Aeronca Champ

Designed and built after the end of WWII, the Aeronca Champ was suppose to correct all the little things that were perceived to be inadequate with the Piper J3 Cub. Arguably, the Champ did make some improvements, but they are considered minor. Both the Champ and the Cub are tandem seating (one behind the other), 2-place aircraft with control sticks rather than control wheels. In terms of speed, these were designed as training and liaison aircraft rather than cross-country flying machines. However, you will be faster than most horse drawn wagons unless there is a headwind. And, since windows are large, the view at your leisurely pace can be spectacular. Both the Champ and the Cub excel off grass airports and both love the smell of cows grazing nearby.

The Champ’s cabin is a bit wider than the Cub, and it has a real door. You are able to solo from the front seat in the Champ, so visibility is a little better because you can see over the nose. Neither the Champ or the Cub offer luxury or real comfort, so we take frequent breaks during training because you probably won’t want to spend more than 2 hours at a time in either airplane type.

The Aeronca Champ and Piper J3 Cub are both fabulous iconic training aircraft with their roots established over 70 years ago. They weigh about the same, have big draggy wings and left the factory with 65 horsepower engines. Bottom line is; there is not a great deal of difference between the Champ and the Cub. You will be thrilled flying either.

But, Champs evolved. Aeronca went out of business in 1951. The rights, jigs, and design were purchased by Champion Aircraft Corporation of Osceola Wisconsin who began where Aeronca left off by building the 7EC model. The “Champ” you will fly at Left Base is actually built by Champion Aircraft. It is a true Champ, but has a 90HP engine that makes a huge difference with two aboard on a hot summer day. It actually climbs! And climbs well.

Skis, did we mention that we have skis for the Champ? Wisconsin winters will find us plowing through the white powder giving ski plane instruction.

Aeronca Champ on the grass runway at 88C