To stare out at the world from either seat in a Waco is to wonder where we’ve been and where we’re going. At first, it seems a confusing mélange: struts and brace wires and fairings and wings and wind and sky everywhere.
This is definitely old-school flying: a throwback to an easier time when skies were uncongested and life was less complicated. In those days, most airplanes had one round engine; fixed, conventional gear; and little more than needle, ball and airspeed on the panel. Most often, the sky above or the earth below (assuming you weren’t inverted) was separated from the aviator by nothing but air. Open cockpits, goggles and leather helmets were the rule rather than the exception, though with an eye to the future, Waco was also building a few cabin biplanes.