The Dare County Regional Airport on the north end of Roanoke Island, where OBX Airplanes operates its air tours, has a very rich history dating back to before World War II. There is small but detailed museum dedicated to the history of the airport located inside the west end of the main terminal building. On display inside the museum’s two rooms are photographs, documents, uniforms, models and artifacts that bring to life the airport’s storied past.
Introducing our WACO YMF-5C Biplane…the Perfect Aircraft for the Ultimate Outer Banks Adventure
OBX Airplanes has added a true classic to our fleet of aircraft. The WACO YMF-5C marries the beauty, adventure and romance of the 1930s Golden Era biplane with the modern safety and technology of an FAA certified aircraft.
Originally built in 1934 by WACO Aircraft Company in Troy, Ohio, the Waco F series represents the aesthetic and performance pinnacle of the open cockpit sport biplane. The company (originally Weaver Aircraft Company) was founded in 1920 by barnstorming pilots Charles "Charley" William Meyers and George "Buck" Weaver and businessmen Clayton J. "Clayt" Brukner and Elwood "Sam" Junkin. The popularity of the WACO biplane quickly took off. By 1927 more than 40 percent of personal aircrafts in the U.S. were WACOs. During World War II WACO shifted its prodution to military aircraft including the CG4-A troop-carrying gliders, but as a result of a post-war general aviation bust the company halted production in 1946.
Aviation’s Golden Era Revived
In 1983 the founders of Classic Aircraft Corporation (now WACO Aircraft Corporation) decided to bring the Waco YMF back to life. The family owned company hired the best engineers they could find for the purpose of achieving their dream: “to revive the Golden Era’s open cockpit flying experience.”
In the words of the new WACO Aircraft Corporation: “To accomplish this mission, Classic hired experienced engineering talent from Piper, Taylorcraft and Ford. While maintaining the sanctity of WACO's original masterful design, this team of proven professionals modernized the aircraft with more than 300 engineering changes, redesigning over 1400 drawings and building new tooling for production.
“In March 1986, the first WACO YMF Classic rolled off the assembly line and received FAA certification under the original WACO type certificate. With more than 5000 labor hours of fine craftsmanship hand-built into each aircraft, it’s no wonder the WACO YMF was hailed as an aeronautic thoroughbred. This unique biplane was not a rebuild or a kit plane, but a brand new FAA certified production aircraft, with such improvements as the use of sturdy 4130 steel for the fuselage frame, modern hydraulic toe brakes and advanced avionics.” (“About – WACO Aircraft Corporation.”)
Experience the Adventure and Soul of the Golden Era on the Outer Banks
There is no experience quite like flying in a WACO open cockpit Biplane above the coast of the Outer Banks; it is the ultimate Outer Banks adventure. The sound of the Jacobs R-755 Radial Engine, the wind on your face, the smell of the salt air, the view of the beaches, bridges, lighthouses and shipwrecks between glossy red wings… our Biplane Tour truly is an experience of a lifetime!
OBX Airplanes’ WACO YMF-5C (nicknamed the ‘Sightseer’ by the manufacturer) is the perfect aircraft for taking in the beauty of Coastal North Carolina. We can accommodate two passengers on our Biplane Discovery Tour, Biplane Oregon Inlet Tour, or our Biplane 1-Hour Custom Tour (which is hands down the coolest thing you can do on the Outer Banks). And the rates are surprisingly affordable for this once in a lifetime Outer Banks adventure! Book your Biplane Ride here:
As a Certified Flight Instructor on the Outer Banks of North Carolina I am pleased to say that when you fly with me you will be sure to have fun, be safe and learn to fly!