welch aircraft company



Orin Welch was a self taught airplane designer and manufacturer during the 1930's and early 1940's.

The following text is from Joseph P. Juptner's U.S. Civil Aircraft Series, Volume # 7; recently reprinted by TAB AERO Division of McGraw-Hill, Inc. Blue Ridge Summit, PA 17294-0850.

"The first Welch monoplane actually came out shortly after the well-known Aeronca C2 made its bid, and we can see that the Aeronca had considerable influence on the "Welch" design., but there was enough Orin Welch in the bones of it to keep it from being easily mistaken. From the beginning the Welch operation was strictly low budget, so there was actually more enthusiasm than money, and this had a tendency to stifle progress in the project. Luckily , it was a family affair and the Orin Welch School of Aviation at Anderson Indiana was able to nurture this project for the many years it took to develop the airplane and to get it government approved for manufacture. Very little bally-hoo had gone out on this little ship, there were not many who knew of it, but it was well known around Anderson Indiana where Orin Welch extolled its virtues and gave it plenty of exposure. Every airplane designer has his own idea about things, and the OW-6M described here reflected the ideas of Orin Welch.  Orin Welch, Pilot-mechanic-designer. was no stranger to designing and building airplanes, he already had several to his credit, so the model OW-6M was all this and more, but its builder had trouble convincing the populace. True, the "Welch" was scarce and it was never produced in great number, but it did find a place in the overall scene and there are those who remember it fondly.

Orin Welch was a pioneer aviator in the state of Indiana. He was especially known around the city of Anderson Indiana, and like many of his cohorts used to mess around with (WWI) war-surplus "Jennies" and "Standards". In several examples during the 1920's he modified them to fly faster, easier, carry more payload, and with the redesigning they became Welch biplanes. This was quite a thing among pilots of the early "twenties" and they used to vie with one another to see who could come up with the best modification. Many aircraft companies got started this way.  Shortly after, during the light-airplane movement of the early "thirties", Orin Welch toyed with the idea of designing a fliver-plane, and produced and example in 1931. Like many another he must have been influenced bu the revolutionary "Aeronca" (C2) because his airplane bore and obvious resemblance. In the next few years several examples of the "Welch" monoplane were built with various powerplants, but except for the area around Anderson, Indiana, they were hardly known elsewhere. For some five years Orin Welch struggled with financing and the complexities of "government approval"; in 1937 he finally made the grade, but almost too late. The first of the "Welch" monoplanes to be approved was the model OW-M6 being described here."

Orin Welch

Orin Welch Portrat

Orin Welch

Aviation pioneer - Pilot - Teacher - Aircraft designer - Manufacturer - Patriot - Brother


Milestones for Orin Welch

Specifications and Descriptions of the Welch Airplanes

  Welch OW1 Model (OX5 Engine)
- Orin Welch Aircraft Co. Anderson Indiana
- Biplane, 3 place
- OX5 Engine, 90HP, Hartzell Propeller
- Span 31'2, Length 24'2. 2100 lbs gross, 1350 empty.
- 95mph cruise, 40mph land. 40gallons, 400mile range.

Welch OW2 Model (Hispano Suiza Engine)
- Orin Welch Aircraft Co.
- Biplane, 3 place
- 150HP Hispano Suiza (Hisso) engine; Hartzell Propeller
- Span 31'2, length 24'2

Welch OW3 Model - Parasol (Modified Standard J1)
- Orin Welch Aircraft Co.
- Welch designed High Lift Wings on Standard J1 fuselage
- OX5 engine, 90HP
- Biplane version, two place open cockpit; one produced
- Monoplane version, three place open cockpit; one produced
- Span 31, Length 23 Biplane, 7' high
- Span 33, Length 21'6 Monoplane, 7' high
- Groww 1900lbs, empty 1100, useful load 800lbs.
- Speeds: cruse 95mph, landing 40mph.

Welch OW4 Model - Three place high wing monoplane
- Only one Aircraft producted
- OX5 engine, 90HP
- Cabin Monoplane
- Experimental, one aircraft produced.

Welch OWX Model - Endurance flight
- Open place biplane; built 1930
- "Dayton Bear" engine, made by the Dayton Bear Engine Co.; Dayton Airplane Co. Steel propeller
- 300 Gallons of Fuel in 5 tanks.
- One aircraft produced.

Welch OW5 - 9 Models - Two place cabin monoplane
ATC 636 & 637

welch1 thumb
- Engines

  • Welch OW10 Model - Radio Controlled

  • - Never produced.
  • Welch OW11 Model - Radio Controlled

  • - Never produced
  • Welch OW12 Model - Double Fuselage Bomber

  • - Twin 600HP radial engines
    - Never produced
  • Welch OW13 Model -
  • Welch OW14 Model - Unfinished Design
  • Welch OW15 Model

  • The Welch OWM5 thru OWM9 aircraft designs in detail

    Production records for the OWM5 thru OWM9 for...

    The Orin Welch Aircraft Company


    Factory Locations:


       Where are the surviving Welch Aircraft birdline

    Aviation Historical Books

    One of the best places to get books and accessories for Historical Aircraft.
    Note that many otherbooks on all aircraft are in stock, but Aviation History is a speciality.

    Color Catalog available.

    Alan Abel
    Drina Welch Abel

    P.O. Box 665
    Destin, Florida 32540
    fax 904-654-1542

    This site is dedicated to Orin Welch and his airplanes.
    developed and maintained by Bob Ollerton; Updated 11/8/1998

    mail  lizard@primenet.com