Waco Great Lakes Production Underway

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Waco Classic Aircraft Corporation has unveiled the first conforming new-production Great Lakes 2T-1A-2, culminating a project that launched a couple of years ago. The open-cockpit two-seat tandem biplane features a Lycoming AEIO-360 180-HP engine, fuel injection, and a Hartzell propeller. It's fully aerobatic, and sells for about $245,000. The first three aircraft for customers are already in production, the company said. Deliveries are expected to start in the next few months, with an initial production rate of one airplane per month.

The biplane is intended as an entry-level tailwheel sport aircraft, Waco President Peter Bowers said. "It's a little more affordable than our typical Waco that we produce in Battle Creek," he said. Compared to the company's classic YMF-5D model, the Great Lakes is smaller, less expensive, and features simpler avionics and systems. "Yet it offers the same open cockpit and thrilling experience that so many people desire," Bowers said. The airplane is based on a classic design but updated with modern technology and materials. The spar, for example, is crafted from aluminum instead of wood. The airplane can be ordered online at the Waco website. AVweb toured the prototype at Sun 'n Fun 2011; click here for the video.