Northwest Airways Waco 125
Siemens-Halske logo on engine
Northwest Airways logo

Northwest Airways Waco 125

Unique Plane

Only aircraft of its kind remaining. Rare version of Waco 10 biplane built with Siemens-Halske SH-12 engine.

Advanced Aircraft only made about 21 of these “Siemens-Waco” planes. Combination of 125-horsepower, 9-cylinder radial engine and popular Waco biplane performed well, but the German engine was costly at $2,970, and various American radial engines in this power range were starting to appear.

Northwest Service

Purchased by Northwest Airways (later Northwest Airlines) in 1928, just two years after company's founding. Briefly operated, in its factory red-and-cream paint, for charters and sales demonstrations—Northwest had a Waco dealership—and flight instruction. Never used for scheduled Northwest mail or passenger service.

Northwest's Wacos

Northwest did fly Wacos in scheduled service, primarily to carry air mail, until 1936. Fleet included a Waco 10W, later modified into aerodynamic "taper wing" CTO model, and several taper wing Waco JYMs.

Waco mail planes initially flew between Chicago and Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, and between Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin. When winter storms covered runways with snow, Northwest outfitted its Wacos with skis.

Restoration & Donation

Retired Captain Daniel F. Neuman donated Waco 125 to Northwest in memory of his wife Vona Jean Neuman in 1985. Their son Dan Neuman, Jr., also a Northwest pilot, tells how his parents worked together on the restoration:

"My dad purchased the Waco biplane on March 18, 1957. The fuselage frame was being used as a windmill tower and due to rust it needed extensive rebuilding...My parents completed 95% of the restoration in three to four years. My mother worked alongside my dad during the restoration completing all the fabric work and the interior."

Paint Scheme

Initially restored to its original factory paint job of Stearman Vermillion Red and cream. Repainted in 1985 in vintage Northwest Airway black-and-gold livery. Name "C.W. Holman" stenciled on fuselage honors Northwest's first chief pilot Charles "Speed" Holman, a famous acrobatic flier.


Photo caption: NWA CEO Steven G. Rothmeir (center), Daniel F. Neuman, Senior (right) and Junior unveiling Waco 125 at MSP, Dec. 16, 1985

Installed at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport's Lindbergh Terminal in 1985, the plane hung in Concourse G for 25 years. After Northwest merged with Delta in 2008, Waco 125 joined our historic fleet in August 2011. 

More Information

Flickr: Detailed photos of Waco 125, also its move in 2011

Waco Historical Society: Photos, fly-ins and more about vintage Wacos

Waco 125

Registration No.: NC4576
Serial No.: 1397
Manufactured Date: March 14, 1928
Manufacturer: Advanced Aircraft Company, later Waco Aircraft Co., of Troy, Ohio
Wingspan: 30 ft., 7 in. (upper wing
Length: 23 ft., 9 in.
Height: 9 ft.
Range: 575 statute miles
Cruise Speed: 96 mph
Occupants: 2 passengers and 1 pilot
Maximum Weight: 2,060 lbs
Engines: Siemens-Halske SH-12 built in Berlin, Germany; distributed in U.S. by Ryan Aeronautical Co.
Thrust: 125 hp
Propeller: Hamilton Standard
Fuel Capacity: 54.5 gallons with added center-section tank
Materials: Wood and chrome-molybdenum steel tubing frame covered with linen and epoxy
Price when New:  $12,000
Initial restoration work