This collection consists of the records of the Waco Aircraft Company. The material includes office files of the company, marketing and sales information, and design data. Also included are original engineering drawings and report files.
Scope and Contents note:
In 1920 Clayton J. Bruckner, Elwood "Sam" Junkin and George "Buck" Weaver formed Weaver Aircraft Co. In April of 1923, they renamed the company Advanced Aircraft Co. and, in May of 1929, Waco Aircraft Co. By the 1930s the company was a leader in the design of wood and fabric aircraft. At their most widespread use, Waco aircraft were operated by public, private, military and corporate owners in thirty-five countries. During World War II, Waco devoted itself entirely to war production, manufacturing large numbers of troop- and cargo-carrying gliders. Following the war Waco attempted to market a wholly new design, but the post- war slump in the private aviation market and the high development costs of the aircraft forced Waco to withdraw from aircraft manufacture in June 1947. During its twenty-seven year existence Waco produced sixty-two different aircraft models and led all its competitors in the number of aircraft registered.
The Waco collection is divided into two parts. Part One comprises 24,855 drawings. The locations and descriptive information of these drawings are listed on an electronic database entitled the Waco Aircraft Engineering Drawings Data Base. The drawings vary greatly in size from small drawings of 4x5" to large sheets of over 150" in length. The majority of the drawings included in Part One are numbered, but many of the drawings are unnumbered. These drawings span most of the Company's existence and depict many of its powered and glider aircraft. There are several smaller sets of drawings which include layout drawings, tool drawings and stress analyses. Production charts and data charts are also among these drawings.
Part Two includes the business records of the Waco Aircraft Company. These documents can be generally divided between the engineering and sales departments. Most of the drawings within Part Two are from sub-contractors and U.S. Government agencies.
Waco aircraft company designations are confusing. Many variations exist regarding the practice of assigning model designations. Despite these exceptions, some basic rules serve as a guideline. Prior to 1930, Waco models were designated by a single number, 1 through 10. The last aircraft designated in this manner, the Waco 10, became the Waco Model O under the new scheme of designation.
Waco early models were additionally referred to by their horsepower. This may have been a practice of distributors and salesmen.
Since 1930, The Waco Aircraft Company used a combination of three letters with which to name its models. An example would be the Model ASO. The letters are best read from right to left. The letter on the right represents the fuselage, i.e. Model O. The middle letter represents a modification to the basic model, i.e. CSO for straight wing or CTO for tapered wing. The letter on the left represents the engine, i.e. CSO for Wright J-6, 225 horse power engine. Additionally, Waco models were often followed by a number indicating the year in which the aircraft was built. A YPF-6, for example, was manufactured in 1936.
Waco World War II gliders, designed for the U.S.A.A.F, were designated by an alpha-numeric combination. The four unpowered gliders produced shared the same letter prefixes of CG, which stood for cargo glider. The numeric suffix distinguishes the aircraft. They were the Models CG-3A, CG-4A, CG-13A and CG-15A. An X preceding the designation denotes experimental, i.e. XCG-4A. An addition of two letters denotes the manufacturer, i.e. CG-4A- TI for Timm Aircraft Co. Many of the Waco designed gliders were constructed by various companies. Powered versions of the gliders were referred to by the prefix PG for powered gliders.
Series 1: Numbered Engineering Reports
Series 2: Model Engineering Reports
Series 3: Engineering Documents
Series 4: Government Contracts
Series 5: Contractor Reports
Series 6: Correspondence
Series 7: Publications
Series 8: Sales
Series 9: Blueprints & Drawings
Series 10: Drawings Lists
Series 11: Model Indexes
Series 12: Contractor Drawings
In 1920 Clayton J. Bruckner, Elmwood "Sam" Junkin, and Buck Weaver formed an aircraft company known as the Weaver Aircraft Company in Troy, OH. By the 1930s the company, known as Waco Aircraft Co. since 1929, was a leader in the design of wood and fabric aircraft, with Waco aircraft being operated by public, private, and corporate owners in thirty-five countries. During World War II Waco devoted itself entirely to war production, manufacturing large numbers of troop- and cargo-carrying gliders. Following the war Waco attempted to market a wholly new design but the postwar slump in the private aviation market and the high development costs of the aircraft forced Waco to withdraw from aircraft manufacture in June 1947. During its twenty-eight year existence Waco produced sixty-two different aircraft models and led all its competitors in number of aircraft registered.
Related Archival Materials note:
Other collections within the Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum which are relevant to Waco are as follows:
The Hattie Meyers Junkin Papers(1906-1982), Accession #XXXX-0171. Junkin was married first to George Weaver and later to Elwood Junkin, both founders of the Waco Aircraft Company.
The A. Francis Arcier(1890-1969) Collection, Accession #XXX-0072. Arcier was one of the leading engineers with the Waco Aircraft Company.
The National Air and Space Museum Archival Video Discs. Included in this collection are three blocks of Waco Aircraft photographs; prints listed by model type under the Company name in the Aircraft Finding Aid, prints listed under "Glider Aircraft" in the U.S. Air Force Collection finding aid and prints listed under the Company name in the "General Subjects" of the U.S. Air Force Collection Finding Aid.
The NASM Archives Technical Files. The documents filed under "Waco" include mostly photographs and newspaper articles. Information about some of the individual Waco employees, including Hattie Junkin and George Weaver, can be found filed under the individual's name in the biographical section of the Technical Files.
This collection consists of biographical information, business records, information on the aviation organizations with which Diehl was involved, aviation material collected by Diehl, and information on flight, events, and aviation accidents.
Biographical / Historical:
William Carl Diehl (1891-1974) was an aviation pioneer and a member of the Early Birds organization. In 1914 he built and flew a monoplane and in 1915 he helped establish two flying schools, an unsuccessful school in Chicago and a school on Long Island. During the time he was working at Long Island, he helped to organize the United Eastern Airplane Company which manufactured airplanes. During World War I, Diehl was a civilian instructor for the Army Air Corps. In the late 1910s and early 1920s, Diehl established a commercial flying taxi service, performed stunts for movie production and for Pathe News, and barnstormed around the nation. He began work in 1926 on patents for aircraft mufflers and values. Diehl worked during 1927-1930 at the Wright Aeronautical Corporation at Paterson, New Jersey as an engine flight test pilot. Diehl returned to his original occupation of plumbing but continued flying until 1945, and continued his patent work until the early 1970s.
No donor information, gift, XXXX-0469, Unknown
No restrictions on access
This collection consists of the corporate records of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. Included in the collection are technical and engineering reports of Curtiss-Wright Airplane Division's operations in St. Louis (Robertson), MO (1935-1945) and Buffalo, NY, (1932-1945), as well as AAS Material Division and AAF Air Technical Services Command memorandum reports collected by Curtiss-Wright's St. Louis and Buffalo technical reference libraries. The collection also contains the files of Curtiss-Wright's Patent Department, which hold records of patents filed by Curtiss-Wright and patent-infringement cases involving Curtiss-Wright. Also included in the collection are specifications issued by and photos commissioned by the Keystone Aircraft Corporation (Huff-Daland Airplanes, Inc. until March 1927), which had been acquired by Wright in 1928 along with Loening Aeronautical Engineering Corp., and formed the Keystone Division of Curtiss-Wright until 1932 when Keystone's Bristol, PA factory closed its doors. The collection also contains financial records of the Curtiss-Wright Airports Corporation, which was liquidated in 1936, as well as an extensive negative collection featuring Curtiss-Wright aircraft from the 1930s and 1940s, concentrated especially on the war years.
Scope and Contents:
The Curtiss-Wright Corporation Records collection contains approximately 146 cubic feet of material. The collection contains the following material:
Army Air Service Material Division & Army Air Force Technical Services Command Memo
Reports & Technical Reports which include testing of various Curtiss-Wright models of aircraft and/or various parts of aircraft
Technical & Engineering Reports from the St. Louis, MO plant [Robertson] & Buffalo, NY plant
Patents, Patent Dockets, Patent Serial numbers, Suits, License Agreements, Patents filed by Curtiss-Wright & Patent Infringement Cases [1800s to 1940s]
Miscellaneous Research Files
Corporate & Financial Records [1923 to 1972]
Advertisements from Newspapers & Magazines in Scrapbooks
Negatives & Glass Plates
This collection was arranged into Series and Subseries:
Subseries I: Air Corps Materiel Division, Reports [ACMR]
Subseries II: Buffalo Reports
Subseries III: St. Louis
Series III: Glass Plates [this part of the collection has not been processed]
Series IV: 1969 Accretion - Listing of Archival Material
Series V: Master Print Books [this part of the collection has not been processed]
An historic event in aviation occurred on June 26, 1929 when two major aircraft companies: the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company merged with the Wright Aeronautical Corporation to form the Curtiss-Wright Corporation. After this merger, the former Wright organization took over all of the engine and propeller manufacture while Curtiss concentrated on airplanes. This merger was completed by organizing two major divisions under their original names, but under the direction of a corporate headquarters located in New York City. However, there was a recognized separation of spirit as well as specialized facilities that was never completely resolved in succeeding years. The election of former Wright personnel to key corporate positions soon led to Wright becoming the dominant division. At the height of the Lindbergh Boom during the 1920s and 1930s, the Curtiss-Wright Corporation was made up of the following identified organizations: The Curtiss Aeroplane & Motor Company; The Curtiss-Caproni Corporation; The Curtiss-Robertson Airplane Manufacturing Company; The Keystone Aircraft Corporation; The Moth Aircraft Corporation; The Travel Air Manufacturing Company; The Wright Aeronautical Corporation; Curtiss-Wright Flying Service; The Curtiss-Wright Sales
Corporation; The Curtiss-Wright Export Corporation. Curtiss-Wright was quickly becoming the 'General Motors of the Air' until the great depression in October 1929. Sales dropped and Curtiss-Wright was forced to close certain satellite plants and transfer some of their product lines to the St. Louis facility. It looked like even the Buffalo plants would also have to close when Curtiss-Wright received an order from Colombia, South America for Hawks and Falcons. This was the largest military order to Curtiss since the war. The Colombia sale saved the Curtiss-Wright organization at this low point in its history. This order kept the production lines going until new military and civil markets began to open up as the depression waned and the build-up for World War II began. During the U.S. military build-up prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor, all existing Curtiss-Wright plants were expanded and new aircraft factories were built at Columbus, Ohio and Louisville, Kentucky. The dropping of the two atomic bombs on Japan resulted in an unexpected early end to World War II. All of the major U.S. airplane builders including Curtiss-Wright were hit by massive contract cancellations because of the Japanese surrender. In 1946 Curtiss-Wright had only two experimental military models at hand for postwar delivery and no assurance of production orders. Curtiss-Wright was forced to shut down all airplane plants and transfer all units of the Aeroplane Division to their Columbus Plant. The eventual sale of the Airplane Division to North American included design rights to the former Curtiss-Wright airplanes. The Curtiss-Wright Airplane Division, which manufactured airframes, finally closed down in 1951.
Curtiss-Wright Corporation, gift, XXXX, 1969
No restrictions on access.
This collection consists of material relating to the EDO Aircraft Corporation, mostly from the 1920s-1940s. The following types of material are included: company correspondence, photographs, brochures, price lists and float specifications, and annual reports.
Biographical / Historical:
The Edo Aircraft Company, later renamed the EDO Corporation, was founded in 1925. The company's first project was an all-metal flying boat, called the 'Malolo.' Because of the limited market for flying boats in 1926, the company switched its endeavors to the design and construction of all-metal seaplane floats. Development of the EDO all-metal float did much to stimulate the use of seaplanes. Over 300 different types of aircraft, from many countries, were equipped with EDO floats by 1941. During 1942-1945 all the floats used by the Navy and Army Air Corps were built by EDO. After the war, the company ventured into other areas, including: Sonar for underwater exploration and antisubmarine warfare; development of the hydro-ski; involvement in the Navy's Polaris and Trident programs; development of the navigational aide Loran; and participation in cold-war intelligence gathering equipment.
Margery O. Erickson, gift, 1995, 1995-0054, unknown
No restrictions on access
This collection consists of the personal papers and memorabilia of Arthur Raymond Brooks. It includes photographs, correspondence, documents, and certificates relating to Brooks' aviation career, as well as personal correspondence, photographs, and diaries (1907-87).
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of the personal papers of Arthur Raymond Brooks. These papers relate to his military career with the U.S. Army Air Service (1917-22), his years in both civilian government service and the private sector (1923-60), as well as a lifetime's involvement in numerous military, academic, aeronautical, and professional associations and organizations. Additionally, there are examples of correspondence and autographed photographs from such aerospace notables as Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Billy Mitchell, Clayton Bissell, Reed Chambers, and Michael Collins.
The collection is arranged into two broad series. First, is the material relating to his professional life. This includes Brooks' official military documents (U.S. Army commission, discharge papers, etc.), correspondence, reports, photographs (mostly from his time spent as an Air Service officer in France and the U.S.), handbooks, manuals, brochures, programs, speeches, magazines, newsletters, newspaper clippings, and articles. The second series contains items pertaining mainly to his personal life. Included here are personal documents such as income tax receipts, last will and testament, correspondence, photographs (both largely from and of family and friends), diaries, biographical notes, transcripts from audio tape cassettes, logbooks, travel guides, and books. Miscellaneous materials retained by Brooks such as a commemorative medallion, prints, posters, publications, a stamp album, photograph albums, newspapers, and address books are also found in this series.
Brooks' papers are arranged both chronologically and alphabetically. Official military and personal documents, correspondence, reports, photographs, brochures, programs, newspaper clippings and articles, diaries and day timers, biographical notes, transcriptions, logbooks, travel guides, maps, atlases, timetables, and newspapers are organized by the former method. Handbooks, instructions, manuals, magazines, and newsletters are grouped alphabetically by title. The books are arranged alphabetically by author.
Series 1: Professional material
1.1 Official military documents
1.4 Handbooks, instructions, and manuals
1.10 Newspaper clippings and articles
Series 2: Personal materials
2.1 Personal documents
2.3 Diaries and day-timers
2.5 Biographical notes
2.8 Travel guides, maps, atlases, and train/airline timetables
2.10 Miscellaneous materials
2.11 Oversized materials
2.12 Posters, prints and maps
2.13 Newspapers and newspaper supplements
Arthur Raymond Brooks (1895-1991) was a fighter pilot for the U.S. Army Air Service during World War I and later, a civil aviation pioneer. Born in Framingham, Massachusetts on November 1, 1895, Brooks graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1917 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrochemical engineering. In July of that year, he enlisted in the Aviation Section of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. His flight training was provided by the Royal Flying Corps' School of Military Aeronautics in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was then sent for further flight training to Fort Worth, Texas where he flew with the 139th Squadron, 2nd Pursuit Group. In March 1918, Brooks left for France and completed pursuit training at the 3rd Aviation Instruction Center, American Expeditionary Force (AEF), at Issoudun. The 139th was placed at the Vaucouleurs Aerodrome, Toul sector, where the squadron was equipped with SPAD VII aircraft. Brooks was eventually made its flight commander. By early August, he was assigned as flight commander of the 22nd Aero Squadron, 2nd Pursuit Group. His new squadron was supplied with SPAD XIII pursuit craft. Altogether, he flew 120 missions in four different aircraft. He named each of the aircraft Smith in honor of his fiancée (Ruth Connery) who was attending Smith College in Massachusetts. The final plane he flew in combat, the Smith IV, is on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.
On July 29, 1918, Brooks achieved his first confirmed aerial victory by downing a German Fokker aircraft. Later, he destroyed two more Fokkers while flying over enemy lines on September 14. On that day, Brooks single-handedly engaged eight enemy aircraft in combat thus, earning him the Distinguished Service Cross. By the war's end, he had six confirmed kills to his credit.
Following the armistice of November 11, 1918, Brooks remained in France as the 22nd Squadron's commanding officer. His squadron was kept in reserve for possible German occupation duty. Upon his return to the United States in July 1919, Brooks was promoted to Captain. He decided to stay in the Air Service and was subsequently assigned as commanding officer for the 95th Pursuit Squadron, stationed at Kelly Field, Texas. From May 1920 to August 1921, he was put in charge of the 1st Pursuit Group at Ellington Field, Texas. Following that assignment, Brooks attended Air Service Field Officer's School, Langley Field, Virginia. After graduation, he stayed on duty at Langley Field until his resignation from the U.S. Army Air Service in December 1922. This action was spurred both by Brooks' frustration with being on the Army's stagnant promotion list and an interest in entering the private sector. During 1920-21, while in the service, he was involved in a failed Framingham-based commercial aviation business called the Brooks, Banks and Smith Corporation. Also in 1920, Brooks married Ruth. Their only child, Peter, was born in 1929.
Brooks' first job after his honorable discharge from the Air Service was as secretary for the National Automobile Association during 1923-24. During 1924-25, he worked in advertising sales for the financial magazine, United States Investor. Once again, his desire to be engaged in commercial aviation compelled him to become involved in establishing and organizing the Florida Airways Corporation from late 1925 into 1926. In time, Florida Airways became Eastern Airways. Brooks left this financially struggling enterprise and joined the Department of Commerce's Aeronautics Branch in August 1926. For the next seventeen months, he worked as an airway extension superintendent and associate airways engineer. His main task with the Aeronautics Branch was to survey air routes and supervise the installation of beacons to assist air mail pilots navigate the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia to Pennsylvania. He left government service in early 1928 and was hired by Bell Telephone Laboratories. He spent the next few decades working as a scientist, engineer and chief pilot for the company at Hadley Field, New Jersey. There, Brooks and his staff conducted pioneering research on ground-to-air radiotelephone communications and electronic aviation navigation equipment. During much of this period, he piloted a Fairchild FC2-W Wasp and a Ford Tri-Motor that operated as flying laboratories for the team's communications research. He was Bell's publications manager for New Jersey operations at the time of his retirement in 1960.
Brooks stayed active in aviation for the remainder of his life. Even in his nineties, he enjoyed flying all sorts of aircraft, including ultralights, gliders and hot-air balloons. He belonged to many aviation-related and professional associations and organizations such as the American Legion, Military Order of the World Wars, Combat Pilots Association, Order of Daedalians, OX-5 Aviation Pioneers Association, Telephone Pioneers of America, Cross and Cockade, Associate Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, Quiet Birdmen, WWI Overseas Flyers and the American Fighter Aces Association. Brooks also remained involved with the alumni affairs of his alma mater – MIT. He attended numerous air shows and reunions, including the sixty-fifth, and final reunion, held for the Lafayette Flying Corps in Paris, France in 1983. In 1980, he was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey. Brooks lived long enough to see his Smith IV restored by the National Air and Space Museum during the 1980s. Brooks, the last surviving American World War I ace, died in Summit, New Jersey, on July 17, 1991.
Other materials: medals and memorabilia transferred to NASM Aeronautics Division.
A. Raymond Brooks, Gift, 1989, NASM.1989.0104
No restrictions on access
42.51 Cubic feet ((39 records center boxes) (1 flatbox))
Scope and Contents:
Wilkinson's papers consist of files of information gathered on various engines for preparation of his books, business and personal correspondence, photographs of engines, records of litigation against 'Jane's All the World's Aircraft', manuscripts of various 'Aircraft Engines of the World' volumes, pamphlets, financial records, address card files of various military operations, industries, schools and libraries, and bookstores, and books (including 'Aircraft Engines' and 'Jane's').
Biographical / Historical:
Paul H. Wilkinson, (1895-1975), aviation writer and publisher, is perhaps best known as the writer and publisher of 'Aircraft Engines of the World'. This series served as a standard reference tool to specifications for aircraft engines produced throughout the world beginning in 1941. The 34th edition was in preparation at the time of Wilkinson's death. He also published three other books pertaining to diesel aviation engines prior to beginning this series, as well as numerous articles for aeronautical publications.
Eleanor Dies Wilkinson Estate, Gift, 1985, XXXX-0051, unknown
No restrictions on access
This collection consists of reports on the design, construction, and testing of the NC series flying boats and photographs of NC-4's construction and transatlantic flight.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of reports on the design, construction, and testing of the NC series flying boats and photographs and 3 negatives of the NC-4's construction and transatlantic flight. The collection is set up in a series of books with two copies of each book, except books 11 and 13. There is some water damage to book 10. Due to the fact that book 5 contained oversize materials, both copies of this book are filed out of sequence in box 4.
The collection is set up in a series of books with two copies of each book, except books 11 and 13. There is some water damage to book 10. Due to the fact that book 5 contained oversize materials, both copies of this book are filed out of sequence in box 4.
In 1917, during World War I, the United States Navy sent out specification for a flying boat of sufficient range to cross the Atlantic Ocean by air to Great Britain, where it would serve as an anti-submarine patrol aircraft. The Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company, in conjunction with the United States Navy, developed a three-engine aircraft to meet these specifications. The first of the new aircraft was the NC-1 that flew for the first time on October 4, 1918. This was followed by the NC-2 whose maiden flight took place on April 12, 1919 with four engines in tandem pairs. The engine arrangement of the NC-2 had been declared unsatisfactory for the mission and the wings were removed and installed on the NC-1 to replace the originals that had been damaged in a storm. By this time, World War I had ended, but the Navy decided to continue the program in an effort to make the first transatlantic flight crossing by air. The new NC-3 and NC-4 models reverted to the three-engine format, although the NC-4 had a fourth engine mounted as a pusher behind the center engine. On May 16, 1919 the NC-1, NC-3 and NC-4 assembled at Trepassy Bay, Newfoundland, under the command of Commander John H. Towers, to begin the 1400-mile flight to the Azores. The NC-1 was forced down short of the island and sank. Naval vessels stationed along the flight path rescued the crew of the NC-1. The NC-3 landed two hundred miles short and taxied the remaining distance to the island. Only the NC-4 completed the flight successfully, reaching Plymouth, England, via Lisbon, Portugal, on May 31, 1919. Following publicity tours of the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States, the Curtiss NC-4 was given over to the Smithsonian Institution and is now part of the National Air and Space Museum collection.
Lee Pearson, XXXX-0422, Unknown.
No restrictions on access.