Aviation Ltd
Repainted in James Aviation's house colours of bright red with silver and black trim
Damaged in accident at Rotorua
Ownership changed to James Aviation (Rotorua) Ltd
Overturned on landing at Rotorua during pilot endorsement training
Sold in damaged condition to George E. Gilltrap Ltd, Rotorua.
The Waco was purchased to rebuild to display standard to include in his classic motor car collection displayed in a hangar at Rotoua Airport
Struck-off Register
noted in Gilltrap's auto museum at Rotorua Airport
George Gilltrap and his family migrated to Australia, taking with him many of his classic automobiles and ZK-ALA.
He soon established
Gilltrap's Auto Museum at Coolangatta Qld to take advantage of the tourist numbers visiting Surfers Paradise. Vintage automobiles were displayed inside the building with ZK-ALA suspended from rafters above

ZK-ALA was acquired by Colin McLeod, Brisbane Qld in exchange for DH.94 Moth Minor VH-ACR.
The Moth Minor had been stored for many years but was in good condition. It was displayed inside Gilltrap's Auto Museum, suspended from the rafters, above the car collection

McLeod intended to have the Waco restored to airworthy, but his plans were thwarted. 
The Waco UOC model had not been previously certified in Australia. Air Navigation Regulations required owners of a first-of-type to provide the manufacturer's airworthiness data for that type. There seemed to be no way of acquiring the required manufacturer's data from the long defunct Waco Aircraft Co
DCA also ruled that because  ZK-ALA had been imported as a "non-flying museum exhibit", it was ineligible for Australia CofA.
Waco fuselage stored in the garage at Colin McLeod's Brisbane home, wings stored underneath the raised Queenslander house
By 74
Acquired by Cliff Douglas, Coolangatta Qld
Cliff was planning an aircraft museum, which he was later to establish as Chewing Gum Field Air Museum in the Gold Coast hinterland at Tallebudgera Qld.
ZK-ALA noted at Coolamngatta Qld in Air Gold Coast hangar, along with Cliff Douglas' Avro Cadet VH-AFX and BA Eagle VH-ACN, both airworthy

Acquired by Colonel Keith Hatfield, Berwick Airfield Vic
Colonel Hatfield managed Casey Field at Berwick, just outside the Melbourne metropolitan area and was a popular figure in the Victorian vintage aircraft scene. The old hangars of the airfield housed a variety of older types.
ZK-ALA noted at Berwick Vic, dismantled in hangar. Also 2.4.83, 16.4.83

Acquired by Geoff Leach t/a South Pacific Airmotive, Camden NSW
Geoff was an experienced commercial pilot and ground engineer, previously being Sydney Base Engineer for Pan Am. His son Nick joined him in South Pacific Airmotive which specialised in DC-3 charter and sales. The Waco was a family restoration project to fly, under the new regulation ANR.108a which allowed aircraft to fly without full type-certification
The fuselage and wings framework had been restored in Sydney by Leach family.
Sold by Geoff Leach to Jay McIntyre, Stuart Leslie and Rex Newman, Blenheim NZ.

Jay McIntyre had established JEM Aviation at Omaka Airport, Blenheim in 2006 to specialise in airworthy restorations of vintage aircraft

Arrived at Omaka Airport, Blenheim in shipping container from Australia. The restored fuselage and tail group, with Creconite covering sprayed silver, was rolled out of the container on its undercarriage.
Restoration commenced in JEM Aviation hangar at Omaka Airport

Jay McIntyre writes in 2016:
"We intend to finish her in the original blue scheme complete with bump cowl.
Interestingly back in 1935 the Marlborough Aero Club ordered her with silver wings, but WACO said they could not have it in with silver wings because that was not the company scheme. The club wanted silver wings for ease of repairs to the fabric. Anyway about 6 months after getting her, an Airworthiness Directive came out requiring the fitting of the plywood panels in the upper wings due to a machine in the US having come apart with aileron flutter.
The repairs were duly done and then they went to paint the wings blue again but "American Insignia Blue" was different from "Colonial Insigina Blue" and the CAA of the time would not let them use locally available Colonial Blue even though they could not import the American Blue!  Eventually the wings were repainted in silver as originally ordered."
Fuselage completed, painted blue with original registration ZK-AEL. Wings have been completed and re-covered.
When reassembled, the Waco will be test flown.
Registered ZK-AEL: Waco Partnership. Blenheim NZ
First test flight at WanakaFirst time airborne since 1958

ZK-AEL at Wellington pre-war, with original helmet cowlings.                             Photo: Ed Coates Collection

Re-registered ZK-ALA after wartime service with the RNZAF.                         Photo: Ed Coates Collection

Rotorua 1956 in James Aviation's house colours red, black and silver.             The Collection p8003-0007

ZK-ALA being collected at Berwick Vic by the Geoff Leach in the 1980s.                  Classic Wings magazine

ZK-ALA's restored fuselage is rolled from a shipping container on arrival at Omaka NZ from Sydney in 2008.
Photo:  JEM Aviation

The Waco's airframe was displayed assembled at an airshow at Omaka in April 2009.    Photo by Dave Eyre

Omaka NZ July 2022: ZK-ALA on right restored to its original 1936 blue paint scheme and registation ZK-AEL,
parked with Waco UPF-7 ZK-UPF, a recent import from USA.                      Photo by Graham Orphan

Superb workmanship to replicate the helmet cowlings originally fitted to ZK-AEL.           Photo by Graham Orphan

The glorious end-result of a 15 year restoration - Waco UOC ZK-AEL taxying at Omaka NZ in March 2023.
This was a special occasion when five NZ Wacos gathered to go flying together.     Photo by Graham Orphan

              Waco UPF-7   c/n 5687                                                                                                 VH-IOI,  VH-NVF

Built at Troy, Ohio by Waco Aircraft Co as a model Waco YPF-7
210hp Continental W-670 radial


Two UPF-7 hulks salvaged from Nicaragua by a US warbird enthusiast, along with two Boeing Stearman airframes, reportedly previously used as banana sprayers in Nicaragua

Rob Poynton, Perth WA purchased a restoration package of "basket-case" airframes comprising the two UPF-7s and two Stearmans. He on-sold the second Waco UPF-7 to William Knight in Wisconsin USA

Restoration commenced at Perth-Jandakot Airport at Rob Poynton's maintenance company Panama Jack's Aircraft Service
Registered as Waco UPF-7 VH-IOI: Robert H. Poynton, Perth WA
Change of registration VH-NVF  Robert H. Poynton, Perth WA

Fuselage frame and components stored in hangar at Perth-Jandakot Airport
Struck-off Australian Register as exported to USA
Registered N8749X Bruce T. Bullion, Memphis Tennesee

            Waco VKS-7. YKS-7    c/n 5278                                                                                                           VH-YKS
Built at Troy, Ohio by Waco Aircraft Co as a model VKS-7
240hp Continental W-670-M radial
Registered NC31656
US registration system replaced the NR prefix with N. Re-registered N31656

Re-engined with a 225hp Jacobs L-4MB radial, changing designatiuon to Waco YKS-7
USCR: N31656 Rollen H. Skog, El Monte California
Last annual aircraft inspection report received by FAA 10.59
USCR Rollen H. Skog, El Monte, California
USCR type VKS7: Dale V. Miller, South Pasadena CA
Purchased by John Gallagher, Sydney.
N31656 was based at Cable Field, Los Angeles and was flown to Santa Paula airfield where it was dismantled and packed for shipping to Sydney

On arrival at John Gallagher's hangar at Wedderburn airfield near Sydney, inspection found the wings required major repair.  John commenced work on the wings and tail group but pressure of commercial aircraft restoration work resulted in the Waco being left in storage in the hangar
Sold to Australia, struck-off USCR: still quoted as a modelVKS7
Registered VH-YKS: John Gallagher, Sydney NSW

Current. Stored dismantled at Wedderburn NSW pending restoration

N31656 at John Gallagher's hangar at Wedderburn NSW in August 1990, soon after arrival from California.
Photo by Dave Eyre

The unrestored Waco VH-YKS stored in the Wedderburn hangar in November 2008.       Photo by Dave Eyre

           Waco YKS-7      c/n 5222                                                                                                                  VH-YKX
Built at Troy, Ohio by Waco Aircraft Co as a model Waco YKS-7
225hp Jacobs R-755
Registered NC20905
US registration system replaced the NC prefix with N. Re-registered N20905
US Civil Register: N20905 Edward Ermatinger, Wimbledon, North Dakota
Last annual aircraft inspection report received by FAA in 5.63
USCRs: Edward Ermatinger, Wimbledon, North Dakota
Restored by Jack Greener and Verle Roote at Longmont, Colorado
noted at Chicago-DuPage IL, taxying, red and white "NC20905"
Owner  Glen Smith, Ardmore, Oklahoma
sold to Australia, struck-off USCR
Registered VH-YKX  Mark C. Shipton, Brisbane Qld
visited Watts Bridge Qld fly-in


This photograph by Dave Eyre captures the lines of the Waco Custom Cabin series. Model YKS-7 VH-YKX

Another excellent Dave Eyre shot, VH-YKX at Cowra NSW in March 2012 while still wearing US registration

              Waco AGC-8     c/n 5073                                                                                           N66206                                                      
Built at Troy, Ohio by Waco Aircraft Co as a model Waco AGC-8 Custom Cabin
300 hp Jacobs L-5
Order for eight Waco AGC-8 models placed by Civil Aeronautics Administration, Washington DC
CAA operated over 40 Wacos for a range of duties was the predecessor of the current Federal Aviation Administration
Registered NC62 Civil Aeronautics Administration, Washington DC
Initially based by CAA at Garden City, Long Island, New York
Logbook: flew 1,450 hours in CAA service
Disposal by CAA to M. Bianchi
Re-registered NC66206, changed to N66206 in 1949
CofA renewal
US Civil Register: Gary W. Golden, La Mirada, California
USCR: Stanley R. Simmons, Corona, California
USCR: Jean K. Taylor, Glen Ellyn, Illinois
Based in Alaska, carrying fresh salmon to market in Anchorage
Wrecked in crash in Alaska. Total airframe time only 1,700 hours

Wreck passed through several owners as a rebuild project
USCR: Truman G. Coffield, Anchorage Alaska
Not listed on USCR
USCR: Francis Grafton, Anchorage, Alaska
Rebuild project acquired by John T. Venaleck, Cleveland Ohio.
Major rebuild to airworthy by engineer John Burton for John Venaleck. All woodwork was replaced and many missing components were built from scratch using original Waco design drawings supplied by the Smithsonian Museum. A 330 hp Jacobs R-915 radial was installed and new cowlings manufactured.
Damaged landing at Ogden, Utah. Ran off runway on to soft surface, and tipped on nose.
No injuries to pilot John Venaleck and two passengers

Offered for sale at auction of 13 vintage aircraft owned by Jack Venelack's Firebird Enterprises.
Immaculate condition, maroon and black paint scheme
Had only flown 100 hours since the rebuild was completed in 2000
N66206 purchased by Guy Bourke, Little River Vic
Guy Bourke, with his wife and two children flew N66206 from Cleveland to Oshkosh,Wisconsin for the annual EAA AirVenture.
After a week at Oshkosh, Guy flew on to St Louis, to Lakeland, Florida

Dismantled at Lakeland and packed for shipping to Australia

Shipped to Australia, assembled at Melbourne-Moorabbin Airport
N66206 change of ownership: Kenneth J. Love, Temora NSW.
Ownership Trust arrangement with Guy Bourke, to keep the Waco US registered.
Guy Bourke was Director of Flying Operations for Temora Aviation Museum, where Kenny Love was a senior aircraft engineer
N66206 first flight at Moorabbin after assembly, pilot Guy Bourke


NC66206 displayed at the Avalon Air Show, Victoria in February 2015.                            Photo by Dave Eyre

*                          *                          *                      *                      *                         *                          *                    *

The new production Wacos
                   The reputation and allure of the Waco biplane series, especially in the US antique airplane market, resulted in a new manufacturing operation WACO Classic Aircraft Corporation being established in 1983 at Lansing, Michigan. Using original Waco drawings which were on public record at the Library of Congress, the Waco YMF model was put into production at Battle Creek Airport, Michigan under the designation WACO Classic YMF-5C.
                   Original Waco hand-made construction methods are used but the Waco Classic YMFs have many modern improvements and digital electronics.  Over 100 Classic Waco YMF-5Cs had been delivered by 2007 and production continues also offering a YMF-5D model. The company has also commenced new-build production of the popular Great Lakes biplanes.
                    A number of WACO Classic YMFs have been imported to Australia, and more will probably follow.

Example of the new production WACO Classic YMF series, VH-MLX seen at Caboolture Qld August 1999.
Photo by Dave Eyre

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- Australian Civil Aircraft Register, Department of Civil Aviation and its successors
- National Archives of Australia, Melbourne: Department of Civil Aviation aircraft correspondence files
- Australian Civil Register supplements, Aviation Historical Society of Australia
- The Historic Civil Aircraft Register of Australia G-AUAA to VH-UZZ, Bert Cookson, AusAirData, Brisbane 1996
- British Civil Aircraft Register: g-info website
- Adastra Aerial Surveys history site:
- The Waco Series, Aviation Historical Society of NZ Journal, monthly, May 1969 & September 1969
- Waco UOC ZK-ALA,  D.L.Prossor, Aviation Historical Society of NZ Journal, July 1970
- Australian Air Log, monthly jiurnal, 1965-1968: Waco reports
- British Civil Aircraft Since 1919, A.J.Jackson, Putnam London 1974
- Let There be Flight, A history of flying in western Victoria, Kenneth R. Riches, self-published 2009
- Waco Aircraft The Rest of the Story, Charles N. Trask, Air Britain Digest Autumn 1998
- Classic Wings magazine: reports on Wacos in NZ and Australia
- Prodigal Waco - An Historical Flagship Returns, by Grahan Orphan, Classic Wings magazine No.68. 2008
- Flightpath magazine, Melbourne: reports on Wacos in NZ and Australia
- Cabin Class Luxury, Flightpath magazine, Vol.28 No.1, August-October 2016
- Circuitous travels in a 1939 Custom Cabin Waco, Guy Bourke, Flightpath magazine, February-March 2013
- South Australian Air Museum Library, John M. Smith collection: photographs and data VH-UYD
- Special thanks to Nigel Daw and Melvyn Davis, Adelaide for compiling the detailed summary of VH-UYD from 1966 to today

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