1932 WACO, UBF, N155Y-TEXACO 17 (Yes, it's real and we fly it)
This beautiful aircraft was built in 1932 and delivered to to Texaco, Houston Airport (now Hobby Airport) on Christmas eve 1932 to serve as a flying test bed for new blends of Aviation fuels. It was flown by pilot Hal Henning all over Texas and the Southeastern US. Hal left Texaco in 1935, eventually to found the Aviall, an aircraft parts supplier that exists to this day. When Hal left, Texaco sold the airplane where it remained under the care of one owner for almost 45 years. The aircraft was purchased and restored by John Cournoyer, my mentor and friend. John passed 4 years ago, and we intend to use the aircraft to establish another line of scholarships in his name to be used entirely for students getting their Airframe and Powerplant Mechanics licenses. John was an incredible craftsman as well as a prolific aircraft collector. As you look at the aircraft, his workmanship is extremely apparent. It's our hope the airplane will inspire the next generation to restore and preserve these beautiful old airplanes well into the future.
The airplane will be flown to airshows, fly-ins and any other gathering that will allow us to advertise and promote our scholarship programs. If you have an event you'd like us to attend, drop a line via the "contact" tab.
About the F2 Waco Series
WACO began building the second series of thr "F" line beginning in about 1930. There were many design inprovements and major wing remodeling from the RNF series, which resulted in an airplane that performed spectacularly. WACO salesman capatalized on this and advertised the airplane could be operated from within a 200' circle, which they demonstrated at trade shows by arranging cars in a 200' circle and having the demo pilots takeoff and land within the cars. I'm no expert, but I'd imagine this was great for sales, but not too popular with the demo pilots. At any rate, the airplane was noted for it's spirited lively performance. The US NAVY also bought 2, which were attached to the airship USS Macon and lost at sea. Unfortunately, the design was a tad too late, and the era of open cockpit biplanes for travel was coming to an end. WACO built 14 of these, and among all the WACO series, the F2 has remained the best performer and most sought after. Several have built from plans as "clones", but ours is the 100% original 1932 Texaco 17 aircraft.
John Cournoyer, Craftsman, Pilot, Friend