A striking Chief……


Aeronca 11AC Chief

The Aeronca Aircraft Corporation (formerly the Aeronautical Corporation of America) was highly successful in producing light aircraft. From 1928 to 1951, they built over 11,000 of them usually in a two-seat configuration. The Second World War saw literally hundreds of  O-58 Defenders/L-3’s built, but none actually saw service with US forces abroad; they were, instead, used to train pilots and artilliery observers in the ‘Zone of the Interior’ as it was known.

Post-war, Aeronca brought out a new model, the 11AC Chief. Powered by the ubiquituous Continental A65-8F of 65hp, the Chief was a handsome, high-wing aircraft. This particular example was built in 1946, and is based on Bodmin Airfield, Cornwall, and operated by the Southwestern Aeronca Group. The Chief was manufactured with various engines, but with the Continental A65 they will cruise at 90 mph and return about 3.5 gph on the now-legal (according to a CAA Bulletin) ‘mogas’ – ‘avgas’ is becoming increasingly hard to find and expensive. The CAA approve engine types to use ‘mogas’, and the aircraft fitted with them, on a case by case basis (see Airworthiness Notice No. 98, Issue 13).
A bonus point for the correct identity of the small flag being flown above the wing of  G-IVOR (a white cross on a black background). Do I hear Cornwall? True, it is used by many to denote the territory of Cornwall (or Kernow), but actually first belonged to St Piran, an abbot in the sixth century, who became the patron saint of tin miners.
G-IVOR is seen on a windy Keevil, turned into the wind and well picketed, during GVFWE.
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