Unsure about the certification used for LSA? Don’t know about premium-priced LSA from distant countries? Struggling to accept Rotax power? If you ask yourself these questions as some GA pilots are doing at AOPA’s Hartford Expo, then you might want to consider The Champ for under $90,000 or $100K nicely equipped. Here’s a familiar aircraft certified under a traditional system, Continental O-200 powered, made in USA. For some, this is enough to suggest purchase. One shortcoming is that The Champ has limited useful load — given an empty weight of 920 pounds (an allowed figure for this Part 23 certified aircraft eligible though not for a LSA) — leaving 292 pounds of payload assuming a full 18 gallons of fuel. *** My first 35 hours were in a Champion Citabria and I hold a sweet spot for the design. I look forward to doing a flight review.
American Champion Aircraft Corp. The Champ (7EC)
Phone: (262) 534-6315Rochester, WI 53167 - USA
Among new LSA approvals, some sneak by my observation post. Two new entrants make an interesting couple. One is our first-ever glider approval; the other is a new “Sport Pilot eligible” aircraft but not an SLSA. Curious? *** LSA Gliders of Wisconsin won a SLSA airworthiness certificate for the first glider meeting ASTM standards. They import the TST-14 Bonus, a lovely long-winged, self-launch motorglider of interest to soaring enthusiasts. The all-composite tandem two-seater can be a pure glider or take a boost from a Rotax 503; either way it claims a 40:1 glide angle. “It can be registered as a SLSA Glider or an experimental,” says importer Steve Meassick. *** Taking another tack is American Champion (ACA), whose 7EC is not a SLSA but a Standard Category production aimed at use by Sport Pilots or licensed pilots exercising those privileges (no medical needed). The maker of the Citabria (in which I logged my first 35 hours) to Super Decathlon now offers “The Champ” for $85,900 in basic form without flaps.