Great Planes WACO YMF-5D

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Written by Tom Sullivan
Find the entire feature on page 50 in the July 2011 issue.
Read an abridged summary and video relating to the article.


Ah, the Golden Age of Aviation: the years between World War I and World War II. There is no other era in which aircraft design was so elegant, sophisticated, and simply stunning. The names roll off of any enthusiasts’ tongues; they include Beechcraft, Curtiss, Monocoupe, Travel Air, Aeronca, Cessna, and so on.

However, when it comes to biplanes that list of names shrinks substantially. And a small firm in Troy, Ohio (the Waco Aircraft Company), designed and manufactured a beautiful biplane named the YMF-5.

The review kit is based on a YMF-5D that the WACO Classic Aircraft Corporation (Battle Creek, Michigan) is currently manufacturing. With a wingspan of 72 inches, this model comes in at exactly 1/5 scale.

Below are videos and highlights from the article. Read the complete article on page 50 in the July 2011 issue.



Watch the Build Video





Watch the Flight Video






There’s a lot to this ARF. Shown are the pieces for only the fuselage!






These instrument panels are included. They use a combination of two plywood sheets and stickers to give a 3-D look.






Here are the rest of the pieces, directly out of the box, for the wings and fuselage handle and templates.






Spacers are included for engine mounting, but they needed a bit of modification for the author’s two-stroke. The rounded spacers needed to be cut as shown on the left. Text has details.






A great cowl-centering tool is included. After assembling the laser-cut pieces, it makes centering the cowl to the engine a breeze.






There’s a lot of room inside the fuselage, even for large hands, so radio installation was a snap. A sharp eye might notice the orange box in the upper right; that’s the Sonic-Tronics MCD-466 glow-driver unit.






To allow the rudder to fit flush against the back of the vertical fin, you’ll need to enlarge the cutout at the bottom of the rudder so it clears the tail wheel brackets.






When everything was finished, several places had balsa exposed. The author used scrap MonoKote Cub Yellow (item TOPQ0220) in areas such as this wing-saddle gap.






The 95AX engine and Bisson muffler are in place. Instructions for this installation are not in the manual, but the author details them in the text.






In this close-up of the cabane struts, you can see how they are held in position with a bit of hardware—all 4-40 threads.






With the YMF-5’s wide flight envelope, it is as at home cruising low over barns, silos, and fields as it is performing loops, stall turns, and wingovers.





Read the entire article on page 50 in the July 2011 issue of Model Aviation.



Do you own an aircraft from the Waco Aircraft Company or a smiliar biplane? Have a question for the author? Share your thoughts on the article below.




5 comments

I lived near Troy, Ohio. These were some great planes.

After reading Tom Sullivans review, I ordered the KIT and expect it to arrive within the next 5 days. It will be powered by a ZENOAH G-26. There are two (2) full scale WACO's hangered at PDK(Peachtree DeKalb) and can be seen near the 57th Fgt. Sqd, Atl. Ga.

Nice landing in the cross wind.

I am very partial to scratch build double wingers too this one fly fantastically and majestically can't wait to get out of this hospital bed here in Stanford Ca. to start building when I get home to Florida you guys just fueled my building motor I am not down yet I'm coming back. Thanks for sharing the Video.

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