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Jun 30, 2010, 05:24 AM
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1/5th scale Aeronca Champion 7AC

This build may not even happen; however, my interest is high in a project such as this and has slowly been building over many years.

Last week I noticed in Model Aviation that Airborne Media was offering an Aero-Pac on the Aeronca Champion 7AC. I sent away for this and it arrived yesterday. I've looked the CD over and it peaked my interest a little more.

I have loved the Cub and Champ since a small boy when my dad and I would tramp around airports and since it seemed in my neck of the wood there were more Champs than Cubs, I've always liked the Champ more. Back in the 70s and 80s a person could buy a real champ for around $10,000.00 and I always imagined having one to rebuild in my barn. This never happened and Champs are way more expensive now!

Anyway, I'm thinking I'd like to build it in 1/5th scale. I think this size has much to offer; easier to transport; but, still has "presence" as far as size goes. Can still use standard servos and I suspect an .80/1.00 four stroke would be more than adequate power.

Don't have a CAD program and still enjoy using pencil and paper and so although some might consider this to be a step back in technology; I enjoy the process of design by this method.

More to follow...
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Jun 30, 2010, 07:49 AM
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I'm in.

I like the Old School approach.
Jun 30, 2010, 04:00 PM
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Actually, flyable Champs could still be had for $5000 as late as mid 80s. The 7AC went through the roof (as did Cubs) when light sport rule passed just a couple years ago. Today you can buy a 7EC (electrical system, starter, lights) cheaper than the 7AC, just because the gross weight of the EC is over 1320# LS limit.

I too have always wanted a good, scale Champ model (I already own a fullsize one) But kits of the Champ have been rare, or in the case of Nosen/A&A, lousy. If you end up drawing a decent set of plans, I would be very interested. I have the Pat Tritle electric, but I really want something larger and four stroke powered.
Jun 30, 2010, 04:33 PM
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Have you checked Model Airplane News or Radio Control Models plan lists? SOME body had one which looked good. OTOH, mayabe Model Aviation.

Jun 30, 2010, 04:50 PM
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1/5th scale general aviation models also lend themselves well toward detailing, as the larger wing area will allow lifting some extra weight. I'm thinking detailed cabin interior, panel, seats, control pull-pull systems sprung tail wheel and possibly scale bungy system for the main gear.

As I'm fooling around with electrics now, this might be a choice for propulsion, need to look at costs.

I had a Nosen 1/4th scale Champ and thought it was a good enough design and it flew very well. The instructions were basic (limited, to maybe even very limited) however I thought the plans were excellent.

Gwinhh, the idea of designing the plane is a part of the attraction to the project.
Jun 30, 2010, 06:22 PM
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For anyone wanting a Champ, in a larger size, Wendell Hostetler has these plans.
Jun 30, 2010, 08:30 PM
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Yes, I think if I wanted another 1/4th scale Champ,I'd go with Hostetler's. Bill Effinger also offers a plan for 1/4th scale Aeronca Champ at However the photograph shown is of an Aeronca Chief and not a champ.
Jul 01, 2010, 11:25 AM
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Good luck on the design phase, Mode One. You're right -- the pencil/paper/problem solving is often the most fun. Flying just confirms your skill.

Jul 01, 2010, 09:39 PM
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I'll be watching. I'm surprised there haven't been more kits of this design. I think 1/5th scale is a great choice.

One tough part is the windscreen. I've never tried forming my own. That compound curve is a really nice feature of the plane.

Here are pictures of one I got a flight in, across Cayuga Lake.
Jul 02, 2010, 05:32 AM
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I agree, the bubble of the windscreen is an important detail I would like to include. I'm unsure if this was how the windscreen was made from the 7AC on out, or not. I was sent an article for a method of how to "pull" a canopy, which is essentially the method I'd need to use to end-up with the compound curve of the windscreen.

Something else not clear in my mind is how the fuselage framework is built on the full scale. The Aero Pac shows the tail to have a triangular structure, with the point of the triangle at the top of the fuselage. The Aero Pac does not go into any more detail than this. So before laying pencil to paper, I've got to get this scoped out. If you know something about how this all comes together, please speak up! Hag can you be of help here?
Last edited by Mode One; Jul 02, 2010 at 05:50 AM.
Jul 05, 2010, 11:44 AM
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Yes, I know from the Paul Matt book that not just the Aeronca C, but also K, L, Champs, and presumably others used the triangular rear fuselage frame. On the C-3 Master, wood bulkheads were added to the welded triangular frame to fatten up the fuse, and this method was retained in other designs.

In the various models I have seen of these planes, only Megow, in their nice model of the L, replicates this structure. Everyone else I'm aware of has based their model structure on a rectangular frame. Of course, they achieve the same external lines.

Jul 06, 2010, 04:07 PM
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I don't know if I would copy the triangular frame when/if I build this model, however, I'd like to see how it was done. I suppose I should see if I can get information from one of the Aeronca Champ owners orgs.

I was hoping Hag would get back to me with information and maybe he still will.

Anyone who can shed some light on the fuselage framework is very welcome to chime in here!
Jul 08, 2010, 04:25 PM
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I'm a bit stuck! I'm struggling finding any information on the fuselage frame work. I've visited several websites pertaining to the Champ, but most of the photos are of complete airplanes.
Jul 09, 2010, 06:03 AM
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Just ordered the book Aeronca's Golden Age. Maybe there will be some help in there.
Jul 09, 2010, 06:58 AM
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If it were me, I wouldn't get too hung up on scale framework. I'd make sure I had a satisfactory outline, with bumps in the correct places. The rest is cool, but not necessary.

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