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djpacro

Factory Tour

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Like every other airplane manufacturer, American Champion has had to hussle to keep its head above water. But it's still making 40 or 50 airplanes a year. On a recent visit to ACA's Rochester, Wisconsin factory, owner Jerry Mehlhaff gave AVweb's Paul Bertorelli a tour of the place.

A 4 minute video from 2011.

 

 

and a 2 minute video of the new Xtreme Decathlon at their website http://www.amerchampionaircraft.com/#ooid=YxazVjYzpMl_c62XwEDoBbZ_ixJIC85Z

 

 

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I love em. The little Champ seems like a wonderful aircraft if a little weight limited.

 

I guess the Champ is to the Cub what Coke is to Pepsi...interesting that Australia chose to drink Coke cause their can't be too many Champs Downunder.

 

 

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Nice plane for an owner who can look after it. The smaller engined ones have a good range. Think I would buy another if ever the circumstances allowed. Nev

 

 

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The newish bigger engined ones have a good range too. e.g. mine has a 150 lb higher gross weight and the same empty weight as the older ones.

 

One of my friends was keen on a new LSA Champ until I pointed out the miserable useful load. My backup plan is to get an old Clipped-wing Cub. Another of my friends loves his 7ECA. All lovely classic airplanes.

 

 

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I reckon the clipped wing Cub with 100hp would be about as good an LSA as money could buy...shame the companies selling "souped up" new Cubs dont have one in their product line...KISS.

 

 

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I reckon the clipped wing Cub with 100hp would be about as good an LSA as money could buy...shame the companies selling "souped up" new Cubs dont have one in their product line...KISS.

I agree Don, but Zlin with their Savage range of cub types can be bought with the basics. ie- 80 Hp rotax etc

 

 

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Unfortunately, the Clipped Cub (90 hp is more than enough) is not LSA here but it is in the USA plus the Savage Cubs are not aerobatic.

 

 

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I agree Don, but Zlin with their Savage range of cub types can be bought with the basics. ie- 80 Hp rotax etc

They are nice...but...they aren't a Cub...and they are "driven" from the front seat. I reckon the original J3 still has a special appeal.

 

If it was a case of buying the best Cub-a-like currently on the market the Savages wins...but I would want more.

 

 

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A friend of mine is selling his Aeronca Champ fitted with an continental A65,. . .built in 1944, saw service over the Normandy beaches ( not on D-Day btw ) and has been extensively rebuilt over the years since then. It's decorated in D-Day markings and a really nice aircraft to fly. He's bought anotheer ( Similar) project for rebuild and this is why he's flogging this one,. . .Aussie is a bit too far to expect anyone there to be interested, but if I can find his email, I'll post it on here anyway. I've already posted pics of it, but this was a few years ago, and it is still in the air and a regular visitor to our site. It is, of course, an Orphan, and isn't supported by the LAA or any other body in the UK, it flies under a standard UK CAA Permit to fly. He's after around £14,500 for the beast. . . it even has the replica Tommy Gun in a bracket on the rear bulkhead ! ! CAA insisted he got rid of the real Thompson gun, even though it was legally deactivated ! ! He even flies it on a Microlight medical cert,. . .ie, doctor's signature / no actual med exam ticket ! ! !

 

AAHHH . . .Found it ! ( Looking for photos )

 

HI Phil

 

I've me trying to find the time to email you since we last spoke

 

I am still not sure that I should be parting with my faithful old Aeronca "Take off Time" , but with the L16 I am rebuilding now getting to a stage of re-assembly I cannot keep two.

 

I am not in any sort of rush but it would be nice to get a bit of interest on it so I can maybe say goodbye mid/late summer,and will be a nice opportunity for someone local to get their hands on a cracking 40's aeroplane, the basic details are as follows.

 

Engine: Continetal A65-8, this is usually first flick start hot or cold , even at -15 degrees it just starts, 3 x primes, 4 blades to suck in,left mag on, touch of throttle and she's away.and sips unleaded fuel @ 2.5 gallons an hour approx and uses very little oil, Oil pressure 40lbs, on start, approx 30lbs when running hot.

 

Prop: Sensenech Metal

 

Wingspan: approx 34 feet

 

Length: 21 feet approx

 

Controls: Full dual Controls and even as aTandem everything is on hand for both pilots.

 

Intercom: ICOM Radio,Intercom and 2 x Headsets included, aicraft has a new17Amp on board battery which has just been replaced yesterday

 

Permit: Permit expires in July but will be sold with a full 12 months permit

 

Colours: Upper surfaces, USA Olive Drab in Satin and is a BS standard Colour

 

Under surfaces: Airforce Grey (Ford 1930 Engine grey)and a BS Colour

 

Performance: 2000rpm cruise is 85mph dual, 90mph solo (normal cruise is 2150rpm., flies nose down at over 90mph, uses a bit more fuel.

 

STOL: Handles small strips 2 up and in zero wind, Solo I have flown this in and out of 150M strips.

 

Instruments: ASI and Airspeed, (Original Aeronca USAAC and exactly the same as L16 ,Altimeter, Vario, Turn & Slip,Temps and pressures, Dual Throttles, Carb Heat and Cabin Heat

 

I have owned this aircraft for approx 15 years and it has never let me down, when I bought it it had new Spars and totally recovered but was still in white primer, I finished the restoration and kept it flying, totally reupholstering the interior in Olive Drab 40's style material, Both undercarriage legs were stripped and New Springs fitted and the Hydraulic Oleos were rebuilt with all new parts, New Wheel Bearings, new Brake Cables, adjusters etc, since the rebuild it has sailed through every permit, even with a Boroscope inside the airframe.

 

New Dual Exhaust Stacks and Mufflers were fitted, Cabin Heat System was added, Carb Heat System was replaced.Almost All the aircrafts nuts and Bolts were replaced and all AD's complied with which are only, "Clean Gascolator Filter Anually" "Check a Bush in the stick", this has been replaced so should never need to be replaced, , the original one lasted almost 60 years, plus check the wing spars, this doesn't have to be done as the check is only after an accident.

 

All Fuel system lines and hoses have been replaced,all new engine baffles, New Key operated Mag Switch, Special Branch suggested this was done at 911 time as the aeroplane colud have been stolen easily without keys.

 

Spare parts are easy now as the rights to this aircrafthave bben sold and are in production again with a New price tag ofaround $100,000.00 USD.

 

An outright sale would be preferred but multiple Shares could be discussed,

 

If you can stick something on your board I would be grateful,Ill pop a photo when I get the chance, also it can be flown on an NPPL,and as you know it is an absolute "Pussy Cat" to fly, it will cruise hands off all day (you get another 5 MPH handsoff),

 

This style of flying is so much cheaper than a3axis microlight.

 

I'm on 07966 386588

 

Regards

 

Dave

 

NO PICTURES ON THIS COMPUTER,. . . .got some somewhere. . . .!

 

Phil

 

 

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True , but piper super cubs are also flown from the front seat.009_happy.gif.56d1e13d4ca35a447ad034f1ecf7aa58.gif

Yes...and neither is a Super Cub a Cub... if you get what I mean.

 

 

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I understand the purist approach but back seat or front it's not a big deal. A lot of Carbons are over powered showoff planes. Big wheels slow you down all the time as extra weight is always there too. Having the mainwheels forward means more twitchy moments in keeping straight, just to make the brakes more effective. Nev

 

 

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