Pilot-1 Champ 1/8 Scale ARF Review

Hobby-Lobby debuts its new Pilot-1 line of models with the beautiful 1/8 Scale Champ ARF. Andy Grose steps back in time to build and fly a classic from the golden age of aviation.



Pilot-1 Champ 1/8 Scale ARF

Wing Area:362 sq. in.
Weight:34 oz.
Wing Loading:12.7 oz/sq. ft.
Servos:4 Hitec HS-55
Transmitter:Hitec Optic 6
Receiver:Castle Creations Berg 7P
Motor:Axi 2217/16
ESC:Jeti Advance PLUS 18Amp
Battery:Enerland 1800mA 11.1V
Available From:Hobby Lobby

In the mid-1940s, a little airplane company in Middletown, Ohio, decided to build an airplane that anyone could learn to fly. The Aeronca Aircraft Corporation produced the 7AC Champion to compete with the popular Piper J-3 Cub. With World War II just ending, there were lots of pilots coming home who just might be looking to own a plane of their own, and there was no shortage of qualified flight instructors. Aeronca's marketing campaign of that era even reflected this: owning a plane could now be economical and easy.

Here are a couple of vintage advertisements that Aeronca published in 1946.

The Champ had several advantages over the Cub. It was roomier, a tad bit faster and you could fly it solo from the front seat. Flying from the front seat of a Champ meant extraordinary visibility when compared to the Cub or any other taildragger of that era. Visibility over the nose was greatly improved, but you could also lean forward and look around the leading edge of the wing.

The Champs have mostly taken a back seat to the Cub in terms of popularity throughout the years. Those that have flown a Champ know that it is something special, however. The Champ is a pilot's airplane.

Now, Aeronca produced several models prior to the Champ: the C-2 "Flying Bathtub" and the Aeronca K, the military version of the Champ designated the L-16 and what could almost be called a twin brother to the Champ, the Chief. The Chief used the same wing and tail feathers as the Champ, but offered side-by-side seating as opposed to the Champ's tandem arrangement. The Champ line has lived on through more modern-day incarnations as the Citabria and Decathlon.

Needless to say, pilots who are fans of the Champ are very passionate about it. If you walk into the pilot lounge at any small town airport, chances are you'll find some older fellow telling stories about when he soloed in a Champ. You'll have to listen carefully because he may not refer to it as a Champ; some folks call it an old Airknocker, some butchered the name and called it an Aeronica, but most folks know it as simply “the Champ”.


My connection with Aeronca Champs goes back to my early childhood. My father owned a 1947 Aeronca 7AC Champ for a number of years, and I logged many, many hours in the back seat of it. Dad’s Champ was aviation in its purest form. There were no pesky radios, nav aids or GPS to get in the way of you enjoying the simple joy of flying. There was no electric start either, so hand-propping was necessary. The instrument panel was very basic, but it had the necessities. The Champ wasn’t a speed demon: It was built for low and slow fun flying.

There have been dozens of Piper Cubs modeled over the years, but the Champs are few and far between, especially in the small, park-flyer category. When Hobby Lobby announced its upcoming Pilot-1 line, which included a classic Aeronca Champ, I knew I had to have one.


The Pilot-1 Champ is a very complete kit. Since it is an Almost-Ready-to-Fly (ARF) kit, most of the building has been done for you.

The kit contains:

  • Airframe parts (fuselage, wings, tail surfaces)
  • Cowling
  • Windshield
  • Scale landing gear
  • Hardware (screws, pushrods, clevises, control horns, wing joiner tube)
  • Instruction manual

Once the brightly colored box is opened, you’re greeted with a neatly-packed set of airframe parts. I found no shipping damage in my kit. The finish of the Champ is very clean. The covering is nice and tight with only a few wrinkles over some of the lightening holes on the ailerons and elevator. The trim scheme is classic Aeronca Champ and very accurate.

As you can see from the pictures, the Champ lives up to its ARF description. I couldn’t resist dry-fitting the parts together to see how it looked. I will admit that I did fly it around the room and make airplane noises. Wouldn’t you?

The instruction manual for the Champ is simply amazing. There is a detailed picture for every step. The order of the steps was easy to follow and progressed logically throughout the build process. One thing to note is that the included manual has black & white photos. If you’d prefer a full-color version, the manual is available in a PDF download from the Champ’s product page on the Hobby-Lobby website or you can click here. I chose to print out a color version to use for my build. The color photos seemed to help on some of the steps.

Needed to complete:

  • Motor (with radial firewall mount)
  • Electronic Speed Controller
  • Battery
  • Radio with minimum of 4 channels
  • Four micro servos
  • Two 12" servo extensions
  • Propeller
  • CA and 5-minute epoxy
  • Small Phillips screwdriver, needlenose pliers, hobby knife

Hobby-Lobby supplied the recommended power system and servos needed to complete the Champ:

  • Motor: Axi 2217/16 brushless (with Axi radial mount and APC 9x6SF prop)
  • ESC: Jeti Advance Plus 18 electronic speed controller
  • Battery: Enerland PQ-1800XP 11.1V 1800mAh
  • Servos: Hitec HS-55

The Champ was designed around these components and balances pretty well with this setup.

Axi 2217/16
Axi 2217/16
Type:Brushless Outrunner
RPM/Volt (kv):1050
Motor Weight:2.45oz (69g)
Maximum Efficiency:83%
Shaft Diameter:3.17mm
Number of Cells:2–3S Li-Po
Continuous Current:22amps / 60sec
Maximum Power:250watts
Maximum RPM:15,000

Jeti Advance Plus 18 ESC
Jeti Advance Plus 18 ESC
Type:Brushless Speed Controller
Number of Cells:Lipo 2-3, NiCad/NiMH 6-10
Maximum Continuous Current:21amps
BEC:Linear / 2A
Max Servos:2-4 / 5V
Weight:0.74oz (21g)
Dimensions:32mm x 23mm x 7mm
Programming:6 Programmable Functions

Enerland PQ-1800XP
Enerland PQ-1800XP
Type:Lithium Polymer
Number of cells:3
Maximum Continuous Current:20C / 36amps
Maximum Burst Current:30C / 54amps
Weight:5.3oz (150g)
Dimensions (L x W x D):4.5" x 1.5" x 7/8"

Hitec HS-55
Hitec HS-55
Type:Sub-micro servo
Operating Speed (4.8V):0.17 sec/60°
Stall Torque (4.8V):15.27 oz-in
Weight:0.28oz (8g)
Dimensions:0.89" x 0.45"x 0.94"
Connector Wire Length:6.29"
Gear Type:Nylon
Operating Voltage:4.8-6.0V

Castle Creations provided the receiver and crystal I used for this review. The Castle Creations Berg 7P is a full-range, programmable 72mHz receiver with 7 channels. It provides rock-solid performance in a very compact package.

Castle Creations Berg 7P (Vertical Pins)
Castle Creations Berg 7P (Vertical Pins)
Type:72MHz receiver
Number of channels:7
Weight:0.33oz (9g)
Size:.85 x 1.25 x .5"
Crystal:Berg Micro ONLY
Sensitivity:Better than 1.2uV
Case:Translucent polycarbonate
Available from:Castle Creations


It would be a stretch to call this a “build” in the traditional sense of the word. Since the major airframe pieces are already built, most of the work involves mounting the electronics. Very little glue is needed; most of the assembly happens with small screws. Hobby Lobby estimates that it will take 6-8 hours to assemble the Champ. I took my time, and I also enlisted some help from my Dad and my brother, Gary. With their help, it took about 9 hours to get the Champ ready to fly.


Assembly begins with the aileron servos. The mounting method is very clean and simple: The Hitec HS-55 servo mounts to the nifty little servo cover and then screws into the wing. This essentially hides the servo and leaves only the horn protruding. A short pushrod to the aileron control horn provides a tight, slop-free installation. Be careful when threading the servo lead pull-string through the holes: take your time and don’t lose your grip on it.

I assembled the wing by sliding the joiner tube through the center section, threading the servo leads through the holes, and then sliding the wing halves onto the joiner tube. There are a couple of tabs that slide into the wings along with some alignment pins. Everything fit nicely and was held in place with a couple of machine screws.

Note: Be very careful about running these screws in too far. If you tighten them down too far, they could push up on the covering on the top of the wing and might even puncture it. I noticed a little bump in my covering, but nothing major.

When mounting the wing, I did notice a little bit of an alignment problem. The leading edge of the wing center section has a couple of pegs that fit into the holes in the front former. There are two holes at the trailing edge of the center section that are used for the wing hold-down bolts. The two bolts engage two blindnuts at the rear of the cabin. If I slid the wing all the way forward I wasn’t able to get the bolts threaded into the blindnuts. If I slid the wing back and raised it up a little, I was able to get the bolts started. Once the bolts were started, I pushed the wing down and forward a little so that it sat down correctly.

The wing struts attach to the wing with two screws. I started with the right wing (the one without the numbers on the bottom) first so I could easily see both screw holes through the covering. One of the numbers hides the rear hole on the other wing. I attached both sets of struts to each wing before attaching the base end to the fuselage.

I took care to insure both wings had about the same dihedral. Measuring the distance from the table showed that the right wing was a little low, but Dad tells me that it is not uncommon to see a Champ sitting a little wing-low due to a weak oleo strut, so that works for me!

Control Surfaces

The control surfaces attach to the wings and stabilizers with traditional CA hinges. The instructions say that you need to remove the hinges and fold them in half before installing the surfaces. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the hinges were already glued into the wings and stabilizers, saving a little bit of work. A few drops of CA and the ailerons, rudder, and elevator were hinged.


When I positioned the tail assembly for a test fit before gluing, I noticed that it wasn’t exactly straight and level. Despite holding it firmly against the fuselage, it was just crooked. After a bit of head-scratching and talking it over with Dad and Gary, I decided that some careful sanding with a sanding bar would be the solution. After a few strokes and several more test-fits, a more acceptable, and level, result was achieved.

So let me re-emphasize: test fit the tail assembly before gluing. If it isn’t level, a little sanding should do the trick.

I wish I would have checked the fit of the tailwheel bracket before gluing the tail assembly on; the bracket doesn’t sit flush against the bottom of the fuselage. The rudder post simply isn’t perpendicular to the bottom of the fuselage, and the bracket doesn’t flex enough on the wire to make it sit flush. I would assume that the bracket could be bent a little bit before mounting it. We solved the problem on my Champ by shimming underneath the aft end of the bracket with a small piece of hardwood.



The two pushrods that are supplied are different in length by less than ¼”. The longer pushrod is intended for the rudder. With the servos mounted as described in the manual, there was no way that the pushrod and clevis was going to reach the rudder horn. I solved this problem by turning the rudder servo around so the horn was further aft. That gave me just enough room to make the connection.

Note: The alert reader will notice that I actually made a mistake when installing my rudder and elevator servos. I installed them on the wrong sides. I don't know how this happened, but everything seemed to work out in the end.


I mounted the Axi 2217/16 brushless motor using the supplied Axi radial mounting kit. Attaching the radial mount to the firewall may have been the most difficult part of this assembly process. My big fingers had a tough time with those little washers and nuts. Thanks to the help of some hemostats, needle nose pliers and another set of hands, the motor was finally secured.

The Jeti Advance Plus 18 electronic speed controller was connected to the motor leads with standard 3.5mm bullet connectors. The ESC was threaded through the bottom of the firewall structure and then up into the fuselage area above the battery tray. The battery connector was then routed through one of the lightening holes in the side of the battery tray. I used Deans Ultra connectors for my battery connections. I also used a small nylon zip-tie to secure the motor leads to the ESC.

The ESC is equipped with a little on/off switch. There is a little rectangular hole in the side of the fuselage just for this little switch. I mounted the switch using two little screws. This switch allows me to connect the battery without powering up the airplane, but only for short periods of time. There is a slight current draw even with the switch OFF. When I'm ready to fly, I'll flip the switch to the ON position. Easy enough!

According to the instructions, the battery is held in place by a strip of Velcro on the battery tray. I used a little thick CA to secure the adhesive-backed Velcro strip. I also opted for a wrap-around Velcro strap for a little more peace of mind.

The battery tray is accessed through a nifty little hatch which is held in place by a peg at the rear and two small magnets at the front. It just snaps securely into place, but it is still easy to remove.

Main Landing Gear

The main landing gear is pre-built and ready to install. All that is left to do is mount the wheels on the axles and secure them with the supplied wheel collars. Four nylon landing gear straps and screws were used to attach the landing gear to the fuselage. After getting the gear installed, it felt as solid as a rock.

The design of the main landing gear is rather ingenious. Since the landing gear essentially straddles the (removable) battery hatch, it isn’t possible to connect the diagonal braces to the bottom of the fuselage. To solve this problem, the designers utilized a more flexible wire and coated it with clear rubber tubing that is painted yellow to match the airplane. This allows the diagonal braces to flex enough to remove the battery hatch and allow easy access to the battery compartment.

The landing gear does a good job of duplicating the scale looks of the full-scale Champ. The attention to detail (or lack thereof) when it comes to the landing gear can really make the difference in scale looks.


The cowling attaches using small screws. Here’s a tip for installing the cowling: Use a small flashlight to shine into one of the holes in the cowling so you can see where the front of the fuse stops. You'll have to be creative to get the screws to line up right so they sink into the little hardwood blocks at the front of the fuse.


The windshield was also very easily mounted using the same small screws, of which I actually only used two. I put the first one in the bottom on the left side and made sure everything was nice and snug and the second one in the bottom on the right side. It was nice and snug, so I decided to leave the other two screws off.


Flying Wires

When I first read over the flying wires installation, I wasn’t sure exactly where to mount the fuselage brackets for the wires. Since these wires are added only for scale appearance, I decided to look at some pictures of Dad’s Champ for inspiration. I quickly noticed that the correct placement of the brackets is about even with the front of the horizontal stabilizer and just a little ways up the side of the fuselage. The little flashlight trick helps here to see where the wood and the lightening holes are in the fuse.

After pre-drilling the hole and bending the bracket to an approximate 45 degree angle, I mounted the first bracket with a small screw. I followed the instructions and ran the wires through all of the holes and back to the other side where another bracket was mounted. Being careful not to pull the wires too tight, I got all of the slack out and crimped off the end.

If you bend an angle of sorts at the point where the wire goes through the stabilizers, it will help make the wires look straight.

In my opinion, finishing it off with the scale flying wires on the tail was a nice touch that adds a lot of realism to this model.

Balancing and CG

The instructions recommend an initial CG of 2" from the leading edge of the wing at the fuselage, so I made a couple of dots at the 2" mark with a permanent marker. I installed the propeller and the 1800mA battery pack into the battery compartment.

I was surprised to see that the Champ balanced perfectly at the 2" mark without adding any lead to the nose. The instructions had mentioned that some nose weight may be necessary.

Note: I made some adjustments to the CG after the initial flights. See Flying section below.

Radio Setup

Since I was using a Berg 7P 7-channel receiver, I was able to split the ailerons across Channels 1 and 5. Programming the settings into my Hitec Optic 6 transmitter only took a few minutes. I set it up for “aileron differential” operation, and the ailerons responded as they should. In the aileron differential settings, I was able to adjust the up and down throws of each aileron to the recommended settings.

Control throws for the rudder and elevator were adjusted to the recommended settings using the End-Point Adjustment (EPA) function of my transmitter. I will point out that by installing the pushrods in the outer holes on both the servo arms and the control horns put the control throws close to the recommended settings.


Maiden Flight

It was a cold December morning in North Alabama when my Champ took to the skies. Gary and I arrived at the local sportsplex as the sun was coming up. The 26 degree air was nice and calm. A heavy frost was on the ground. We were determined to fly.

I powered on the transmitter, plugged in the battery pack, and then armed the switch. A quick check of the flight controls showed that things were still as programmed. A bump of the throttle got the Champ in motion across the parking lot and lined up for takeoff.

I advanced the throttle to about 75% and held on. The Champ was airborne in probably 30 feet or so. I established a pretty decent climb angle to get some altitude. The Axi 2217/16 provided plenty of power for this airplane.

I quickly realized that this little Champ was no different than its full-scale brother. You've got to use rudder to coordinate your turns or they are sloppy at best. The aileron differential helped the adverse yaw a good bit, but I still had to feed in rudder to get the turn going good.

The rudder on the Champ is very effective. As soon as I fed in some rudder, the Champ quickly banked over and dropped the nose sharply so that I was now pointing at the ground. It was so dramatic that it prompted Gary to ask me, "Did you mean to do that?" I quickly rolled the wings level and tried to figure out what had happened. Turns out that it takes a very light touch on the rudder inputs.

It also seemed that I was flying with an aft CG. The Champ seemed to want to snap into a spin if I got too slow in a turn and fed in too much rudder. Things were just twitchy to the point that flying the Champ like that wasn't very comfortable.

Head-scratching and Adjustments

Now it was time to figure out why this little Champ didn't fly as well as it should have. After some discussions with Gary and Dad, about all we could come up with was that maybe the recommended CG was wrong. Moving it forward some should help. I also thought about reducing the rudder throws and adding some more expo to tone it down a little.

After talking with Jason, Mike, and Chris at Hobby-Lobby, we settled on a few things that might help out. The first recommendation was to move the CG forward to about 1.75" from the leading edge of the wing. I accomplished this by adding 1.25 ounces of stick-on lead inside the cowling. I also had to use a bigger battery pack. My PolyQuest 2000mA 30C 3-cell lipo was the perfect size. The balance was now ready for flight-testing.

The second recommendation was to add some aileron-to-rudder mixing to the tune of 20% or so. I programmed that into my Optic 6 and checked the controls. With the rudder mix on, as you feed in aileron in one direction, the rudder follows with the designated amount of throw in the same direction as your aileron input.

The third recommendation was to adjust the control throws on all the surfaces and increase the expo settings. Here's a table showing my new control throws and expo settings:

AileronUP 1/2", DOWN 1/8"
ElevatorUP 7/8", DOWN 5/8"
RudderLEFT 1/2", RIGHT 1/2"
Aileron-Rudder Mix20%
Exponential-25% on aileron, elevator, and rudder

The next time out with the Champ was a lot more fun. As soon as I took off and made my first turn, I could tell that the Champ was flying much better.

Turns were much smoother with the rudder mix on. I could manage a decently-coordinated turn without manually adding any rudder input. The new CG felt much better. The plane didn't have the snappy tendency it had the first day out. The new increased aileron throws made the roll-rate a little more lively. We even managed some scale-like aileron rolls.

Hoping that the control throw adjustments and the rudder-aileron mix had fixed the problem, I decided to go back to the 1800mA pack to see if moving the CG back a little would work just as well. Leaving the lead in the nose, I was able to fly the Champ well. This put the CG back just a little from 1.75". It would be safe to say that the acceptable CG range is 1.75" to 2" from the leading edge of the wing.

All in all, I'd say the adjustments really helped to make the Champ much more stable and relaxing to fly.


The Champ really is a nice-flying airplane. It is very stable and looks great in the air. The Champ is very well-suited for practicing touch-and-gos, doing some nice scale pattern work, or even some mild aerobatics. The Champ will do a really nice slip on landing approach, and it looks very realistic. Since Champs don't have flaps, you may need to put it into a slip to lose altitude without gaining airspeed.

As I mentioned earlier, you'll have to be careful with your rudder inputs. This is especially true if you are low and slow. Too much rudder will cause you to drop a wing. If you have a radio that can do aileron-to-rudder mixing, you'll have a much easier time keeping turns coordinated and keeping you from over-controlling the rudder.

Battery duration using the recommended 1800mAh lipo pack has yielded between 10 and 15 minutes of relaxed flying. When I checked the packs after each flight, I usually had at least 30% capacity remaining, according to my CellMeter, which my fellow author, Andy Willetts, reviewed here.

Takeoff and Landing

Takeoffs and landings are tons of fun with the Champ. I've used both paved surfaces and grass.

Full throttle isn't required for takeoff unless you are in thick grass. On a paved runway, you can achieve a nice, scale takeoff with around 50-75% throttle. Very little rudder is required to keep the airplane tracking straight. Just increase the throttle and ease the elevator stick back slightly and the Champ is flying.

Takeoffs from short, smooth grass are not a problem for the Champ. The recommended power system has plenty of power, and the wheels are able to roll over all but the roughest grass. Anything above 75% throttle will give you a nice short takeoff. Full throttle takeoffs happen in about 10 feet and are very exciting.

Landings are probably the most fun thing to do with the Champ. Just make sure you set up a nice, stable approach and keep just a tad of throttle in to keep your speed up. As you get down near the ground, you just ease back on the elevator to flare and add a touch of throttle if necessary. Be sure you're tracking straight as you touch down or you'll find yourself dragging a wingtip. That tendency is much more pronounced on a paved runway than it is on the grass. Landings on short grass are much more forgiving.

As soon as you land, you should apply full up elevator. This helps to keep the tailwheel in contact with the ground and provide better handling. It also reduces the tendency to nose-over and put the Champ on its back when landing on grass.


Even though the Champ isn't built for aerobatics, it will still perform some basic aerobatic maneuvers with ease.

Loops are the easiest. The Axi 2217/16 provides plenty of power for nice, big, round loops.

Aileron rolls are easily performed as well. It works best if you apply full throttle and raise the nose a little before you begin your roll. Full aileron deflection will produce a very scale-looking roll. A touch of down-elevator may be required as you roll through inverted.

Inverted flight is surprisingly stable. It does take a little work to keep the Champ inverted due to the dihedral of the wing. Flying a circuit around the field while inverted looks really cool.

Spins with the Champ are very exciting. It takes about one turn for the spin to develop, and then it gets to spinning pretty fast. Recovery from the spin is as easy and straightforward.

Is This For A Beginner?

I would have to say that the Champ would not make a good beginner plane. I would recommend it to anyone who is comfortable with ailerons. If it isn't setup and flown correctly, a beginner would quickly find himself in trouble soon after takeoff. If careful attention isn't given to CG and recommended control throws, the Champ will be a handful to a rookie pilot. A beginner may also not be comfortable with the speeds at which the Champ must be flown. Landings occur at a much higher speed than most parkflyers.

Flight Video/Photo Gallery



I owe a big thanks to a few people. To Gary and Dad...you guys were a great help in getting the Champ flying. Sharing this build with you guys made it extra special. Gary, you took some spectacular pictures and video. To my good buddy Napo Monasterio...thanks for the awesome pictures and exciting video footage. I'd also like to thank Jason, Mike, and Chris at Hobby Lobby for providing the kit, power system, and servos for this review. It was a pleasure working with you guys. A big thank you also goes out to Castle Creations for the receiver and crystal.Thank you all so much!

Hobby Lobby's advertisement for the Pilot-1 Champ says it all: "Tired of Cubs? Get a Champ!" The Pilot-1 Champ would be the perfect plane for somebody that is looking for scale looks in a relatively small package. In fact, the Champ will fit in the trunk of my car without taking the wing off. With its scale looks and great performance, this airplane flies, well... like a Champ!


  • Great scale looks
  • High-quality kit that is very well built and sturdy
  • Easy assembly thanks to the excellent instruction manual
  • Scale takeoffs and landings are especially fun
  • Surprisingly aerobatic


  • A few small manufacturing tolerance issues, such as the slightly un-level stab mount
  • Missing some minor scale details
Last edited by Angela H; Jan 08, 2009 at 03:13 PM..
Thread Tools
Jan 08, 2009, 05:04 PM
War Eagle!
Spackles94's Avatar

Nice review! I appreciate the attention to detail -- and I'm glad you found a solution for that CG issue.

It's a pleasure to see that plane fly. It looks great in the air! Surprisingly fast, though, that's the quasi-weird thing about it... Looks like that new Pilot-1 series is full of great-quality aircraft.
Last edited by Spackles94; Jan 08, 2009 at 05:18 PM.
Jan 08, 2009, 05:33 PM
Flutter-Bys are fun
Conehead's Avatar
Just reading this review makes me want one. Gosh, so many great planes to get, so little time and money. Can't have all of them at once. Better get a full time job if I want another one.

I flew in a Champ once, what a thrill. I will make sure that I think more about a Champ than a Cub.

Great review and very nice images. What a great piece of work.
Orrin Eldred
Honor, Mi.
Right now it is 26 here with snow falling, more on the way. the lake is frozen over, has about 6 inches of snow on it and I would need to blow a runway to fly. Either that of get skies.
Jan 08, 2009, 05:35 PM
Honey, I got more planes!
ghee-grose's Avatar
Right on bro! Glad to see all your hard work put up for all of us to see. Looks reeeeaaaaal nice!!!!
Jan 08, 2009, 05:51 PM
Registered User

Very nicely written and presented. the text and pictures add the information needed to help clarify the manual and show the highlights of the kit. Well done.

A suggestion for finding the cowl mounting hard points stolen from other ARF's I've built: Place a length of masking tape or Scotch tape where the hard paoints are on the fuselage and extend back further than the cowling would sit. Mark a horizontal centerline with a pencil or ultra-thin Sharpie marker in the tape centered on the hardpoint block. Place the cowl over the front of the fuselage with the motor in place and determine the best position for it. With a pencil, transfer the centerlines from the tape back onto the cowling sides. Also draw a vertical line on the tape where the cowl stops. Remove the cowl and measure from the vertical line to the center of the hard point and transfer that dimension to horizontal center lines on the cowl and drill the cowl. Replace the cowl onto the fuselage and transfer the holes to the fuselage and drill pilot holes for the screws. It sounds a lot more complicated than it is to do and works well.

I'll let you know when mine is done.

Great talking with you.

Jan 08, 2009, 05:51 PM
Wishing I was at Torrey Pines
dee-grose's Avatar
Thread OP
Originally Posted by Conehead
Great review and very nice images.
Thanks, Orrin. All of the credit for the in-flight pictures goes to Gary and Napo. They did a fantastic job shooting the pictures and video. Now go buy you a Champ!

Gary and Napo...I said "thank you" in the article, but you guys went above and beyond to get those awesome shots. I truly appreciate it.

Jan 08, 2009, 05:55 PM
Honey, I got more planes!
ghee-grose's Avatar
The Champ is a natural beauty in the air...just waiting to be looked at, gawked at, and even photographed. I saw your note bro....no problem. You can return the favor soon enough.
Jan 08, 2009, 05:55 PM
Wishing I was at Torrey Pines
dee-grose's Avatar
Thread OP

Thanks, and I'm glad you liked the review.

Your cowling method sounds great. Where were you a few weeks ago? Actually I mentioned this to Chris and he said he was working on a new method to help align the cowling. Just be sure you hit the little hardwood blocks.

Jan 08, 2009, 06:03 PM
War Eagle!
Spackles94's Avatar
I like that idea for the cowling! It will definitely come in handy with a lot of my upcoming projects. Thanks, Jay!
Jan 08, 2009, 06:09 PM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Great job Andy...

She sure is beautiful.. Pretty neat to fly both the real and the small version of some planes isn't it?
Last edited by Tram; Jan 08, 2009 at 06:15 PM.
Jan 08, 2009, 06:39 PM
Registered User
Rogerdoger's Avatar

You really wrote a great review!! It makes me wonder if you were an English major at that school!

I am really pleased that There is a pretty Champ out and guys are getting to see it. I hope lots are sold.

I think I missed seeing video somehow.

Great Flying,

Jan 08, 2009, 06:42 PM
just go FLY !!
brn-grose's Avatar
Great article & review Bro !!!!

OMG thats some cool clothes you have on in that pic from 1981

Last edited by brn-grose; Jan 09, 2009 at 12:08 AM.
Jan 08, 2009, 06:59 PM
Is it SEFF yet?
reg3's Avatar
Good job Andy...I also like the jacket.

War Eagle!
Jan 08, 2009, 07:03 PM
Fly it like you stole it..
Tram's Avatar
Originally Posted by reg3
War Eagle!
Dude.. are you SEFFing it or what this year?
Jan 08, 2009, 08:05 PM
Jay Garcia
JayGarcia's Avatar
Andy, very nice review...

I enjoyed the into with information on the full scale Aeronca Champ and I think it is really cool that your dad owned a Champ. There is a real nostalgia with these older planes that is hard not to notice. You did a great job of logicaly describing your build, setup, and flying experiences.

I think its time to go the next step and build a 25% or larger scale version.

Looking forward to more great articles like this one in the future.


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