In what arguably may be the most surprising announcement of Oshkosh 2021, the president of Waco Aircraft delivered a presentation on the company’s growing facility and production capacity—they’ve averaged up to four-and-a half airplanes a year in the past, but larger facilities and efficiencies realized in their production process have boosted them to be on track for eight deliveries a year.
The company has also entered the food service business after the idea to create a healthy cafeteria on-site expanded to a full restaurant serving locally sourced cuisine has blossomed into a successful enterprise with WACO Kitchen. A second location is coming soon, and more airports have approached WACO with interest in similar dining setups at their locations.
And then company president Sven Lepschy dropped a veritable bomb in the room: Waco Aircraft will embark on three new designs. But wait! The surprises don’t end there. Waco will add sheet metal and carbon fiber to their repertoire as they start to produce designs that will range from LSA to eight seats. And perhaps in a telling twist, they’ve booked a display at NBAA in Las Vegas.
“And that’s about all I can say,” he said. But Lepschy had already said a lot. Earlier in the session, he’d dropped another nugget: “We’re going into the turbine and turboprop market,” he said. “People come to us and say, ‘Can you…?’ and we say yes.”
What exactly Waco aircraft has said yes to will make for interesting speculation and guesses as the aviation community waits to see what’s coming next from the Battle Creek, Michigan, manufacturer.