Waldo Wright's Flying Service

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Waldo Wright's Flying Service

Air Zoo East Campus Building, 3101 East Milham Avenue
Portage, MI 49002
Regions: South
Phone: (863) 873-1339
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Description

Waldo Wright's Flying Service was established in 1995 with the dream of introducing people of all ages to the thrill and romance of open cockpit biplane flight.

Waldo Wright's Flying Service will take you on the adventure of a lifetime!

What started in 1995 with the dream of restoring two New Standard biplanes to recapture the 'Golden Age of Aviation' has grown into America's largest vintage biplane ride company.

The New Standard airplane was designed specifically for barnstorming at the request of Ivan Gates, the proprietor of the famous Gates Flying Circus. Gates, with Clyde Pangborn, formed and operated one of the largest groups of barnstorming airplanes from the middle 1920s and into the 1930s. Carrying 4 passengers in a large front open cockpit, the airplane was instrumental in introducing hundreds of thousands of people to their first airplane ride, when aviation was in its infancy. Many still remember flying out of a pasture near their hometown when they were young. There are very few of these magnificent airplanes still operating today; in fact, Waldo owns two of the seven presently airworthy and flying.

Waldo Wright's Flying Service also offers flights for a single passenger in the legendary Boeing Stearman. The Stearman was the primary trainer of WWII. Many a young man and woman would leave their jobs as a school teacher, doctor, baseball player, or housewife when they entered the military, and climb into this biplane to learn the basics of flight. Cadets were expected to solo in only 8 hours time. Once the Stearman was conquered, cadets would then transfer on to a basic trainer (BT-13,) the advanced trainer (T-6 or AT-11,) and then on to either a fighter (P-51) or bomber (B-29.) The Stearman aircraft laid down the foundation that would carry these pilots through the rest of their careers, and that 'seat-of-the-pants' flying knowledge many times saved them from disaster in the more advanced aircraft.

The Travel Air E-4000 was THE aircraft of its day. Originally designed by Clyde Cessna, Walter Beech, and Lloyd Stearman, Waldo's Travel Air will be mounted on sea plane floats. This unique ride is the only one operating commercially in the world, and is currently under modification.