Thursday, April 1, 2004
The New Super Decathlon
American Champion 8KCAB offers some of the best aerobatic talent in the two-seat, sportplane class
|Factory Comparison:||2003 Super Decathlon||2003 Pitts S2C||2003 Extra 300L |
|Cruise Speed, 75% (kts.):||127||150||170|
|Vs (kts.):||46||56||55 |
|Fuel Burn, 75% (gph):||10||14||14|
|Climb Rate (fpm):||1280||2900||3200 |
|Service Ceiling (ft.):||15,800||21,000||16,000|
|Takeoff Distance (ft.):||495||554||377|
|Landing Distance (ft.):||425||750||581|
|Useful Load (lbs.):||460||470||440|
|Wing Loading (lbs./sq. ft.):||11||13||17|
|Power Loading (lbs./hp):||10||6||6|
|Landing Gear Type:||Conv/Fixed||Conv/Fixed||Conv/Fixed|
|Fuel Capacity (gals.):||39||29||44|
|Sources: Aircraft Bluebook Price Digest, Jane’s All The World’s Aircraft|
Perhaps the best news is the price. The American Champion 8KCAB is the least expensive aerobatic trainer on the market by a huge margin. There’s little question the Pitts S2C and Extra 300L are more capable aerobatic airplanes—both compete successfully in the unlimited class—but both models exact a more severe economic penalty. In aerobatic training mode, dual rental rates for both of the latter types typically run at least $250/hour, whereas new Super Decathlons sometimes are available for just over half that. Insurance considerations often constrict flight schools from renting any of these types solo, so that’s not normally a consideration.
There’s no escaping the conclusion that the Super Decathlon is a happy little airplane that probably was designed on a Friday night. It’s an exciting machine, dedicated to the premise that man cannot live on speed alone. With maneuverability only slightly limited by controls and power, the American Champion proves conclusively that there are three dimensions to flying.
For more information, contact American Champion Aircraft at (262) 534-6315 or log on to www.americanchampionaircraft.com.
SPECS: American Champion Super Decathlon 8KCAB N816LL
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Labels: Piston Singles