History Takes Flight

With a collection of more than 200 historic aircraft, the EAA Aviation Museum is a year-round destination, combining aviation's past with the promise of its exciting future.

1928 Waco CTO Taperwing - NC7527

Location: Pioneer Airport

The Waco Taperwing was designed near the end of the open cockpit biplane era of big, sleek, powerful aircraft. Its name refers to the tapered shape of the wings. This Taperwing was specially built for famed air racer, Johnny Livingston, who won the 1928 National Air Derby Transcontinental race with it. The plane has been extensively modified since 1928 for air racing and sky-writing duties. The original 225 hp Wright J6-7 engine has been changed to a 350 hp Wright R-760 E-2. Other features that have changed are the propeller, cowling, wheel pants, wing struts, windshields and paint scheme.

Waco built this CTO special for Johnny Livingston for his bid at the 1928 Transcontinental Air Race. Three other Waco CTOs competed in the race, including one flown by Waco’s test pilot Charlie Meyers, who conceived and developed the CTO. John P. Wood placed 3rd and Charlie Myers 5th in the race, which started in New York and ended in Los Angeles. While in Los Angeles, Livingston, Wood, and Meyers placed 2nd, 3rd, and 4th respectively on the 75-mile civilian free-for-all closed course at the National Air Races.

Donated by Fred Grothe of Shakopee, Minnesota.


22 ft. 6 in.


9 ft. 0 in.

Empty Weight

1,677 lbs.

Gross Weight

2,600 lbs.

Oil Capacity

8 gal.

Fuel Capacity

100 gal.


30 ft. 3 in.

Total Wing Area

227 sq. ft.

Cruising Range

800 miles

Cruising Speed

115 mph

Maximum Speed

137 mph

Service Ceiling

19,000 ft.

Serial Number


Price at Factory



350 hp., Wright R-760 E-2, 760 cubic inch, 7-cylinder radial

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