A. Francis Arcier, (1890-1969) was an aviator, scientist, designer and engineer whose pioneering work in aviation design spanned six decades and earned him many honors.
Scope and Contents:
The A. Francis Arcier Collection contains approximately 3 cubic feet of material relating to his extraordinary career in aviation. This collection has biographical and professional documents, technical information on aircraft designs, patents, correspondence, newspaper clippings, publications, certificates, photographs, negatives and three scrapbooks.
Note: The digital images shown for this collection were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product which did not reproduce all materials found in this collection; some items have not been scanned.
Every effort was made to provide dates when possible and each series is arranged in chronological order.
The collection is arranged as follows:
Series 1: Biographical and professional material
Series 2: Technical material
Series 3: Publications
Series 4: Photographs
Series 5: Scrapbooks
A. Francis Arcier, (1890-1969) was an aviator, scientist, designer and engineer whose pioneering work in aviation design spanned six decades and earned him many honors. Born in London, he studied aeronautics in Passey, France under Sir Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the Eiffel Tower. He served as draftsman for such notable aircraft designers as Gabriel Voisin, Henri Coanda, Frank Barnivell and Gordon England. At the age of 21, he learned to fly and received his international aviator's certificate. He served as a flight instructor at the Hall School of Flying in Hendon, England and during World War I, with Handley Page, Ltd. He designed the first twin engine and the first four engine bombers used by the United States and its Allies. Arcier emigrated to the United States in 1919 and was employed as Chief Engineer at the Witteman Aircraft Corporation, makers of the Barling Bomber designed by Arcier. It was the largest heavier-than-air aircraft of its time. During his years with Witteman, Arcier won the Army Air Service Engineering Divisions' design competition for a bomber aircraft design. That same year, Arcier became Chief Engineer for the Fokker Aircraft Corporation, where among other notable accomplishments, he designed the Fokker Trimotor Transport which was used by Amelia Earhart and by Richard Byrd in his flight over the North Pole and also across the North Atlantic. After Arcier attained his United States citizenship in 1929, he became Vice President of Operations and Director of the General Airplanes Corporation in Buffalo, New York. In 1930 under his leadership, the "Mailplane", one of the first all-metal airplanes, was built. Later in 1930, Arcier became Chief Engineer of the Weaver Aircraft Company, WACO. He worked for WACO for 17 years in various capacities. Arcier and the Waco Aircraft Company made many contributions to the National Defense Program during World War II such as the Model UPF-7. The Waco Company was entrusted with the entire combat and cargo glider Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces. This was initiated in an Army Design Competition which the Company won and resulted in a program involving the design, prototype construction and, in some cases, production construction of some twelve models ranging from Model CG-3A to the CG-15A. These gliders were built by the thousands under Arcier's technical direction by sixteen prime contractors and many hundreds of sub-contractors throughout the nation. In 1948, Arcier became Chief Scientist for U.S. Air Force Intelligence at Wright- Patterson AFB until he retired in 1963. After his retirement, he served as consultant to the Commander, Foreign Technology Division and Special Advisor to the Division's Advisory Group on scientific and technical intelligence matters. Among his honors were the USAF Meritorious Civilian Service Award (1953), and the USAF Distinguished Civilian Service Award (1961.) A. Francis Arcier died on November 21, 1969.
Elizabeth Arcier, gift, 1972, additional material received from Francis Arnoult, 2019, NASM.XXXX.0072.
No restrictions on access.
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.