WACO Classic won Autopilot Approval….Really?

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Hot off the presses from General Aviation News:  http://www.generalaviationnews.com/2012/11/01/71216/
WACO Classic Aircraft has won FAA approval of the S-TEC System 55X autopilot STC for installation in the WACO YMF-F5C and 5D.

I must have hit my head as child because I don’t get it. Why in the world would I want an autopilot in a 1930s era biplane design? I have glass in my RV-8 and although an a/p would be nice, I built it to express my craft, not fly me across the Atlantic?! I like being a pilot and letting a computer do this kind of flying makes me a passenger in my estimation.


Maybe I listen to too much rock music when I fly, but the last thing I would do in a WACO would be slap the a/p on for ‘precise altitude capture and GPS tracking capability’ – that’s absurd!

According to the article, “WACO will now be able to offer an autopilot installation in the aircraft, which will help improve the safety of flying and lessen the workload for the pilot by offering altitude preselector, flight director and electrical trim system, company officials said.”

“Improve the safety of flying and lessen the workload for the pilot”, this is laughable! Great! Turn on the a/p so I don’t have to look outside, how is that more safe?

“Lessen the workload.” Huh? What workload? Are we shooting CAT III approaches in this thing?

Richard Bach would have a cow if he read this! What happened to the experience of man and machine acting as one as you soar through the great void? This takes all the romance out of flying this type of machine!

I hope there isn’t a lot of demand for such a product, because if there is folks are really missing the point.

Please let me know your thoughts on the matter…


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