|STANDARD DATA: (1932) Seats 2. Gross wt. 1,580. Empty wt. 910. Engine 90-hp Cirrus.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 116. Cruise mph 100. Stall mph 40. Initial climb rate 1,035. Range 400. Ceiling 21,000.
STANDARD DATA: Seats 2. Gross wt. 1,800. Empty wt. 1,230. Fuel capacity 26. Engine 180-hp Lycoming.
The original Great Lakes Model 2T-I Sport Trainer was built by the Great Lakes Aircraft Corp. in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1929. Between 1929 and 1932, the company built more than 200 of them, and they quickly became a great favorite of aerobatic pilots. The designer, Charles W. Meyers, raced a customized Great Lakes with considerable success during the early 1930s, and the legendary Tex Rankin flew one in airshows throughout the country before World War II setting records for both inside and outside loops. After the war, enthusiasm for the airplane continued and many airframes were converted to accept larger engines, particularly Warner radials. During the past several years, factory blueprints of the design have been available to homebuilders from the resurrected Great Lakes Aircraft Co., also of Cleveland, and several are under construction utilizing various modern engines.
In 1972, the design rights were sold to the Great Lakes Aircraft Co. of Wichita, Kansas, and Enid, Oklahoma. In 1973, the Model 2T-IA-1 was certified with a 140-hp Lycoming, and the Model 2T-IA-2 (with a 180-hp Lycoming) was produced for the first time in 1974. In 1980, after more than 50 years, the legendary Great Lakes biplane found a new home in Eastman, Georgia.R. Dean Franklin, a Great Lakes pilot, set up a modern production facility after acquiring production rights, type certificates, and other assets of the Great Lakes Aircraft Co. The Great Lakes is the oldest certificated airplane still in production, and its manufacture closely follows the basic specifications of the original design.