Drawing - Paul Matt - Aeronca 7AC Champion
The Aeronca Model 7 Champion, commonly known as the "Champ" or “Airknocker,” is a single-engine, two-seat, light airplane. It sports a high wing and fixed conventional landing gear. The Champ was designed for flight training and civilian use, and specifically developed to compete with the Piper Cub. It entered production in the United States in 1945, and became one of the most popular light aircraft.
In addition to the Champ's large-volume production by Aeronca, it was revived in variations by the Champion Aircraft Company in the 1950s and 1960s. Then was produced in variants by Bellanca in the 1960s and 1970s. It was produced again by American Champion Aircraft in the early 2000s. In 2007 it was made as a light-sport aircraft (LSA) by Champion.
The Champ’s fuselage and tail surfaces are constructed of welded metal tubing. The outer shape of the fuselage is created by a combination of wooden formers and longerons, covered with fabric. The cross-section of the metal fuselage truss is triangular, a design feature which can be traced all the way back to the earliest Aeronca C-2 design of the late 1920s. The strut-braced wings of the Champ are, like the fuselage and tail surfaces, fabric-covered, and use aluminum ribs. Most Champs were built with wooden spars. American Champion has been using aluminum spars in the aircraft it has produced, and has also made the aluminum-spar wings available for retrofit installation on older aircraft.
Like the Piper Cub, the Champ features tandem seating. However, while the J-3 model of the Cub is flown solo from the rear seat, the Champ can be soloed from the front, giving improved forward visibility, particularly on the ground and during takeoffs, landings, and climbs. Also, the Champ offers better visibility than the Cub, allowing 300 degrees of visibility to a front-seated pilot, and has a wider cabin than the Cub.
Models 7AC, 7CCM, 7DC, and 7EC were approved as seaplanes, with the addition of floats and vertical stabilizer fins. The seaplane versions were designated the S7AC, S7CCM, S7DC, and S7EC, respectively.
- Crew: one
- Capacity: one passenger
- Length: 21 ft 6 in. (6.55 m)
- Wingspan: 35 ft 0 in. (10.67 m)
- Empty weight: 740 lb (336 kg)
- Gross weight: 1,220 lb (553 kg)
- Fuel capacity: 13 U.S. gallons (49 L; 11 imp gal)
- Powerplant: Continental A65-8 4-cylinder, 5 hp (48 kW)
- Propellers: 2-bladed fixed pitch, wooden
- Maximum airspeed: 95 mph (153 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 85 mph (137 km/h)
- Stall speed: 38 mph (61 km/h)
- Velocity never exceed: 129 mph (112 kn; 208 km/h)
- Range: 270 mi (435 km)
- Service ceiling: 12,500 ft (3,810 m)
- Rate of climb: 370 ft/min (1.9 m/s)