Back to the Bare Basics

I know you all are dying to find out if I made it back from the Bahamas alive.  I did in fact, and I am also back in the Stinson after the longest annual inspection in history.  What’s more is that the weather is starting to warm up, which means I get to continue my transition into a new airplane.  Or should I say old-older airplane.  This one was restored 20 years before lil baby Stinson which makes it old, and it first rolled off the assembly line in 1932, which makes it older than the 1941 Stinson.   The important thing is that it’s new to me!  It is a Waco ASO with a continental w670 engine.

This picture makes me nostalgic of the golden age every time I see it.

What does ASO stand for you might ask?  The A stands for wright whirlwind engine, the S is the wing type (it is a straight wing) and the O is the fuselage type (open).  It does not have a wright engine on it because it was converted by early crop dusters, and the plane is often just referred to simply as a “straight wing”.

But on to the fun stuff.  I am extremely blessed to be offered the opportunity to fly this from my father.  He is putting a lot of trust in me and my flying ability to take on this aircraft and I am determined not to let him down.  Besides, kids my age and younger flew planes like this as primary trainers in world war two.  How hard could it be?  Well it’s not easy, as my face here will surely tell you.

waco training
I almost seem to be saying, “Please Mr. Schooling, don’t make me do another landing”.  In reality I think I was just really focused and he took the picture before I had the chance to smile.

I thought the Stinson was all “stick and rudder”… no it is not.  This is literally all stick and rudder (and throttle).  Those are the only controls I touch while flying this, along with the radios I suppose, but those don’t count. There is also a 360 degree view which makes the flight feel truly free, but of course the only downside is that there is only one seat in the back so it can be lonely.

Did I mention the only gauges are in the back? There is an extra stick, rudder, and throttle in the front but when you fly in the rear seat you are in sole control of managing airspeed.

waco training (2)
Practicing landings.

It’s a little different but I am getting the hang of it.  It would be hell to transition into this without flying any tail-wheel though.  I would not recommend it.


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