Aeronca

C-2
Robin

65 TC
Defender

CH-7
Champion
 


L-3
Grasshopper
     
The Aeronca Aircraft Corporation was founded November 11, 1928 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Backed by the financial and political support of the prominent Taft family and future Ohio senator Robert A. Taft who was one of the firm's directors, Aeronca became the first company to build a commercially successful general aviation aircraft.  When production ended in 1951, Aeronca had sold 17,408 aircraft in 55 models.

Production began with the Jean A. Roche-designed Aeronca C-2 monoplane, often called the "Flying Bathtub", in 1929. The next major model was the Scout of 1937, a two-seater, which was developed into the Chief and Super Chief the next year.

In 1937 there was a major flood at the Lunken Airport, resulting in the entire airport area being washed away. Aeronca's factory was destroyed, along with the tooling and almost all of the very early blueprints and drawings. At this time a decision was made to move the operation to a more stable area. Middletown, Ohio was chosen, and the company has remained there ever since. All of the airplanes produced from the start of production in 1929 to 1937 are known as the "Lunken" Aeroncas. The first Aeronca built in Middletown was produced on June 5, 1940, and after this time all Aeroncas were built here.

New ownership

Aeronca ceased light aircraft production in 1951, and in 1954 sold the Champion design to the new Champion Aircraft Corporation of Osceola, Wisconsin, which continued building variants of the Champion as well as the derivative design, the Citabria. The venerable aircraft design was acquired again by the Bellanca Aircraft Company in 1970 and again to American Champion in 1988, where it remains in production.

In 1978 Aeronca planned to start aircraft production again with production of a prototype Foxjet ST600. The project was eventually cancelled due to lack of WR-44 engine availability.  Aeronca now builds components for aerospace companies including Boeing, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed and Airbus.

Aircraft

  • Aeronca C-4- A cabin biplane design proposed by Aeronca manager Conrad Dietz. Concept rejected in favor of the C-2.
  • Aeronca C-2- 1929 single-engine single-seat tube-and-fabric high-wing monoplane with tailskid
  • Aeronca C-3 - 1931 two-seat (side-by-side) development of Aeronca C-2
  • Aeronca C-100 - 1931 English-built variation of Aeronca C-3
  • Aeronca L - 1935 single-engine two-seat (side-by-side) low-wing monoplane with conventional tailwheel landing gear
  • Aeronca K - 1937 single-engine two-seat high-wing monoplane with conventional tailwheel landing gear
  • Aeronca 50 Chief - 1938 single-engine two-seat (side-by-side) high-wing monoplane with conventional tailwheel landing gear and 50 hp engine
  • Aeronca 65 Super Chief - 1938 Aeronca Chief with 65 hp engine
  • Aeronca Defender - 1938 single-engine two-seat (tandem) high-wing monoplane with conventional tailwheel landing gear - soloed from rear seat - precursor to the 7 Champion
  • Aeronca TG-5 - 1942 Army glider trainer based on L-3 structure
  • Aeronca LNR - 1942 US Navy designation for Aeronca TG-5
  • Aeronca L-16 - 1944 military liaison aircraft; basis of Aeronca 7 Champ
  • Aeronca 7 Champion - 1945 single-engine two-seat (tandem) high-wing monoplane conventional tailwheel landing gear - soloed from front seat
  • Aeronca 9 Arrow - 1947 single-engine two-seat low-wing monoplane with retractable landing gear. One built; not put into production
  • Aeronca 11 Chief - 1945 new design similar to the pre-war Chief but with a wider cabin and different wing
  • Aeronca 12 Chum - 1946 Aeronca's competitor to the Ercoupe. Two prototypes built; not put into production
  • Aeronca 15 Sedan - 1947 four-seat aircraft with fabric-covered fuselage and full metal wings

Source: Wikipedia