Great Lakes

Great Lakes 2T1A-2 Biplane

Adelaide Biplanes, the home of joy flights and flight training on South Australia’s Fleurieu Peninsula, are celebrating the arrival of the latest aerobatic biplane to join their fleet - the very first new customer production Great Lakes 2T1A-2 in the world, which can now be seen strutting its stuff on the runway and across the skies.

Custom built by Michigan based aviation company Waco Classic, this stunning new Great Lakes biplane will lead the way as the primary aerobatic joyride aircraft for Adelaide Biplanes at their Aldinga Airfield base. Waco Classic hold an enviable reputation for producing high quality modern day re-incarnations of classic aeroplane, with their signature aircraft being the Waco YMF5.... another member of the Adelaide Biplanes fleet.

The nimble machine will perform exhilarating stunts to any thrill seekers looking for an aerobatic ride, and will double as a training aircraft for those who wish to take the pilot’s seat. A unique feature, the Great Lakes offers an open cockpit option, for those who want to feel the wind in their hair and capture an even clearer glimpse of the stunning coastline and rolling vine covered hills of the famed McLaren Vale wine region that lies below. 

The first Great Lakes was built in 1929 and quickly became one of the best aerobatic airplanes ever produced in American aviation. Finding fame at the hands of daredevils and stuntmen such as Tex Rankin, the Great Lakes was used to perform aerobatics and set world records such as the ‘most consecutive outside loops’ (131 for those of you playing at home). Sadly this, along with great sales success, wasn’t enough to save the company from the Great Depression, with production ceasing in 1936.  After a brief revival in the late 70’s, Waco Classic and Adelaide Biplanes have once again brought this classic biplane back to Australia.

Following its namesake, the Great Lakes took to the water to find it’s way from the USA to South Australia; packed in a 40 foot shipping container aboard the good old ship APL Ningbo for 8 weeks, it saw the sights of Singapore before finding its way to Adelaide on May 27 2014 where it was re-assembled, tested and certified by the Adelaide Biplanes Engineering support team from The Nelson Aeroplane Company.

The classic Great Lakes biplane provides the ultimate thrill; vintage glamour teamed with adrenalin pumping tricks – think pin-up girls and shearling leather jackets, meets Evel Knievel. Joy flights, both scenic and aerobatic, are the perfect way to see the Fleurieu Peninsula and make an unforgettable gift for family and friends. Even if heights are not your thing, you can always relax with a coffee on the deck from the Adelaide Biplanes kitchen and watch these awesome aircraft take to the skies in front of you, an equally stunning experience.

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South Coast Air Centre Pty Ltd AOC No. C070904