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The Aeronca 7 Champion

Country of origin  
United States of America

Photos  

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Photo © Darren Gustafson

More photos of Aeronca 7 Champion

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Photo © Terry Shepherd
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Powerplants  
7AC - One 50kW (65hp) Continental A65-8 flat four piston engine driving a two blade fixed pitch propeller.

Performance  
7AC - Max speed 161km/h (87kt), cruising speed 128km/h (70kt). Service ceiling 12,400ft. Range 740km (400nm).

Weights  
7AC - Empty 325kg (740lb), max takeoff 533kg (1220lb).

Dimensions  
7AC - Wing span 10.73m (35ft 2in), length 6.65m (21ft 6in), height 2.13m (7ft 0in). Wing area 15.8m2 (170sq ft).

Capacity  
7 - Pilot and single passenger in tandem.

Production  
Approx 10,000 Aeronca Champions (including L-16s and 7200 7ACs) built between 1946 and 1951.

Type  
Two seat light aircraft

History  

The Aeronca Champion was a highly popular light aircraft in the USA in the intermediate postwar period, with over 10,000 built.

The Champion was based on the prewar Model K Scout, with which it shares an overall similar configuration, but with tandem instead of side by side seating and a reduced span but increased chord flapless wing.

The first production version of the Champion was the 7AC, with succeeding versions similar except for the powerplant fitted. These versions were the 7BC with a 63kW (85hp) Continental C85-12 or O-190-1 (and built in large numbers for the US Army as the L-16 liaison platform); the 7CC with a Continental C-90-12F; and the 7DC with a Continental C85.

Aeronca sold the production rights of the Champion to the Champion Aircraft Corporation in 1951. Champion Aircraft dropped production of its namesake that year and instead developed the 7EC Traveler with a 67kW (90hp) Continental C90 (which first flew in 1955), 7FC tricycle undercarriage Tri-Traveler and the 110kW (150hp) Lycoming O-320 powered Model 7GCB Challenger, with increased span wing with flaps. The Challenger formed the basis for the Citabria and subsequent Decathlon and Scout, which are described separately under American Champion.

In September 1970 Bellanca acquired the assets of the Champion Aircraft Company and elected to return the Champion to production as the 7ACA Champ. Based on the 7AC, changes included a 45kW (60hp) Franklin 2A-120-B engine in place of the by then out of production Continental, cantilever spring steel main landing gear and modernised interior. Small numbers were built in the early 1970s.

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The backbone of this section is from the The International Directory of Civil Aircraft by Gerard Frawley and used with permission. To get your own copy of the book click here.