Welch OW-5M

The Welch OW-5M (along with the OW-6M, OW-7M and OW-8M) were a family of American two-seat light cabin monoplanes designed by Orin Welch based on his first cabin monoplane design, the ACA Falcon. Welch's goal was to design cheap and functional light aircraft. The aircraft is a strut-braced high-wing monoplane with an enclosed cabin with side-by-side seats for two. It is similar in appearance to the Aeronca C-3, save for the wing struts. It had a steerable tailwheel landing gear and a nose-mounted engine. The fuselage was constructed with fabric covered welded steel tubing with a triangular cross section. The controls were mounted overhead with an adjustable control wheel that could be positioned for either pilot. Welch developed their own low-pressure wheels and tires for suspension.[1]

Welch OW-5M
Role Two-seat cabin monoplane
National origin United States
Manufacturer Orin Welch Aircraft Company
Designer Orin Moore Welch
First flight April 1931
Unit cost
$795 in 1931
Developed from ACE Aircraft Falcon

Welch aircraft were first built by Welch Aircraft Industries, then production moved to Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania in 1940, with the first aircraft christened "The Wyoming Valley". Total production of all types was 55 aircraft, 35 of which were Continental powered OW-5M models.

Their company location history 1927: (Orin) Welch Aircraft Co, Anderson IN. 1928: Welch Aviation Co. 1931: Refinancing as Air-Craft Corp of America, 1406 S Meridian Ave, Anderson and Portland IN. 1936: Welch Aircraft Industries Inc, 1720 Mishawaka Ave., South Bend IN. 1940: Acquired by Aircraft Corp, La Porte IN; Welch Aircraft Developments, 221 Conyham St, Wilkes Barre PA.


Powered by a 40hp (30kW) Continental A-40-4 engine. Type Certificate held by the Hartmann Aircraft Corporation and sometimes described as the Hartmann OW-5M. 38 aircraft
Powered by a 37hp (28kW) Aeronca E-113-B engine. Type Certificate held by Stewart Aircraft Industries and sometimes described as the Stewart OW-6M. 7 aircraft
OW-6 with 45hp Szekely SR-30 and experimental, two-speed gear-reduction system regn. no NX14521, c/n 110.
Powered by a 45hp (36kW) Welch O-2 engine. 8 aircraft
Powered by a Franklin 4-AC-150 engine. 2 aircraft
Proposed variant with a Lycoming O-145, not built.
Welch ACE Falcon
A prototype fitted with an 60hp Anzani radial engine


  • An OW-8M built from an uncompleted factory OW-5M is on display at the Airpower Museum, Iowa, United States.
  • A scale model of the OW is displayed in the atrium lobby of the South Bend Regional Airport (KSBN).[2]

Specifications (OW-5M)

Data from skyways

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1 (pilot)
  • Capacity: 1 (passenger)
  • Wingspan: 34 ft 5 in (10.49 m)
  • Empty weight: 515 lb ( kg)
  • Gross weight: 954 lb ( kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Continental A-40-4 flat-four piston, 40 hp (40 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 90 mph (145 km/h)
  • Range: 250 miles ( km)
  • Service ceiling: 15,000 ft ( m)

See also

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. Jerry Bates (July 1998). "The Welch Monoplane". Skyways: 48.
  2. "KSBN airport". Retrieved 7 September 2011.
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