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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.


The National Museum of WWII Aviation will be closed all day on Wednesday, November 10th and the morning of Thursday, November 11th for a private event. The museum will be open to the public beginning at 1:00pm on Thursday.

The National Museum of World War II Aviation
will close at 1pm on Friday, December 3
for a private event.

The National Museum of World War II Aviation
will close at 3pm on Sunday, December 12
for a private event.

The National Museum will be closed all day on
Thursday, November 25 for Thanksgiving,
Saturday, December 25 for Christmas, and
Saturday, January 1 for New Years