Waco AQC-6

Waco AQC-6

The Waco Aircraft Company of Troy, Ohio was a major manufacturer of aircraft in the U. S. from 1928 - 1935.  Beginning in 1921 as the Weaver Aircraft Company they moved to Troy in 1924 and became the Advance Aircraft Company keeping the Waco logo.  From 1929 they changed the name to the Waco Aircraft Company. The Waco (wah-co) series of four-seat cabin biplanes were initiated in 1931 and were produced continuously in progressively refined models until 1939.

The Waco system of model designation takes some time to understand - the first letter identifies the engine type, the second the wing style, and the third the fuselage design. The Museum’s aircraft was manufactured in 1937 at Troy, Ohio as a ZQC-6 model (285 hp Jacobs L-5MB engine) but was converted to an AQC-6 (330 hp Jacobs L-6MB) in 1947.

Purchased new by the Department of National Defence, Ottawa, it was operated by the Department of Transport until 1949, when it was moved out to the British Columbia coast. It was then operated by B.C. Airlines, followed by a logging company. Dr. Jack Pickup of Alert Bay was the next owner, who acquired the airplane in 1953 and routinely used it as a "flying doctor" float plane. During its long career it suffered several landing accidents.

The Waco was donated to the Canadian Museum of Flight in 1980 by Dr. Pickup. Although the aircraft was donated on floats, it is now operated on wheels. The first test flight in over 30 years was carried out on February 13th, 2002 after a twenty-year restoration by volunteers at the Canadian Museum of Flight. This aircraft is one of the Museums flight worthy fleet.

For more information on the history of this aircraft, please see  Dr. Jack Pickup, British Columbia's Flying Doctor in our history section.

Interesting info: Although the AQC looks like a biplane, with two wings, technically it's a sesquiplane! That's the definition for a plane with two wings of unequal size, usually the lower wing being shorter than the upper.

Original drawings are required to perform a certified rebuild. The Smithsonian Institute graciously provided the Canadian Museum of Flight with all the necessary drawings to complete this project.

Technical Details:

Serial: 4646, CF-CCW
Manufactured: 1937
Max Speed: 170 mph (274 km/h)
Cruising Speed: 155 mph (249 km/h)
Service Ceiling: 18,500 ft (5,638 m)
Range: 550 mi (885 km)
Empty weight: 2,313 lb (1,049 kg)
Loaded weight: 3,800 lb (1,724 kg)
Span: 35 ft (10.7 m)
Length: 26 ft 8 in (8.1 m)
Height: 8 ft 8 in (2.6 m)
Wing Area: 244 sq ft (22.7 sq m)
(Photo credits: C. Hutchins, V. Bentley)
Winter maintenance 2016/17:
The Waco is one of the certified aircraft flown by the Museum. As such, it is maintained to a strict schedule as dictated by Airworthiness authorities and all work is signed off by a licenced aircraft engineer.
The aircraft had a slight discoloration of the lower wing fabric, suggesting a fuel tank problem. The tank was removed as has been repaired. Here are some of the challenges faced by our maintenance crews.
The fuel bay has been cleaned and inspected and is ready for the installation of the fuel tank.
Note the wooden wing spar on the left of the photo. 
The fabric covering under the wing has been stripped back to facilitate the repair.
The RH fuel tank on the Waco has now been removed by Bill 
so that pinhole leaks can be repaired.
The cavity in the upper wing will be inspected before the fuel tank is installed and the 
fabric covering replaced. Maintaining vintage aircraft in airworthy condition is never easy!


Bill is removing the fabric wing covering over the RH fuel tank on the Waco Cabin biplane. 
It is a slow process that will allow the fuel tank to be removed and examined.