Model 8GCBC

Photo: Robert Deering 10/12/2008
Alliance Airport
Fort Worth, Texas
The 8GCBC Scout 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 towing.

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).

General characteristics

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Capacity: one passenger
  • Length: 23 ft 0 in (7 m)
  • Wingspan: 36 ft 3 in (11 m)
  • Height: 9 ft 8 in (2.9 m)
  • Wing area: 180 ft (16.7 m)
  • Airfoil: NACA 4412
  • Empty weight: 1,400 lb (635 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 2,150 lb (975 kg)
  • Useful load: 750 lb (340 kg)
  • Max. takeoff weight: 2,150 lb (975 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 Lycoming O-360-C1G, 180 hp (134.2 kW)


  • Never exceed speed: 162 mph (260.7 km/h)
  • Maximum speed: 140 mph (225.3 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 112 mph (180.2 km/h) (at 55% power)
  • Stall speed:
    • Clean: 54 mph (86.9 km/h
    • With full flaps: 49 mph (78.9 km/h)
  • Range: 425 mi (684 km)
  • Service ceiling: 17,000 ft (5,181.6 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,075 ft/min (5.46 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 11.9 lb/ft (58.4 kg/m)
  • Power/mass: 11.9 lb/hp (7.3 kg/kW)

Source: Wikipedia