The Waco JYM was developed in 1929 to meet the increasing demand in the 1920s for rugged air mail planes. The JYM has a single back seat for the pilot and a forward seat that could handle two slim people or packages, with a metal cover that could enclose the packages or the empty seat. For mail, there were two compartments with a lockable cover in the fuselage, one forward and one aft of the pilot.
Four Waco JYMs were delivered to Northwest Airways, the predecessor of Northwest Airlines, in 1929. They were operated on the 892-mile Contract Air Mail (CAM) route 9 from Chicago to Minneapolis. The route took them to Milwaukee, Madison, and La Crosse enroute. Contract commercial carriers took over the mail routes in 1926. Thirty four mail routes were eventually established.
In 1926, Charles Lindberg, at the controls of a DeHavilland DH-4 Jenny, began flying the first route between Chicago and St. Louis. A year later he quit and was catapulted into fame for solo piloting the Ryan “Spirit of St. Louis” nonstop from New York to Paris, a first. Charles Lindberg flew this plane as part of his post-Atlantic trip public relations work for Northwest Airlines.
This is the only surviving Waco JYM of the four that were built, and it is flyable. It is typical of the kinds of aircraft that flew in the early 1930s, just a few years before the beginning of WWII. By the time war came, major improvements in aircraft design had resulted in single wing, high performance fighters that could achieve 400 miles per hour.
Engine: Wright J-6-9
Engine Horsepower: 300 H.P.
Cruise Speed: 100 mph
Range: 400 miles
Mail Load: 560 lbs.