Thursday, January 21, 2010



STANDARD DATA: Seats 4. Gross wt. 3,325. Empty wt. 2,217. Fuel capacity 60-75. Engine 300-hp Continental.
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 226. Cruise mph 188. Stall mph 70. Initial climb rate 1,170. Range 734. Ceiling 17,000. Takeoff distance (50') 850. Landing distance (50') 1,100.

The modern Bellanca first flew in 1962. At that time, under the name of Inter-Air, the design was revised to eliminate the triple tail and replace it with a large, single, vertical fin. There were several other new design features, but many of the earlier features of the Cruisemaster were retained, including the laminated wood wing of spruce and mahogany, which is pressure sealed in plastic. The fuselage and tail surfaces, however, are constructed of metal tubing covered with Dacron. In addition to changing the tail surfaces, the cabin was extensively redesigned and enlarged, along with the cowling and landing gear. This radically revised Bellanca entered quantity production in 1964 and was produced in increasing numbers until 1980. A 260-hp engine powered the Bellanca 260C Viking; however, the standard engine in the 300 series was rated at 300-hp. The buyer can choose between a Continental IO-520D six-cylinder engine or the Lycoming IO-540.

The standard fuel tanks hold 58 gallons or 72 gallons in the Super 300 Viking, although optional long-range tanks provide a total fuel capacity of 92 gallons. The Super 300 Viking is the same airplane, only equipped with a more luxurious cabin and the larger fuel tanks. Bellanca also produced the Turbo Viking 300, similar to the Standard Viking 300, but fitted with a 310-hp Lycoming turbocharged engine. All Vikings have retractable tricycle gear. The main gear retracts forward into the wing, and the nosewheel retracts rearward. When retracted, the wheels protrude slightly to reduce danger in a gear-up landing. Bellanca made it a practice to offer many extra features normally considered as standard equipment. A good example is the standard installation of an autopilot. After about 43 years of production, it looked as if Bellanca’s family of single-engine wooden-winged retractables would be laid to rest when the company declared bankruptcy in 1980. The type certificate and tooling have traded hands several times and the aircraft remains in irregular and limited production.


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