Review of Carenado WACO YMF5

Here is my review of the Waco YMF5 by Carenado. I have been waiting weeks for this and was shocked to see it in the marketplace today. Glad it is finally here!

Here is my initial review of the aircraft.


What a review. I am wondering why you did not notice the wrong load and balance sheet. it is not possible to get the CG inbetween the limits. Whatever load and fuel you choose the CG is always outside of limits.It even allows you to load two passengers beside the pilot. How do you do that with only two seats? No wonder the take off is hard to perform with breaking out sideways.

For a self declared professional pilot this is only worth half a star. Just repeating the commercials is just not enough in a review.


The front seat on a Waco is a two person bench seat, IRL

The cockpit does not look like two person can take place on that seat. Have a look yourself. May be that was the case in 1936 with the original. But no the current model in the sim.

EDIT: Just realised the passenger seats are in the front. You are right, might accomodate two small persons.

Some more bugs after first inspection

  • EGT and CHT temp gauge not operational
  • Oil temp gauge not operational
  • Sound in the cockpit when manipulating Prop Lever (There is no prop lever in the aircraft)
  • Attitude indicator calibration moves indicator in the wrong direction

To begin with, no matter what factors (fuel, pilot weight , passenger weight, sand bag, etc) I adjusted, I was not able to get the CG in range. It was always 8-10% ahead of the forward chord.
Secondly, trying to fly it in that condition, as one might reasonably expect, didn’t work very well.
Thirdly, the ground handling is atrocious. Way too sensitive, no matter how far back you dial the rudder sensitivity settings.
Have flown tail-draggers both in real life and in the sim many times and this model is nowhere near authentic.
Hope that Carenado is paying attention and issues a prompt fix, or I’ll be seeking a refund (which is something I’ve never done before.

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EGT does move but it takes a lot of movement on the mixture to make it move (almost full lean), but it does move. Almost every piston airplane on FS2020 is the same way. I do not think that is a Carenado problem, but programming in the simulator.

You wrote," Sound in the cockpit when manipulating the Prop Lever." There is not a prop lever in the cockpit. There is a throttle, mixture, and ALT AIR control lever. What were you moving to have the sound change when manipulating the prop lever?

The oil temp gauge does move but not like it should or how we think it might. It moves 2-3 needle widths but that is it so far from what I have seen.

I did not address the weight and balance issues because this is a flight simulator and there are bigger bugs to worry about besides something that can be fixed by an outside developer (i.e. no working VNAV, limited FMCs/FMSs, no missed approach procedures, no GP on RNAV approaches in some aircraft, etc). In FS2020, weight and balance being inside or outside the envelope is not a concern I have. It is a video game trying to be a simulator. Almost every airplane is overly sensitive in FS2020 despite where the CG is.

Someone gave me this tip. If you add 75 lbs to the aft baggage it dampens the yawing around 40-50 mph during takeoff. I tried it and it did help. The problem is still there but it wasn’t as bad.

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The way I parsed that was moving the physical prop lever, that doesn’t exist on the aircraft, generated a sound effect in the sim. Like those squeaks you hear when pressing the rudder pedals.

I was not sure. I wasn’t sure if he was using a peripheral device or not. All that aside, it is still a gorgeous airplane and I don’t want to see anyone get upset because I didn’t discuss weight and balance or not since I do fly for a living. I do NOT care about CG or even consider it in FS2020. THIS IS NOT REAL LIFE. I’ve never seen anyone get hurt with a fore or aft CG in FS2020. Happy flying everyone!

I regularly play with the L-19 Bird Dog, CH 701 and Savage Carbon. Each one of those planes is a whole lot of fun, makes a great adventure all the better. Those planes put a smile on my face and so I keep coming back to those planes. How about the Waco?

A plane that sounds as good as she looks, the Waco won me over, real fast. This pretty biplane is a great choice for a low and slow VFR adventure, especially in VR. The Waco surely put a smile on my face.

On takeoff, tailwheel lock is life. When you line the Waco up on the runway, lock that tailwheel. Also, keep that stick all the way back, till the Waco builds up some speed. It makes a world of difference.

I have only two issues with the Waco. My first issue, I did notice that using the Waco cost me some FPS, not enough to ruin the experience, but enough to draw attention to my FPS. Perhaps the dev team can optimize the Waco a bit better. I doubt folks with top end rigs will experience any noticeable dip in FPS, but folks with average rigs or lower end spec computers will likely greatly benefit from some FPS optimization of the Waco.

My second issue, I wish Carenado included the amphibian float version of this plane. The price for the Waco would surely have to be higher, but I’d argue it would be so worth it. This plane looks absolutely stunning on floats and would have been a fun plane to pick for an Inside Passage adventure or a Florida sightseeing tour, etc.

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Someone on my YouTube channel told me about the tailwheel lock option and people say it works wonders.

I did not notice a frame rate drop, but I did notice it in VR and had to lower my settings a little compared to where I had them previously with a less graphically demanding panel.

And the Waco is great. I keep flying it. Previously, it was the PA-44 and I loved flying that. Right now I am between the Waco and the CJ4 Working Title Mod.

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Can confirm, tailwheel lock is the key factor to get airborn. Stick full aft in addition will keep the tail down and stabilize the intial start up run.
Carenado should publish a short manual “how to fly the Waco” to avoid initial frustrations of new owners. They promised to do so when I sent a ticket to their zendesk.


How do you lock the tail wheel?

You can assign a button or keystroke in the controls menu. It says toggle tail lock.
Also can someone tell me why both compasses dont function, as there is a red Nav flag on the one in the cockpit which I cant remove as of now.

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Are you looking at a nav flag in this HSI (Nav 1) and VOR CDI (Nav 2). Try tuning a VOR frequency that’s in range and see if it disappears.

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That’s exactly how they work in both the Mooney, and Seminole. You will see a red flag, even if the 530 shows the VOR ID, but it won’t show you range or course.

FLT file, such as runway.FLT.


I think ALL is correct, not Center.
By default, both pumps are closed when the runway starts, so the engine stops.

I purchased this plane and was very disappointed with the handling, so much so I contacted Carenado and raised a support call, since then I have watched some videos about tail draggers and learned about the tail wheel lock and now I’m thinking this ain’t half bad, yes it takes some real practice to get it off the ground smoothly but I now feel with time I will crack it and it’s such fun in VR and looks beautiful, yes there are some issues, heading bug for one and egt don’t work, hopefully they’ll correct them at some point. But now I’m beginning to learn how to handle this beast it’s becoming a great deal of fun and no regrets with my purchase. Rudder pedals are a must I think. Practice, Practice, Practice. :+1:


Happy flying. :grin:


… and Shift G :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Hello. such a small show of this beautiful plane

Waco YMF5 Carenado. Flight Simulator 2020 - YouTube