Waco AVN-8             NC17                  (c/n  5115)


                                       The Waco Model N was a radical departure from the company's previous cabin biplane
                                       designs by virtue of its tricycle landing gear.   This was certainly innovative when it debuted
                                       in 1937.  Prophetically, it was the shape of things to come and although not produced in great
                                       numbers from 1937-1939 it proved to be much simpler to land and take-off than the taildraggers
                                       of the day.  The big lumbering nose wheel did not, surprisingly, seem to detract from the aircraft's
                                       performance to a marked degree.  The example above was operated by the Aviation Branch
                                      of the Department of Commerce (what would become  the CAA) and is a Waco photograph. 

                                      A note on Waco Aircraft nomenclature.  The three letters designate:-
                                                                                 First letter:   Engine type and horse power
                                                                            Second letter:   Airframe type (inlcuding wing type, open or closed cabin, etc)
                                                                                Third letter:   Model   In this case 'N' represented tricycle gear models.      
                                                                 The number is usually the last digit of the first year of production.  e.g. 8 = 1938.
                                      Now, as any student of  registration systems knows, the possible combinations of a three letter
                                      code give 17,576 permutations and, while I am not suggesting that Waco used all of them, at times
                                      it seems that it was damned near!