Cutter Flying Service Waco UMF-7
First Albuquerque Visit: 1941
The Waco F series is a series of American-built general aviation and military biplane trainers in the 1930s from the Waco Aircraft Company. The ‘F’ series was popular with private pilots for sporting and other uses and the biplane continued in production until the late 1930s. The tandem cockpit Waco UPF-7 model was adopted by the Civilian Pilot Training Program and Waco continued production of this model until 1942 and by then over 600 aircraft had been built. The Waco UMF model came with a 210 hp Continental R-670A engine and longer and wider fuselage along with a larger tail fin.
Cutter Flying Service Inc. was founded in 1928 by William P. Cutter in Albuquerque, NM to serve an upcoming aviation community in the Southwestern United States. Cutter, during the Great Depression and World War II, provided needed air charter service to reach ranches, towns and businesses scattered across the rugged landscape of New Mexico, Arizona and Texas. In 1938, Cutter offered aircraft sales, line, and fuel services to transient pilots as a Phillips 66 Aviation fuel dealer, and provided aircraft maintenance to support the growing number of aircraft in the Southwest.
At the outbreak of World War II, when much of General Aviation and the businesses that supported it came to a stop because of the war, Cutter became a pilot training provider for the United States military to stay in business from 1941 to 1945. In addition to providing basic flight training and glider operations, the U.S. Navy designated Cutter as a Naval Air Training School as part of the Civilian Pilot Training Program (CPTP) at its primary business location at West Mesa Airport in Albuquerque.
Cutter operated the flying school in 1941 to 42 for students from South American counties working on their commercial ratings. The South American counties were hurting for pilots to support their commercial operations with the U.S. calling back American pilots to support the war effort in WWII. Cutter used a Waco UMF-7, NC-29331, for the Civilian Pilot Training Program from May 1941 until September 1942 and for wartime training of the Naval Aviation Cadet program from October 1941 until September of 1945. Other Waco UMF-7’s documented at Albuquerque are NC-30101 and NC-30161.
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