Aeronca Champ

History


Many post war, 2-place airplanes were built for the pilots and GIs coming out of service. One of the airplanes that was designed and built for this anticipated rush was the Aeronca Champion 7AC. It was in 1944 when Chief engineer Raymond Hermes took his slide rule to the paper and laid out his preliminary drawings for what would be call the 7 series champion. The new Champ followed a lot of the tandem trainer configurations but the aircraft was a completely new design and incorporated a number of welcome features. Many tail draggers had visibility problems, but with the pilot sitting in the front seat of the Champ, many found that it had remarkable visibility in all directions. Good visibility was not the only new feature but the large car-type one piece door, the large and sensitive elevator trim tab and combination oleo- spring shock absorbing system of the main landing gear were also big plus features. Power was supplied by a Continental A-65-8 engine rated at 65 hp at 2,300 rpm. This proved the Champ with a honest 100 mph with a cruising speed of 83 mph to 90 mph. On normal fuel capacity of 14 gallons the aircraft had a range of 270 miles.

The two prototypes were completed on April 19,1944. The champ was offered in two different color schemes of international orange and chrome yellow. The second option was a green and yellow scheme. It was hoped by many that the Champ would be produced fo $2,095.00 leaving the Piper PA-11 the only serious competitor. The final price for the 1946 Champ was set at $2,295.00. In 1947 and 1948 the price had to be increased do to the demand for more standard equipment.

Dating back to 1949 William F. Gallagher of East Falmouth, MA purchased This Aeronca Champion 7AC, NC 85337 S/N 7AC-4076 after learning how to fly in this aircraft and obtaining his private pilots license. Mr. Gallagher owned and maintained this Champ on his own developed private airport in East Falmouth for 51 years were upon his death the airplane was bought from his estate and transported to Concrete, WA to be part of the Skagit Aero Education Museum. The aircraft is currently displayed, maintained, and flown like Mr. Gallagher would have liked.

Specifications

Empty Weight: 762 lbs

Takeoff Weight: 1220 lbs

Wing Span: 35 ft 2 in

Wing Area: 170 sq ft

Length: 21 ft 6 in

Height: 7 ft

Engine: Continental A65-8

Cruise Speed: 85 mph

Range: 460 miles


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