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07 Aug 2022, 20:40 [ UTC - 5; DST ]


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 Post subject: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2022, 15:20 
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Joined: 02/05/15
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Location: KSLC
Aircraft: Divorced: AC690A-10
Can anyone direct me to a good source for Champ ownership and purchase info? I'm considering a 7AC as my first conventional gear ship. One in particular has full electric and 115hp Lycoming. Seems about as capable as the Cub. Not willing to pay the bill for a Super Cub. Any advice is welcome.


Last edited on 02 Feb 2022, 09:25, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2022, 15:39 
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Username Protected wrote:
Can anyone direct me to a good source for Champ ownership and purchase info? I'm considering a 7AC as my first conventional gear ship. One in particular has full electric and 115hp Continental. Seems about as capable as the Cub. Not willing to pay the bill for a Super Cub. Any advice is welcome.


Sorry I can't with that one but if you're thinking about a 7AC with 115HP, you might want to look at the 7ECA Citabria. It's got the O-235 Lycoming, 115HP. I had one. It was my first airplane. It's a very easy airplane to live with. It's fast enough for travel (mine did about 110MPH at 6GPH - I think), good useful load, long SMOH, very friendly ground handling, and it's aerobatic.


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2022, 15:46 
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Location: Peachtree City, GA
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yes your instincts are spot on. Far more comfortable than a cub.

but you don't need the extra weight of the lycoming and you certainly don't need an electrical system. Look for one that has been upgraded with a C-85 or O-200 but otherwise left unmolested.

And beware the wing spar inspection AD but they should all have been done long before now.


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2022, 15:48 
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Company: Kokotele Guitar Works
Location: Albany, NY
Aircraft: C-182RG, C-172, PA28
I don't have specific ownership info, but am told that the type club has knowledgeable people in it: https://www.bellanca-championclub.com/

I got my tailwheel checkout in a 65 hp 7AC Champ, so 115 hp seems like an unfathomable amount of power to me.

I have found that the different models can fly much differently. The same owner also had a 7EC Champ with a little more power, but it flew like a much heavier plane. Was very easy to get into a high rate of sink on final if you got slow, while the 7AC would float forever in ground effect if you were 2 knots too fast.


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2022, 15:52 
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Location: 5B2 Saratoga Springs, NY
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Username Protected wrote:
yes your instincts are spot on. Far more comfortable than a cub.

but you don't need the extra weight of the lycoming and you certainly don't need an electrical system. Look for one that has been upgraded with a C-85 or O-200 but otherwise left unmolested.

And beware the wing spar inspection AD but they should all have been done long before now.

This is spot on!

Make sure all that paperwork is in order too
That's a lot of added crap to a 7AC, and is certainly a single seater now


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2022, 15:56 
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Location: 5B2 Saratoga Springs, NY
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and regarding your first question

Aeronca.org Club & Bellanca-Champion Club are good sources

There is an old e-mail list called fAA, fearless Aeronca Aviators
not been on it for some time, but great resource
(the old Beechlist for Champs)


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2022, 17:17 
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Aircraft: Bonanza 35
If you want full electric, you do not want a 7AC. Not enough useful load.


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2022, 18:16 
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Company: Skyhaven Airport Inc
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https://www.bellanca-championclub.com/SparADIndex.html

Read all you can on the spar AD and Service letters. I’ve found 14 cracked Champ, Chief, Citabria, Decathlon spars over the years.

Most had already been through the AD and others had new replacement spars but with the Strut attach plates glued on so poorly they needed to be replaced again. Or screws holding the ribs to the spars, mouse damage, poor splices etc.

Even if the AD only applies one time based on Horsepower plan on someone looking again to be sure the spars are ok.

If it has the old Aeronca large rudder mounted external tailwheel arm with sweeping drop down arms look at replacing it with a Scott arm like on a Cub.

The problem is the Aeronca arms are too long because they were for old steerable non castering tailwheels. The long arm will move a modern Scott, Maule or Lang tailwheel beyond the point where it unlocks before you reach full rudder travel. This means when you need it most the tailwheel will suddenly unlock and it gets away. I’m convinced this has wrecked a lot of these airplanes with it just being chalked up to Pilot error and taildragger.

Prewar Aeronca airplanes have toe in which causes problems on paved surfaces. The Aeronca gear is such long stroke that it will compress at different rates with the toe in. In a crosswind as you touch down if one wheel touches before the other it will displace the airplane sideways and roll up on the shock strut. The postwar Champs and Chiefs have zero toe angle unless they were bent. Wear in the gear assembly is very possible and its common to find them out of hydraulic fluid in the struts. See if what you are looking at is no bounce or low bounce gear. There are good forums out there for Aeroncas.

Look behind the headliner for corrosion on the diagonal tubes above the back seat. They are missed but water runs down them from the rear wing attach fittings.

Review All the early AD’s from the 40s. It’s common to find them not done properly or during a rebuild new parts were installed but the AD’s were not incorporated again. Such as new wing leading edge skins with the wrong screw spacing. New stick hardware with the wrong bolts on the elevator pushrod between the sticks.

Some have drain holes on the bottom of the wing struts. See if they are clear. Mild steel exhaust pipes can be a problem, very old rotten paper air filters, no carb heat RPM drop with the straight stack exhaust. All things that can be an issue. If Lycoming then matching the STC or paperwork followed is worth a good review by an IA .


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2022, 22:27 
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Location: DFW, TX (KGKY)
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There are many logical reasons to do this. But just know that you’ll forever taxi up into ramps aware that you are not in a Cub. This is a sadness that many of us simply could not
bear.
:D


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2022, 23:44 
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Thanks for all the intel and advice. I’ve got a lot to learn.


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 01 Feb 2022, 23:48 
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Username Protected wrote:
Sorry I can't with that one but if you're thinking about a 7AC with 115HP, you might want to look at the 7ECA Citabria. It's got the O-235 Lycoming, 115HP. I had one. It was my first airplane. It's a very easy airplane to live with. It's fast enough for travel (mine did about 110MPH at 6GPH - I think), good useful load, long SMOH, very friendly ground handling, and it's aerobatic.


The Citabria is a great little airplane and a very docile taildragger once you're into 115hp territory.


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2022, 00:09 
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The soft oleo gear used on the Champs and L-3 aircraft is an absolute joy.


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2022, 00:17 
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As others have said, watch the useful load. Some are really single place airplanes if they have a lot of modifications.


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2022, 09:22 
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I have flown both a 7AC with a 0235 and owned a 7ECA with the 0235. The 7AC felt very heavy while the 7ECA flew wonderfully.


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 Post subject: Re: Considering Aeronca Champ
PostPosted: 02 Feb 2022, 13:32 
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Username Protected wrote:
I have flown both a 7AC with a 0235 and owned a 7ECA with the 0235. The 7AC felt very heavy while the 7ECA flew wonderfully.

In the intervening 20 years between the 7AC and 7ECA, we learned a lot about aerodynamics!

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I multi-task. I can listen, ignore & forget, all at the same time.


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