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Waco Revives Great Lakes Biplane

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Waco Classic, of Battle Creek, Mich., is adding to its product line with the reintroduction of the Great Lakes Model 2T-1A-1/2, a fully aerobatic 180-hp biplane, which has been out of production since 1980. The two-seat airplane is smaller than Waco's YMF-5D biplane, with simpler avionics and systems. Several changes have been made from the 1980 model, the company said this week, such as using aluminum instead of wood for the spar, upgrading the brakes and updating the avionics. Preliminary prices are set at $219,000 for the Touring model, with a Lycoming IO-360-B1F6 engine, and $239,000 for the higher-performance Sport model, with a Lycoming AEIO-360-B1F6 engine.

The open-cockpit airplane cruises at 105 knots and comes with an optional pilot canopy. The Great Lakes is a good choice for pilots and flight schools who want aerobatic capabilities plus docile handling, the company said. The airplane will debut at the Sun 'n Fun show in Lakeland, Fla., in April. Production will start in late summer, and first deliveries are expected early next year, the company said. About 20 new staffers will be hired with the expectation that sales will run about 10 to 12 airplanes per year.

AVweb's Paul Bertorelli went flying in Waco's YMF-5D last April; click here for his video report.

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