• Review: Alabeo - WACO YMF-5 For X-Plane

    Waco YMF-5

    Publisher: Alabeo

    Review Author:
    Shawn Weigelt

    Suggested Price:

    Buy Here


    There's just something special about a biplane. I can't really put my finger on it exactly, but I think it is a combination of several elements possessed by a classic, open cockpit biplane that really serve to capture the imagination and passion among enthusiasts for powered aviation. The Waco YMF-5, in my humble opinion, brings all of these elements together into one of the most beautiful, aesthetically pleasing piston-powered airplanes in history. The surprise here is that, despite the airplane's antique guise, it is relatively new, the first one having been constructed in 1986! The Waco YMF-5 truly is a modern classic and every bit a flying work of art and testament to quality American craftsmanship.

    Through this review I will attempt to determine if the Alabeo rendition of this remarkable airplane for X-Plane 9 and 10 captures that same intangible that I, at least, have for the real airplane.

    A Brief History Of The Real Thing

    The Waco Aircraft Company was founded in 1919 in Troy, Ohio, following closely on the heels of "The Great War." The company built several different models of civilian biplanes until 1947, when the populous proved to be not as interested in private aviation as was anticipated.


    The Waco Classic Aircraft Company was founded in 1986 and began building their rendition of the YMF, based roughly upon the 1930's design from the "Golden Age" of aviation.

    Today, Waco Classic Aircraft Corporation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and builds two models, the YMF-5 and Great Lakes 2T-1A. On the exterior, as mentioned earlier, the YMF-5 looks like an antique. One look in the cockpit, however, will convince one that this is a modern aircraft. In fact, Waco Classic Aircraft Corporation manufacturers the only FAA and EASA certified open cockpit biplanes in the world.

    According to Waco's web site, today's YMF-5D is powered by a 300 HP Jacobs R-755 A2, seven cylinder radial engine. Systems and avionics options are highly variable; from basic VFR instrumentation to IFR certified Garmin glass. Basically whatever the owner wants in his/her Waco, from avionics, paint scheme, leather, and carpeting, the option is theirs. Not bad for a biplane! Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the YMF-5 is certified for basic aerobatics with G-limits of +5.2 / -2.1 at the 2950 lb gross weight. The "fun-factor" definitely just went up a little! Of course it should go without saying that a real YMF is going to set one back a bit financially...try at least $400,000 US...yikes! I'm going to stick with my $20 "fly at home version" thanks!


    Alabeo's Sights And Sounds

    I don't believe that it's any secret that Alabeo and Carenado are "cousin" development teams, producing high fidelity general aviation aircraft derived from popular real world airplane manufacturers. Both Alabeo and Carenado develop beautiful simulated airplanes for FSX, Prepar3D, X-Plane, and Redbird Jay. Typically Carenado has focused on developing more traditional piston singles and twins from manufacturers such as Cessna, Beechcraft, and Piper. They have relatively recently, however, developed some turboprop singles and twins and have a couple more commercial offerings on the horizon such as a Beech 1900D and an Embraer Phenom light jet. Alabeo, meanwhile, has focused their efforts on more of the "fringes" so to speak of the light aviation market with several aerobatic, working, and classic airplanes.

    The Waco YMF-5 is advertised on Alabeo's web site for $19.95 US. I think this is more than a fair price given the overall quality of the file, but I'll get into that in more detail a little later.

    Alabeo's Waco includes five authentic and gorgeous paint schemes to include: BlackAndWhite, White, Red, YellowAndBlue, and YellowAndRed. I am particularly fond of the Red one, as it really gives the file a sporty touch, though the "YellowAndRed" is a close second in my book.


    Tags: alabeo, waco, ymf-5

    1 Comment
    1. squidy's Avatar
      squidy -
      The WACO actually does have a steerable tail wheel which has a lever to lock and unlock the tail wheel to the rudder pedals.
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