A Historical Primer on the Great Lakes Biplane

Cessna 400 Image: en.wikipedia.org
Cessna 400
Image: en.wikipedia.org

George Argyros Jr. serves as president and CEO of Elite Financial Group, LLC, a Newport Beach, California-based company he founded in 2003. Outside of work, George Argyros Jr. enjoys golfing, skiing, and flying. He has experience flying several aircraft models, including the Cessna 400 and the Great Lakes biplane.

Founded in the late 1920s, the Great Lakes Aircraft Company was an early producer of lightweight and dependable biplanes. The company’s first model was the 2T-1, a highly-maneuverable two-seated trainer plane that quickly became a favorite among pilots. Particularly popular among aerobatic pilots, the biplane was used by aerobatics pioneer Tex Rankin to set the still-standing world record for most consecutive outside aerial loops – 131.

Despite the popularity of its planes, the Great Lakes Aircraft Company went bankrupt in the wake of the Great Depression. In the 1970s, however, Doug Champion restarted production of the Great Lakes biplane. He sent a number of the strengthened second-generation aircraft out onto the market before production came to an end again in the mid-1980s. The latest generation of Great Lakes planes are now being produced by Waco Classic Aircraft Corporation, which sells the 2T-1A-2 model for around $245,000.