Today’s Top Aircraft For Sale Pick: 1986 Waco YMF-5

A quintessential classic biplane offers transport to the Golden Age.

Each day, the team at Aircraft For Sale picks an airplane that catches our attention because it is unique, represents a good deal, or has other interesting qualities. You can read Aircraft For Sale: Today’s Top Pick at daily.

Everyone at the airport pauses and looks up from whatever they are doing when a vintage biplane arrives. I recently was treated to a close-up view of a Waco F- series similar to this one when it lined up behind us at the fuel pumps. Many pilots dream of flying a Golden Age classic like this, with open cockpits, a radial engine, and the wind rushing past. This could be a nice opportunity to turn back the clock to an era when general aviation was evolving rapidly, driven by a steady flow of innovation.

Waco built a bunch of F models, all slightly different, but the 1935 YMF-5 is one of my favorites. It is also the version that Waco Classic Aircraft chose to bring back into production in the mid-1980s with numerous improvements. This YMF has 4,262 hours on the airframe and was covered in new Poly-Fiber fabric in 2011. New leather cockpit trim was installed this year. The YMF can accommodate two passengers in the front cockpit with the pilot in the rear.

The aircraft’s Jacobs R755-B2M engine has 814 hours since overhaul, and there are 144 hours on the wooden Sensenich propeller. Avionics include a Bendix King KX-155 nav/com, a KMA-24 audio panel, a KT76A transponder, and a Sigtronics three-place intercom.

If you are in the market for a 1930s-style flying experience with the benefit of improved manufacturing and avionics, and you enjoy turning heads on the ramp, this could be the right airplane for you. This Waco YMF-5 is available for $143,500 on AircraftForSale.

You can arrange financing of the aircraft through FLYING Financial Group. For more information, email

Jonathan Welsh is a private pilot who worked as a reporter, editor and columnist with the Wall Street Journal for 21 years, mostly covering the auto industry. His passion for aviation began in childhood with balsa-wood gliders his aunt would buy for him at the corner store. Follow Jonathan on Twitter @JonathanWelsh4

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