The Great Lakes Aircraft Co. was founded in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1929. It produced one notable design, the 2T or Sport Trainer, to the extent of about 264 copies before dissolving in 1936. Smaller than many contemporary American biplanes, the Great Lakes was more similar in size and performance to the Bucker Bu 131 in Germany or the Moth trainers in Britain. It earned a reputation that transcended the small number produced, and from the 1960s to the 2000s, various revivals by new companies have placed the 2T design back into production from time to time. Home-builders have also built many Great Lakes biplanes from plans.
The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome‘s original 1931 2T, serial 191, was featured in many of the aerodrome’s airshows from the 1970s through the 1990s, often playing the hero’s role in the Sunday World War I pageants when the Allied World War I replicas refused to run properly.
Built in 1980 during one of the revival production periods, this Great Lakes is registered to a Washington state owner but is pictured at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome where it appears in the weekly airshows.