Photo: Robert Deering 10/12/2008
Fort Worth, Texas
is a two-seat, high-wing, single-engine fixed
conventional gear general aviation airplane that entered
production in the United States in 1974. Designed for
personal and commercial use, it is commonly found in
utility roles such as bush flying—thanks to its short
take off and landing (STOL) ability—as well as
agriculture, pipeline patrol, and glider and banner
The Scout traces its lineage back to the Aeronca Champ, by way of the Citabria. Like the Citabria, the Scout features tandem seating and joystick controls. The fuselage and tail surfaces are constructed of welded metal tubing. The outer shape of the fuselage is created by a combination of wooden formers and longerons, covered with fabric. The cross-section of the metal fuselage truss is triangular, a design feature traceable to the earliest Aeronca C-2 design of the late 1920s.
The strut-braced wings of the Scout are, like the fuselage and tail surfaces, fabric covered, utilizing aluminum ribs. The wings of Bellanca Scouts were built with wooden spars. American Champion has been using aluminum spars in the aircraft it has produced and has, as well, made the aluminum-spar wings available for retrofit installation on older aircraft. Compared to the Citabria’s wingspan of 33.5 feet (10.2 m), the Scout’s wingspan is significantly longer, at over 36 feet (11 m). The Scout also carries wing flaps, a design feature it shares with the 7GCBC variant of the Citabria. The added wing area and the flaps contribute to the Scout’s STOL abilities and its capacity as a utility aircraft.
The landing gear of the Scout is in a conventional arrangement. The main gear legs of most Scouts are made of spring steel, though American Champion began to use aluminum gear legs in 2004. Compared to the Citabria’s gear, the Scout’s gear legs are considerably taller and the tires larger, again contributing to its capabilities as a utility aircraft.
Bellanca made the Scout available with several Lycoming O-360 engine variants, all of 180 horsepower (134 kW), and with the choice of a fixed-pitch or constant speed propeller. American Champion’s Scouts feature the Lycoming O-360-C1G and a choice of a two-blade constant speed propeller (standard) or a three-blade constant speed propeller (as an option).