Waco Standard Cabin series

The Waco Standard Cabin series is a range of American single-engine 4–5 seat fabric covered cabin biplanes produced by the Waco Aircraft Company beginning in 1931 with the QDC and continuing until 1942 when production ended for the VKS-7F.[1] They were used as light passenger and utility transports, navigational trainers, bushplanes and briefly as maritime reconnaissance aircraft during World War 2.

Waco Standard Cabin series
1937 Waco VKS-7 CAvM Ottawa,ON MDF 8398.jpg
1937 Waco VKS-7 late Standard Cabin biplane (C-FLWL) at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum at Rockcliffe, ON.
Role 4-5-seat cabin biplane
National origin United States
Manufacturer Waco Aircraft Company
Introduction 1931
Status Several still airworthy in 2009


All of the Waco Standard Cabins were powered by cowled radial engines and Waco tried to accommodate their customers preferences for many of the more common commercially available engines of the period, hence the profusion of designations, as the first letter indicates the engine installed. Individual models were each certified with various available engines but not all variations found customers.

Fuselage structure was typical for the period, being welded chrome-moly tubing with light wood strips to fair the shape in and covered with fabric.[2] Wings were built around two solid spruce spars with the airfoil formed from trussed ribs made from plywood and spruce. The leading edge was covered in aluminum sheeting and the whole assembly covered in fabric.[2] Ailerons were interconnected with a strut mounted to the trailing edge and on some versions were sheeted with ribbed aluminum.[2] Most models were not fitted with flaps – the VKS-7F, built for the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) being the exception.[3] It was fitted with split flaps only on the undersides of the upper wings and at mid chord, inboard and just ahead of the ailerons. Wing bracing was with a canted N strut joining upper and lower wings, assisted by a single strut bracing the lower wing to the upper fuselage longeron, there being no bracing wires. Elevators and rudder were built up from welded steel tubing braced with wire cables, and both could be trimmed, the elevators in flight[2] and the rudder with a ground adjustable tab. Normally the main undercarriage was made up of a pair of vees, sprung with oleo/spring struts and provided with brakes as standard equipment, and a free-castoring tailwheel[2] sprung with triangulated shock cords.[4] was fitted to most aircraft, although a small number for Brazil were fitted with a tail skid.[5] Floats were also offered as an option, starting with the UIC which had Edo P-3300 floats.[6] Later types (including the UKC, YKC and CJC) were offered with Edo 38-3430 floats.[7]


The standard cabin series were Waco's first successful cabin biplane design, and was developed to accompany the F series airframe in their lineup.[8] The Model C series had the top longerons raised to form a four-seat cabin which was entered through a door between the wings on the left side and had a rather distinctive rear-view window that was cleaned up, and then dispensed with in the later standard cabins. The initial QDC model of 1931 was offered with a 165 hp (123 kW) Continental A70 cowled engine,[4] or as the BDC, ODC, PDC and UDC with other engines (as listed under variants). 1932 saw the introduction of the OEC and UEC models. Continuous refinement and improvement by Waco Aircraft resulted in production of various sub-models continuing until 1939.[9]

In 1935, Waco introduced its slightly larger Custom Cabin series (which featured a sesquiplane layout without ailerons on the lower wing) and decided to differentiate between the Standard and Custom Cabin types by appending an S to the model designator. in 1936 the C-S was replaced with an 'S' signifying 'Standard'.[10] For example, the YKC of 1934 became the YKC-S of 1935 and the YKS of 1936, though with additional minor improvements.

Operational historyEdit

The Standard Cabin series, with its cabin comfort, proved to be popular with private pilot owners. Many were purchased by small commercial aviation firms and non-aviation businesses. With the onset of World War II, examples were impressed into the air forces of many Allied nations, including the US (USAAC and US Navy), the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. USAAC Designations assigned to standard cabin Wacos included UC-72D (for 2 VKS-7s), UC-72K (for 1 YKS-7) and UC-72M (for 2 ZKS-7s). Most were used as utility aircraft, however a small number were operated by the US Civil Air Patrol, conducting anti-submarine patrols off the US coastline from March 1942 to August 1943 armed with 50- or 100-pound bombs.[11] In 1942 21 VKS-7F were built for the Civilian Pilot Training Program for use as navigational trainers. A single impressed YKC referred to as the Little Waco, RAF serial AX697, was used by the British Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) along with a Waco Custom Cabin ZGC-7 Big Waco to support their activities behind Axis lines.[12] After World War II, some impressed UC-72 cabins returned to civilian operations, and a very few were additionally revamped (with FAA approval) with new engine models. This further complicated model nomenclature, though the FAA generally retained original nomenclatures for a given re-engined airframe.[13] Fewer than 135 Standard Cabin series aircraft of several sub-models are currently registered in the USA.[14]


Data from Aerofiles[10]

Early SkylightEdit

Waco UEC at the EAA Airventure Museum, Oshkosh showing distinctive skylight used on early cabin Wacos
Waco UEC

DC SeriesEdit

165 hp (123 kW) Wright R-540 engine. No record of production.
210 hp (157 kW) Kinner C-5 engine. modified to QDC.
170 hp (127 kW) Jacobs LA-1 engine. 2 built on special order.
165 hp (123 kW) Continental A-70 engine. 37 built.
210 hp (157 kW) Continental R-670 engine. No record of production.

EC SeriesEdit

165 hp (123 kW) Wright R-540 engine. 1 built, [X12440], (converted to OEC or UEC).
210 hp (157 kW) Kinner C-5 engine. 3 built.
210 hp (157 kW) Continental R-670 engine. 40 built.

Late SkylightEdit

1934 Waco UKC showing late skylight smoothly faired in

IC SeriesEdit

210 hp (157 kW) Continental R-670 engine. 83 built.

JC SeriesEdit

250 hp (186 kW) Wright R-760 engine. 41 CJC, DJC & DJC-S built.
285 hp (213 kW) Wright R-760 engine.

KC SeriesEdit

210 hp (157 kW) Continental R-670 engine.
225 hp (168 kW) Jacobs L-4 engine. 60 YKC built,

No SkylightEdit

Waco YKS-6. Struts connecting upper and lower ailerons are visible, distinguishing this type from the contemporary Custom Cabin sesquiplanes
1937 Waco VKS-7, a late Standard Cabin Waco, with no skylights.

JC-S SeriesEdit

250 hp (186 kW) Wright R-760 engine.
285 hp (213 kW) Wright R-760 engine.

KC-S SeriesEdit

210 hp (157 kW) Continental R-670 engine. 40 built.
225 hp (168 kW) Jacobs L-4 engine. 22 YKC-S built
285 hp (213 kW) Jacobs L-5 engine.

KS SeriesEdit

210 hp (157 kW) Continental R-670 engine. 2 built.[15]
240 hp (179 kW) Continental W-670 engine. 18 built
Only Standard Cabin with flaps, built for Civilian Pilot Training Program as navigational trainer. F designates use of flaps. 21 built.
225 hp (168 kW) Jacobs L-4 engine. 133 built.[15] 65 YKS-6 built.
ZKS-6 & 7
285 hp (213 kW) Jacobs L-5 engine. 29 built. re-designated from ZKC-S in 1936.[15]
HKS-7 (very rare)
300 hp (224 kW) Lycoming R-680-13 engine, installed with FAA approval.[16]


Military operatorsEdit

Most operators operated either a single example, or a very small number.

Waco UIC standard cabin biplane
  El Salvador
  New Zealand
Civil Air Patrol Waco YKS-6 on tarmac in Bar Harbour, Maine
Waco ZKS-7 impressed into WW II service as a UC-72M – then re-engined with Lycoming R-680-13 to become an HKS-7
  South Africa
  United Kingdom
  United States

Civil operatorsEdit

Waco Custom Cabins were used in small numbers by a very large number of individual operators and were registered in the following countries (note that this list is not exhaustive).[30]

  Belgian Congo (now Congo-Kinshasa)
  Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia)
  New Zealand
  Nyasaland (now Malawi)
  Portuguese Mozambique (now Mozambique)
  South Africa
  Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe)
  United Kingdom
  United States

Aircraft on displayEdit

Aside from the large number of Wacos that continue to exist in private hands,[31] a number have also found their way into museums.

Wacos Standard Cabin biplanes on display
Museum Location Type Identity
Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum[32] Anchorage, Alaska YKC NC14066
Alberta Aviation Museum[33] Edmonton, Alberta UIC CF-AAW
Canada Aviation and Space Museum[34] Ottawa, Ontario VKS-7 C-FLWL
Deutsches Museum Flugwerft Schleissheim[35] Munich, Germany YKS-6 NC16512
EAA AirVenture Museum[36] Oshkosh, Wisconsin UEC NC12472
Golden Wings Flying Museum[37] Minneapolis, Minnesota UKC NC13897
Museu Aeroespacial[38] Rio de Janeiro, Brazil CJC Therezina C66
New England Air Museum[39] Windsor Locks, Connecticut YKC-S NC14614
Paul E. Garber Facility[40] Suitland, Maryland UIC NC13062
Pima Air & Space Museum[41] Tucson, Arizona ZKS-6 N16523
Port Townsend Aero Museum[42] Port Townsend, Washington YKS-6 NC16517
Museum of Flying Santa Monica, California UEC NC18613
Western Canada Aviation Museum[43] Winnipeg, Manitoba YKC-S CF-AYS
Yanks Air Museum[44] Chino, California UEC NC18613


Referenced from Juptner, U.S. Civil Aircraft, 1962, 1974, 1977 and 1980 (dates refer to specific volumes, not editions)[45][46][47][48]

Date Type Power Engine Length OA Span
(max gross)
Apr 1931 QDC 165 hp(123 kW) Continental A-70-2 23'2"(7.06m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'2"(8.59m) 116 mph(187 km/h) 1,530 lb(694 kg) 2,507 lb(1,137 kg) 977 lb(443 kg) $5,985 $100,619
Mar 1932 UEC 210 hp(157 kW) Continental R-670 24'8"(7.52m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'2"(8.59m) 133 mph(214 km/h) 1,670 lb(758 kg)[51] 2,700 lb(1,225 kg) 1,030 lb(470 kg) $5,985 $112,153
Mar 1932 OEC 210 hp(157 kW) Kinner C-5-210 24'9"(7.54m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'2"(8.59m) 133 mph(214 km/h) 1,667 lb(756 kg)[52] 2,700 lb(1,225 kg) 1,033 lb(469 kg) $5,985 $112,153
Apr 1932 BEC 165 hp(123 kW) Wright R-540 24'10"(7.57m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'2"(8.59m) 120 mph(193 km/h) 1,650 lb(748 kg) 2,650 lb(1,202 kg) 1,000 lb(450 kg) unknown
Mar 1933 UIC 210 hp(157 kW) Continental R-670 25'2"(7.67m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 140 mph(225 km/h)[53] 1,690 lb(767 kg) 2,800 lb(1,270 kg) 1,110 lb(500 kg) $5,985 $118,208
Mar 1933 UIC[54] 210 hp(157 kW) Continental R-670 28'11"(8.81m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 126 mph(203 km/h) 2,079 lb(943 kg) 3,250 lb(1,474 kg) 1,171 lb(531 kg) unknown
Mar 1934 UKC 210 hp(157 kW) Continental R-670-A 25'3"(7.70m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 143 mph(230 km/h) 1,745 lb(792 kg)[55] 2,850 lb(1,293 kg) 1,105 lb(501 kg) $6,285 $120,119
Mar 1934 UKC[56] 210 hp(157 kW) Continental R-670-A 28'10"(8.79m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 126 mph(203 km/h) 2,131 lb(967 kg) 3,250 lb(1,474 kg) 1,119 lb(508 kg) unknown
Apr 1934 YKC 225 hp(168 kW) Jacobs L-4 25'4"(7.72m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 149 mph(240 km/h) 1,800 lb(817 kg) 2,850 lb(1,293 kg) 1,050 lb(480 kg) $6,450 $123,272
Apr 1934 YKC[56] 225 hp(168 kW) Jacobs L-4 28'10"(8.79m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 130 mph(209 km/h) 2,186 lb(992 kg) 3,250 lb(1,474 kg) 1,064 lb(483 kg) unknown
May 1934 CJC 250 hp(186 kW) Wright R-760-E 25'8"(7.82m) 34'10"(10.62m) 28'3"(8.61m) 152 mph(245 km/h) 1,976 lb(896 kg) 3,200 lb(1,452 kg) 1,224 lb(555 kg) $8,365 $159,871
May 1934 CJC[56] 250 hp(186 kW) Wright R-760-E 28'10"(8.79m) 34'10"(10.62m) 28'3"(8.61m) 132 mph(212 km/h) 2,296 lb(1,041 kg) 3,650 lb(1,656 kg) 1,354 lb(614 kg) unknown
1935 UKC-S 210 hp(157 kW) Continental R-670-A 25'3"(7.70m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 138 mph(222 km/h) 1,720 lb(780 kg) 3,000 lb(1,361 kg) 1,280 lb(580 kg) $5,225[57] $97,436
1935 YKC-S 225 hp(168 kW) Jacobs L-4 25'4"(7.72m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 143 mph(230 km/h) 1,773 lb(804 kg) 3,000 lb(1,361 kg) 1,227 lb(557 kg) $5,490[58] $102,378
1935 CJC-S 250 hp(186 kW) Wright R-760-E 25'8"(7.82m) 34'10"(10.62m) 28'3"(8.61m) 152 mph(245 km/h) 1,941 lb(880 kg) 3,200 lb(1,452 kg) 1,359 lb(616 kg) $7,000 $130,536
1936 YKS-6 225 hp(168 kW) Jacobs L-4 25'4"(7.72m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 144 mph(232 km/h) 1,809 lb(821 kg) 3,250 lb(1,474 kg) 1,441 lb(654 kg) $4,995 $92,030
Feb 1937 YKS-7 225 hp(168 kW) Jacobs L-4M/MB[59] 25'3"(7.70m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 146 mph(235 km/h) 1,882 lb(854 kg) 3,250 lb(1,474 kg) 1,368 lb(621 kg) $5,695 $101,284
Feb 1937 ZKS-7 285 hp(213 kW) Jacobs L-5 25'3"(7.70m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 153 mph(246 km/h) 1,928 lb(875 kg)[60] 3,250 lb(1,474 kg) 1,322 lb(600 kg) $6,135 $109,109
1939, 1947 HKS-7 300 hp(224 kW) Lycoming R680-13 25'3"(7.70m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 168 mph(270 km/h) 2,020 lb(916 kg)[60] 3,250 lb(1,474 kg) 1,322 lb(600 kg) $7,600 $139,691
Jun 1937 UKS-7 225 hp(168 kW) Continental W-670K 25'3"(7.70m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 147 mph(237 km/h) 1,907 lb(865 kg) 3,250 lb(1,474 kg) 1,343 lb(609 kg) $5,890 $104,752
Jun 1937 VKS-7 240 hp(179 kW) Continental W-670M 25'3"(7.70m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 149 mph(240 km/h) 1,917 lb(870 kg) 3,250 lb(1,474 kg) 1,333 lb(605 kg) $5,890 $104,752
1938 VKS-7 240 hp(179 kW) Continental W-670M 25'3"(7.70m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 145 mph(233 km/h) 1,960 lb(889 kg)[60] 3,250 lb(1,474 kg) 1,290 lb(585 kg) $7,770 $138,187
Jun 1937 VKS-7F 240 hp(179 kW) Continental W-670M 25'3"(7.70m) 33'3"(10.13m) 28'3"(8.61m) 145 mph(233 km/h) 2,256 lb(1,023 kg) 3,250 lb(1,474 kg) 994 lb(451 kg) $12,500[61] $222,309[62]

See alsoEdit

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Related lists



  1. ^ Brandley, 1981, p.76
  2. ^ a b c d e Juptner, 1962, p.39-40
  3. ^ Brandley, 1981, p.61
  4. ^ a b Simpson, 2001, p. 574
  5. ^ Brandley, 1981, p.42
  6. ^ Juptner, 1962, p.282
  7. ^ Juptner, 1974, pp.94, 113, 135
  8. ^ Brandley, 1981, p.3
  9. ^ Green, 1965, p. 307
  10. ^ a b Aerofiles 'That Waco Coding System' accessed 10 June 09
  11. ^ Congressional Record – Awarding a Congressional Gold Medal to members of the Civil Air Patrol Retrieved 27 June 2012
  12. ^ Jenner and List 1999, pp.9, 27, 45–46
  13. ^ http://www.aerialvisuals.ca/AirframeDossier.php?Serial=55536 (See 10 Nov 1947 entry)
  14. ^ FAA Website Record Search, 12 June 2009.
  15. ^ a b c Waco Sales Orders
  16. ^ http://www.aerialvisuals.ca/AirframeDossier.php?Serial=55536
  17. ^ World Air Forces – Historical Listings – Argentina (ARG) Archived 2012-01-25 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 May 2012
  18. ^ World Air Forces – Historical Listings – Australia (AUS) Archived 2012-01-25 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 May 2012
  19. ^ World Air Forces – Historical Listings – Brazil (BRZ) Archived 2012-10-18 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 May 2012
  20. ^ World Air Forces – Historical Listings – Canada (CAN) Archived 2012-12-11 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 May 2012
  21. ^ World Air Forces – Historical Listings – El Salvador (ELS Archived 2012-10-14 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 May 2012
  22. ^ World Air Forces – Historical Listings – Finland (FIN) Archived 2012-01-25 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 May 2012
  23. ^ World Air Forces – Historical Listings – Mexico (Mex) Archived 2012-01-25 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 May 2012
  24. ^ World Air Forces – Historical Listings – Netherlands (NET) Archived 2012-01-25 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 May 2012
  25. ^ World Air Forces – Historical Listings – New Zealand (NWZ), accessed 25 May 2012
  26. ^ World Air Forces – Historical Listings – Norway (NOR) Archived 2012-01-25 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 25 May 2012
  27. ^ World Air Forces – Historical Listings – Sweden (SWE), accessed 25 May 2012
  28. ^ 45 USAAF Impressed Wacos (Aerofiles) accessed 25 May 2012
  29. ^ Joseph F. Baugher (April 1, 2012). "US Navy and US Marine Corps Aircraft Serial Numbers and Bureau Numbers—1911 to Present". Retrieved 25 May 2012.
  30. ^ http://www.goldenyears.ukf.net Archived 2012-02-19 at the Wayback Machine Golden Years of Aviation (aircraft registrations), accessdate 29 May 2012
  31. ^ *FAA Registry Search for Waco Archived 2012-02-17 at the Wayback Machine accessed 12 June 2009
  32. ^ Alaska Aviation Heritage Museum Flightline – Rasmuson Hangar Retrieved 27 June 2012
  33. ^ Alberta Aviation Museum Waco UIC (1933) Retrieved 27 June 2012
  34. ^ Canada Aviation Museum's Newest Acquisition: A Waco Cabin Biplane Arrives in Good Company Retrieved 27 June 2012
  35. ^ Deutsches Museum: Waco Retrieved 27 June 2012
  36. ^ EAA AirVenture Museum Waco UEC NC12472 Retrieved 27 June 2012
  37. ^ Golden Wings Flying Museum – The Collection Retrieved 27 June 2012
  38. ^ Museu Aeroespacial – WACO CJC Retrieved 27 June 2012
  39. ^ New England Air Museum Retrieved 27 June 2012
  40. ^ Paul E. Garber Facility Search Results Waco UIC Retrieved 1 July 2012
  41. ^ Pima Air Museum Waco ZKS-6 Retrieved 27 June 2012
  42. ^ Port Townsend Aero Museum Aircraft Collection Archived 2012-05-05 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 28 June 2012
  43. ^ Western Canada Aviation Museum- WACO CF-AYS Retrieved 27 June 2012
  44. ^ Yanks Air Museum – Collection – Waco "UEC" Retrieved 27 June 2012
  45. ^ Juptner, 1962 pp37-40, 195–198, 208–209, 280–284
  46. ^ Juptner, 1974 pp92-96, 111–116, 134–137, 243–249, 268–270, 349–357
  47. ^ Juptner, 1977 pp97-103, 113–114, 139–141, 170–173, 223–228, 267–269, 296–297
  48. ^ Juptner, 1980, pp56-59
  49. ^ Price is with standard equipment, with no extra options.
  50. ^ Price adjusted for inflation based on increase in price of consumer goods – aircraft prices may have differed.
  51. ^ Brandley, 1981 reports empty weight as 1,750lb(790kg)
  52. ^ Brandley, 1981 reports empty weight as 1,560lb (710kg)
  53. ^ Brandley, 1981 reports maximum speed as 136 mph (219 km/h)
  54. ^ floatplane fitted with Edo P-3300 floats
  55. ^ Weights changed to 1,755lbs empty, 3,000lbs max gross and 1,245lbs max load
  56. ^ a b c Floatplane fitted with 38-3430 Edo floats
  57. ^ Brandley, 1981 reports price as $6,285
  58. ^ Brandley, 1981 reports price as $6,450
  59. ^ M = magneto ignition, MB = magneto and battery ignition
  60. ^ a b c Weights later amended
  61. ^ Brandley, 1981 reports price as $13,500
  62. ^ Price and weight increases reflect extensive equipment fit for use as navigational trainer



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