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May 09, 2021, 08:59 AM
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Obscure Airplane Highlight of the Day : Waco CRG


An alphabetical stroll through the history of aviation. Day 23, W

Waco CRG: Who doesn’t love a racing version of a cool airplane? The CRG bears a striking resemblance to the Waco Straight Wing but is significantly cooler.

In the 1920s, Ford was sponsoring an event called the Ford National Reliability Air Tour. Essentially a big circle flown around the wester 2/3s of the US, covering nearly 5000 miles. In 1928 Waco won the event with a Waco 10 and in 1929 they won it again with John Livingston flying a Waco 10/GXE/O series airplane. So when 1930 rolled around the pressure was on for Waco to clinch the win again. They turned up at the starting line with two freshly completed CRGs.

The CRG was very similar to a standard Waco Straight wing but housed a few neat tricks. Firstly the wings had been modified with a new racing airfoil. Secondly, the landing gear was significantly lengthened. Since the new airfoil stalled at a higher angle of attack, the longer gear allowed for a perfect stall at three point attitude on landing. Lastly, they bolted a 240hp Wright R-760 to the firewall.

After some extremely questionable rule changes in the Ford Tour that conveniently allowed the Ford Trimotor to win it, the CRGs took second and third place flown by John Livingston and Art Davis. After the race, one CRG managed to find a career as a skywriting airplane that allowed it to survive to the present day. It was restored quite some time ago and is currently flying across the country to its new owner in Northern California.
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