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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.

1939 Waco ARE - NC20953

Location: Antiques & Classics

View Virtual Tour of Cockpit

The Waco ARE is one of several different aircraft owned by the New York Daily News newspaper. The planes were used mainly for photography and the windows on the passenger side were modified to a larger size to accommodate the photographers. The original sales order says it was delivered new on December 16, 1939, to the Daily News. The order also says the aircraft had the following extra equipment.

1) Electric heated pitot tubes, 2) Three special windows, 3) Lifting lugs, 4) Ski eyes, 5) Red passing light, 6) Tail wheel lock, 7) Camera mounting lugs, 8) Two Switlik back-pack parachutes, 9) Quick-release parachute door.

At one time, the expense of operating a photography plane was analyzed by the newspaper. Operating expenses for the Waco were estimated at $17,115 annually. Items included in the breakdown were hangar fees, special order items (like the large windows), landing fees, insurance and map/chart directory service.

One of the more interesting pilots of the Daily News plane was A.F. Krantz, better known as “Duke” and in his early barnstorming days called “Diavalo.” Krantz flew for the Gates Flying Circus and never knew a dull moment. As an aviation daredevil, he leapt from one plane to a rope ladder suspended from another plane, did wing walking, hung by his teeth from the bottom of a plane and did head stands on aircraft wings. As the pilot of the Daily News plane, Krantz flew News photographer Joe Costa to inspect the beach damage after a 1938 hurricane devastated the entire South Shore of Long Island.

Restoration on NC20953 was done by Centennial Aircraft Services/Waco Classic Aircraft Corp. of Battle Creek, Michigan, for owner Ron Tarrson. The fuselage frame has its original wood bulkheads still firmly attached with string cord and varnish. The entire aircraft has been refurbished and reconditioned, not simply replaced with new components. When the work was completed in the spring of 2003, the aircraft was flown to New York for a reunion with its original owner the New York Daily News. Included in the celebration was Pete Brucia, once a pilot for the Daily News in the 1940s. This plane is the very one he flew during his employment with the newspaper.

Waco ARE, NC20953, was donated to the EAA AirVenture Museum in 2007 by Ron Tarrson.

General description

5-place cabin land or sea biplane

Length overall

27 ft. 10 in.


8 ft. 8 in.

Wingspan, upper

34 ft. 9 in.

Wingspan, lower

24 ft. 4 in.

Weight – empty

2563 lbs.

Weight – gross

4051 lbs.

Power plant

Jacobs L-6MB, 330 hp


Hamilton C/S



Top speed

185 mph

Cruising speed

155 mph

Landing speed

58 mph

Rate of climb, first minute

1170 ft.

Service ceiling

18,000 ft.

Normal fuel consumption

17 ½ gallons per hour

Fuel capacity

125 gal.

Oil capacity

6 ¼ gal.


Clark Y

Chord upper

72 in.

Chord lower

48 in.

Gear tread

101 in.

Price with standard equipment (1939)


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