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AeroSports Update: ERAU WACO Vintage Restoration Project

‘The Embry-Riddle WACO Will Inspire Thousands Of Budding Aviators Around The Nation’

Embry-Riddle is trying to raise $150,000 to fully restore its historic 1928 WACO aircraft, owned by founder, T. Higbee Embry, and used in the school’s early days for flight training and airmail delivery. They say their short-term goal is to complete the airplane by early July so that it can make its debut at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016.

Once fully restored, Embry-Riddle says their WACO will be a flying showpiece for the yearlong celebration of the university's 90th anniversary.  Even more important, they say as a continuously operated "museum in flight," the Embry-Riddle WACO will inspire thousands of budding aviators around the nation for generations to come.


The Need
Embry-Riddle acquired the WACO about 10 years ago from a South Florida owner, who had done some restoration work on it 25 years ago. However, the aircraft needs significant work so that it can be flown on a regular basis and showcased around the country. The restoration plan includes:

  • Completely recovering and painting the fabric-covered plane
  • Overhauling its landing gear and propeller
  • Installing modern tires, wheels and brake, so that it's easier to land on paved runways and in crosswinds at modern airports

WACO Aircraft, based in Battle Creek, MI will be restoring the aircraft to competition quality.

Bringing Embry-Riddle History to Life
Embry Riddle says the restoration of the WACO is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to bring Embry-Riddle's storied history to life. The restored WACO will be no static museum piece, but a continuously operated "flying museum of Embry-Riddle history" that will travel the country to excite and inspire current and future generations of aviators.

Current plans for the restored WACO include:

  • Debut flight with Matt Chapman’s Embry-Riddle Extra 330LX aircraft at the 2016 EAA AirVenture opening ceremony in Oshkosh, Wisconsin
  • A flying tour of the eastern U.S. celebrating Embry-Riddle’s 90th anniversary, culminating in a showcase at Embry-Riddle’s Oct. 8-9, 2016 Wings & Waves Air Show
  • Appearances at marketing and recruiting events, fly-ins and airshows, primarily in the Southeast U.S.

They are asking for your help
Help us preserve this vital piece of Embry-Riddle history craftsmanship from the early days of flight!  With your support, we will keep this unique, pre-WW II-era aircraft flying so that we can share it with the Embry-Riddle family and lovers of aviation everywhere.

(Image from Embry-Riddle Funding site)



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