Drawing - Paul Matt - Aeronca C-3 Collegian
Brand Kiona Publishing, Inc.
The Aeronautical Corporation of America built the Aeronca C-3 as a light plane in the United States during the 1930s.
The C-3’s design was a derivative of the Aeronca C-2. It was introduced in 1931 and featured side-by-side seating. The seating made flight instruction much easier, so often Aeronca pilots soloed with only five hours of instruction — largely because of the C-3's predictable flight. The C-3s were powered by a 36 hp (27 kW) Aeronca E-113 engine. Both the C-2 and C-3 are sometimes described as “powered gliders” because of their gliding ability and gentle landing speeds.
The C-3's distinctive razorback design was altered in 1935. It got the new “round-back” appearance of the C-3 Master. Its updated tubular fuselage frame featured a smaller vertical stabilizer and rudder with a filled-out fuselage shape that improved the airflow over the tail. With an enclosed cabin (brakes and wing lights still cost extra), the 1935 C-3 Master was priced at only $1,895, which was only a few hundred dollars more than the C-2 of 1930. Its low price generated significant sales — 128 C-3 Masters were built in 1935. There were 430 C-3s built total, with the 500th Aeronca aircraft rolling off the assembly line in that year.
A version with fabric-covered ailerons, instead of metal, which was designated the Aeronca 100, was built in England under license by Light Aircraft Ltd. (the Aeronautical Corporation of Great Britain Ltd.). However, the expected sales of the 100 never materialized — only 24 British-built aircraft were manufactured.
C-3 production was halted in 1937 when the aircraft no longer met new U.S. government standards for airworthiness. Many of the C-3's peculiarities were no longer permitted. They included: an externally wire-braced wing with no wing struts connecting the wings to the fuselage, extensive fabric construction, single-ignition engine, and lack of an airspeed indicator. Aeronca owners were, however, “grandfathered” into the federal regulations so their airplanes could continue to flying.
- Crew: 1
- Capacity: 1 Passenger
- Length: 20 ft 0 in. (6.1 m)
- Wingspan: 36 ft 0 in. (10.98 m)
- Height: 7 ft 10 in. (2.39 m)
- Wing area: 142.2 ft2 (13.2 m2)
- Empty weight: 569 lb (258 kg)
- Gross weight: 1005 lb (456 kg)
- Powerplant: Aeronca E-113C horizontally opposed 2-cylinder engine, 36 hp (27 kW)
- Maximum airspeed: 95 mph (152 km/h)
- Range: 200 miles (322 km)
- Service ceiling: 12,000 ft (3659 m)
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