|PACKARD DIESEL POWERED
WACO TAPERWING, HSO X4N, 1929
|This plane bears the identification "X4N" on the tail.
The photo is stamped "NOV 14 1929" on the back.
This plane has been identified as a Waco Taperwing, HSO X4N/NC4N. This was the only Waco Taperwing built which was powered by the 225hp Packard DR980 diesel engine. .
The plane had a span of 30'7", length: 22'4", load: 786v: 128/108/45 range: 490-585.
It was designed by A. Francis Arcier, the principal Waco designer from 1930 to 1947. The original cost was $7,500. It was later modified as taperwing HTO (NR4N) which is the plane Walter flew as Official Timer in the 1930 National Air Tour.
While Captain Woolson and I were testing the Packard Diesel Engine installed in the Stinson cabin plane, the great Lindbergh came out to the field with several officials of the Packard Co. including Captain Woolson, a Major Lanphier, and others. I thought of course that Lindbergh was going up for a ride, and as I had been the only one to fly the diesel up to that time, it was only natural to think so.
I warmed up the engine and motioned to Capt. Woolson that everything was set. I was sitting in the left hand seat. Lindbergh came in first, gave me a very superior glance, then glanced at the controls in the co-pilot's seat to the right and said, "I want to sit on the left side." What could I say? I switched to the right side, with Capt. Woolson and Major Lanphier in back.
Lindbergh didn't ask me a thing about the characteristics of the engine, or how to handle the throttle, which was quite different from the conventional engine. He taxied to the end of the field, opened the throttle, took off and flew for about 15 minutes. He then landed, taxied up to the hangar, got out, and never said a word to me.
Later, when we had the Waco open cockpit plane with a diesel engine, Lindbergh came out again, also with a lot of officials. He didn't even say hello to me or look at me, but climbed into the Waco plane, took it up, stunted it quite a bit, landed and went away. Never a look at me. So, what do I think of him, well, you guess. I will give him credit for being a very fine pilot, but that is all I can say.