Tuesday, September 1, 2009
BELLANCA 7AC “CHAMP”
|STANDARD DATA: Seats 2. Gross wt. 1,220. Empty wt. 750. Engine 60-hp Franklin. |
PERFORMANCE: Top mph 91. Cruise mph 86. Stall mph 28. Range 310. Initial climb rate 460. Takeoff run 450. Landing roll 300.
During the period between 1946 and 1948, Aeronca built some 7,200 Model 7AC Champs, but the 7AC was dropped from the line when Champion Aircraft Corp. acquired manufacturing rights to the airframe in 1951; however, when Champion merged with Bellanca in 1970, it was decided to reinstate the design in an improved version. Production began sporadically due to the loss of the main production facility in a fire, but soon the Champ was coming off the assembly in increasing numbers. The primary difference in the new 7AC was the use of a 65-hp Continental four-cylinder engine as a replacement for the original 60-hp Franklin two-cylinder, which was no longer in production. Use of the new engine allowed for a redesigned cowling and air scoop that substantially improved forward visibility. Other new features included a lightweight cantilever spring-steel main landing gear and modern materials in interior design.