The classic movie The Great Waldo Pepper depicts the life of a WWI pilot after the war. This movie accurately portrays how, after the first war in which airplanes played a major role, the general populous of the US was infatuated with flying. There was a surplus of aircraft which the government sold off cheaply. Many former military pilots purchased the airplanes and used them to generate income by performing tricks and selling rides. Waldo Pepper, like other “stunt pilots”, primarily operated out of a farmer’s field hence their antics became known as “barnstorming”.
In real life, two such barnstormers, George Weaver and Charley Meyers became partners with businessmen Elwood Junkin and Clayton J. Brukner forming the Weaver Aircraft Company in 1919. The company moved around Ohio and sometime in the late 1920’s the company name was changed to WACO, an acronym for the former name, although some historians suggest that it was renamed for a nearby airfield.
Waco was one the most successful builders of personal and business airplanes in the United States in the mid-1930’s. They were fast, powerful and delightful to fly. Around 1935 Waco introduced the YMF. Many pilots believe it to be the most beautiful and desirable sport airplane ever built.
Redtail Air Adventures is proud to be the owner of one such classic. Redtail’s Waco YMF-5, appropriately named the Yippie Moab, is a recreation by Waco Aircraft Corporation. It is a fully aerobatic, 275 horsepower, three-seat (one pilot, two passengers) bi-plane, based upon the original manufacturing plans from the 1920’s. The company has updated the airplane with modern avionics, materials and safety features.
Waco Aircraft Corp. website contains a full history of the company and their aircraft. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom.
Redtail Air Adventures is currently offering several options (sorry, no aerobatics) for Waco rides. You can book your adventure by visiting www.flyredtail.com, coming by our downtown retail gift shop at 23 N. Main St., Moab or calling 435-259-7421.