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Affordable fun flyers with good aerobatic and a little bush capability as part of the bargain.


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From Avweb:


Owners who fancy a little light aerobatics—or even semi-serious competition—might lust after a Pitts S1 or an Extra 300. But then reality sets in. Those airplanes require no small degree of skill to simply fly safely and that’s before we consider the insurance premiums.And that’s why so many owners inevitably gravitate toward the Citabria or the Decathlon, starter aerobatic airplanes that turn out to have much more capability than many realized until they take a close look.


These models have a lot going for them. They aren’t expensive to buy or maintain, they don’t have any serious gotchas and a pilot of average skill can learn to fly and land them safely. Moreover, they can double as respectable back-country flyers, which is something you’re not likely to do in a Pitts or an Extra.


The airplane are still in production at American Champion’s factory in Rochester, Wisconsin, from whence come full support for all the models.




This is the best trainer in the air.



..... more.


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Back in the day, a friend of the family owned a Citabria on floats which he kept at his waterfront home on Pittwater, and could 'tack' between the moored boats to get to clear water for take-off. He wasn't interested on the aerobatics capability, but the general competence of the beast was quite sufficient to make it viable personal transport for a waterfront home in a crowded location. A great little beast, provided you did the u/c leg attachment mods to stop them failing.



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  • 1 year later...
Guest SrPilot
I did my ab-initio training in one of these and can testify that it sure is a pleasure to fly. hoping to get back into one to do some aeros at some stage!

I once owned a Citabria KCAB (no flaps, injected engine, inverted fuel and oil, "fully aerobatic"). It was a fun airplane, and my first taildragger. Learned to fly the "conventional gear" (actually take off and land) in that airplane. I found early on that it was the price of admission virtually anywhere I went. One year at Oshkosh they parked me in the "aerobatic" circle with all kinds of exotic aerobatic aircraft because I was the only Citabria available. Nice, convenient parking spot, that. One year, Columbus AFB held an open house and allowed civilian aircraft to land. I went in the Citabria. While I was looking at the Air Force fighters on the ramp, their pilots were over looking at the red Citabria. I still do not know which of us was drooling the most over the other's airplane. The wing commander engaged me in a discussion. Seems he had taken aerobatic training in a Citabria ECA before he entered the Air Force. The A10 Warthog guys had a movie of A10s engaging targets on the ground somewhere in the Arizona desert. The invited all the Air Force pilots of other types to join them for a showing at the Base Ops. Guess who was invited to join them. Citabrias still have a place in my heart. I flew that puppy to Oshkosh twice and to Sun 'n Fun once, plus trips to airshows and open houses all around our area. Great plane. I lusted after a Decathlon in those days, but never owned one. I only got a thrilling ride in a Super Decathlon once; I think we were over-gross. Best I remember, it didn't have much useful load. A friend had a Scout. He loved it, but he also thought I had the benefit of a more agile, responsive airplane. But I moved on.



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