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A history of the Aeronca, Bellanca, American Champion Family of Aircraft

  

By Tom Beamer - tom@theairport.com

 

Page 1 - Aeronca Beginnings

Page 2 - Aeronca/Champion/Bellanca-Champion/American Champion Models

Page 3 - Early Aircraft Designations

Page 4 - The Citabria Era Designations

Page 5 - The 8 Series

Page 6 - And…..

Page 7 - Structure (Fuselage and Wings)

 

Fuselages

All 7 and 8 series fuselages are essentially the same design and layout, they have all been welded in the same jig that the original 7AC come from, however there are substantial differences in tubing size, additional structure added as weights and power increased. There are obvious differences in tail shape, window shape, windshield contour, etc. In some cases there are differences in required/approved elevator/stabilizer configuration within a given model as a higher gross weight was approved. Some models, the 7HC and 7KC for example, have substantial differences from the standard fuselage. In the case of the 7HC the rear seat area was widened to seat two, the 7KC had an entirely differently tail outline.

 

Wings

Without getting out a tape measure, or comparing all 7 and 8 series wings side-by-side, we can generalize and say there are five different wings.

·        The original 7AC wing was used through the 7DC and had a rounded tip bow.

·        The 7EC wing was slightly reduced in span when the tip bow was replaced with a straight, or slightly squared tip, this is essentially the wing used on all flapless models, currently the 7EC/7ECA/7GCAA.

·        The 7GCB had a slightly increased span and flaps, similar to the current 7GCBC wing.

·        The 8GCBC uses an extended span, and structurally strengthened, version of the flapped 7GCBC wing.

·        The 8KCAB wing is semi-symmetrical for better inverted aerobatic performance, and as a result is the only model in the 7 or 8 series that uses a different airfoil than the original 7AC. While similar in basic design the details are quite different than the other wings due to a higher G load requirement.

 

Aeronca had originally planned to incorporate metal spars in the 7 and 11 series aircraft but decided on wood due to wartime, and subsequent post-war, shortages. The 15AC had an all metal wing but by this time Aeronca was faced with declining sales and did not invest in updating the 7 series wing.
 

Page 1 - Aeronca Beginnings

Page 2 - Aeronca/Champion/Bellanca-Champion/American Champion Models

Page 3 - Early Aircraft Designations

Page 4 - The Citabria Era Designations

Page 5 - The 8 Series

Page 6 - And…..

Page 7 - Structure (Fuselage and Wings)

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