Not Flashy, Not Stylish, This Taylorcraft DCO-65 Is an Affordable Warbird Lookalike

 Taylorcraft DCO-65 13 photos
Photo: Dawson Aircraft
1942 Taylorcraft DCO-651942 Taylorcraft DCO-651942 Taylorcraft DCO-651942 Taylorcraft DCO-651942 Taylorcraft DCO-651942 Taylorcraft DCO-651942 Taylorcraft DCO-651942 Taylorcraft DCO-651942 Taylorcraft DCO-651942 Taylorcraft DCO-651942 Taylorcraft DCO-651942 Taylorcraft DCO-65
When it comes to private light aviation, it feels like you're limited to flying Toyota Corollas with wings at times. Not to speak ill of Cessnas and Mooneys or the fine folks that fly them. But it's hard not to feel like they all look the same from the untrained eye's perspective. That's not a condition this 1942 Taylorcraft DCO-65 can say it's afflicted with. Though not exactly a war veteran in its own right, it sure does look like one.
As a member of Taylorcraft's much beloved Model D line, this airplane is at least blood-related to genuine warbirds that saw service with the U.S. Army Air Corps and even the Navy for a short time in the European and Pacific theaters of World War II. With a structure consisting mostly of welded tube steel with a layer of fabric covering the wings and parts of the fuselage, the Model D was the ideal starter aircraft for novice civilian pilots as well as a decent observation plane during its military career as the Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper.

In its military configuration, the Grasshopper served the air forces of not just the United States but also Haiti, the Netherlands, and France during its career. The type was lauded for its ability to take off from practically any flat surface and for its ability to loiter for long periods while spotter personnel observed battle damage to enemy infantry and

The standard issue engine for the Model D was the civilianized variant of the Continental O-170, the A50. It's a four-cylinder, air-cooled unit with a bottom-mounted updraft carburetor that's ubiquitous in light aircraft of the period. But this particular plane for sale by Dawson Aircraft in Clinton, Arkansas, is rocking the tuned-up A65 motor jetting 65 horsepower to the propeller. That might not sound like a lot, because it isn't. But that's all this little plane needs to get up and moving, regardless of the takeoff or landing surfaces. Such was the appeal of such a pipsqueak little airplane during the Second World War. One can only assume flying this thing in a sky full of Bf-109s and Me-262s was nothing short of terrifying.

Whatever the case, the aftermarket US Army Air Corps paint job applied to this civilian Taylorcraft Model D does at least look the part. Its engine's carburetor and a few other important items were overhauled back in 2019, and it's looking like this little plane has many years of service left before it needs more work done to it. Though it ain't a real warbird, the asking price of just $29,500 or $275.20 a month in financing means it should be easy to LARP as a USAAC pilot without taking on the sticker price of a genuine warbird.
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