Drawing - Paul Matt - Aeronca C-2
The Aeronca C-2 is an American ultralight monoplane that was designed by Jean A. Roche, and then built by Aeronca Aircraft. Jean A. Roche was a U.S. Army engineer at McCook Field airfield in Dayton, Ohio.
The Aeronca C-2 was powered by a tiny two-cylinder engine. The C2 made its first flight in October 1929, with its public debut February 1930 in St. Louis.
The C2 provided flying at its most basic! The pilot sat on a bare plywood board. The C-2 featured an unusual, almost frivolous design with an open-pod fuselage that inspired its nickname, The Flying Bathtub. (It was also nicknamed "Airknocker" and “Razorback". The general design of the C-2 could have been inspired by Jean Roche's initial flight experiences with an American-built copy of the Santos-Dumont Demoiselle, which had a similar triangular fuselage cross-section and wire-spoked main landing gear, with wheels right up against the fuselage sides.
It was equipped with only four instruments - altimeter, oil temperature, oil pressure, and tachometer. There was a control stick and rudder pedals — brakes and a heater cost extra. The C-2 was priced at only $1,555 (later $1,245), bringing the cost of flying down to a level that a private citizen could aspire to and perhaps reach.
Aeronca sold 164 of the economical C-2s at the height of the Great Depression in 1930-1931, which helped spark the growth of private aviation in the United States.
The Aeronca C-2 also holds the distinction of being the first aircraft to be refueled from a moving automobile. A can of gasoline was handed up from a speeding Austin automobile to a C-2 pilot during a 1930 air show in California. He hooked the can with a wooden cane. A seaplane version of the C-2 was also offered, designated the PC-2 and PC-3 (P for pontoon), with floats replacing the wheeled landing gear.
A single Aeronca C-2 was converted to a glider by H.J. Parham in England after an in-flight engine failure and forced landing. The nose was faired in after the removal of the engine. It first flew as a glider May 15, 1937 and went to the Dorset Glider Club, but was subsequently destroyed in the club’s hangar during a November 1938 storm.
- Crew: 1
- Length: 20 ft (6.10 m)
- Wingspan: 36 ft (10.98 m)
- Height: 7 ft 6 in. (2.28 m)
- Wing area: 142.2 ft2 (13.2 m2)
- Empty weight: 406 lb (184 kg)
- Powerplant: Aeronca E-107 1.75L piston engine, 26-30 hp
- Maximum speed: 80 mph (128 km/h)
- Cruise speed: 65 mph (104 km/h)
- Stall speed: 31 mph (50 km/h)
- Range: 240 mi (384 km)
- Service ceiling: 16,500 ft (5032 m)
- Wing loading: 4.92 lb/ft2 (24 kg/m2)