Last updated 17 July 2023
(including Champion Aircraft Corporation production)

Compiled by Geoff Goodall

Aeronca 50C Chief VH-ACY with pilot Bruce Morton pose with an ANA DC-4 at Essendon Aerodrome, Melbourne in June 1949.  
John Hopton Collection

           The Aeronca line of light aircraft took their name from the manufacturer, The Aeronautical Corporation of America. The business was formed in 1928 at Cincinatti Ohio with the aim of producing cheap low powered aeroplanes in keeping with that era's American dream that every home could have an aeroplane. A factory to produce airframes and engines was established at Cincinatti's Lunken Airport, Middletown Ohio.
           The first designs were low-cost small machines, including the Aeronca C-3 "Duplex" two-seater with a 36hp Aeronca E-113 engine, which was also built under licence in England 1936 by Aeronautical Corporation of Great Britain Ltd as the Aeronca 100 fitted with a British licence-built 36hp Aeronca JAP J-99 dual-ignition engine
. Orders were slow and production ceased after six months, many being simply test flown then placed in storage. The stored stock was taken over by Aircaft Exchange and Mart Ltd which found owners for most, including four to Australia.
           During the 1930s Aeronca produced conventional high wing two seater designs with side-by-side seating, commencing with the Model K Scout powered by a 42hp two cylinder Aeronca E--3-CB engine. The big selling Model 50 was produced as the Aeronca 50C Chief and Aeronca 65C Super Chief, signifying the horsepower of their different model Lycoming engines. During World War II Aeronca redesigned the Model 50 with a stretched narrower fuselage as the Aeronca 65TC which were ordered in large numbers, requIring factory expansion. Other wartime production included 1,400 Aeronca O-58A artilliary spotters and Aeronca TG-5 three-seat training gliders.
           Aeronca post-war civilian production began with the 7AC Champion which received American certification on 18 October 1945. It was produced in huge numbers, the factory completing 7,555 Champions during 1946 alone. Other main models were the 11AC Chief and 4 seater 15AC Sedan. When the postwar boom for new light aircraft dropped away, Aeronca was forced in 1950 to abandon aircraft production to concentrate on sub-contract work for the aviation industry. Postwar production had totalled 7,993 Champions, 2,419 Chiefs and 562 Sedans.

          In 1954 the Type Certificates for the Model 7 Champion range were purchased from Aeronca by a new business Champion Aircraft Corporation.
Based initially at St Paul. Minnesota, Champion Aircraft Corp commenced by marketing a revised version of the Aeronca 7AC as the Champion 7EC Traveler. Differences from the 7AC included 90hp Continental engine, extended fin fairing and higher payload. Sales were promising and the company moved to Osceola, Wisconsin for large scale production of the 7EC with various fuselage, wing and powerplant options including the tricycle undercarriage Champion 7FC Tri-Traveler. 
         Following the lifting of US Dollar currency retrictions by the Australian Governmen in 1957, Rolfe Industries (Australia) Pty Ltd, Bankstown NSW applied to DCA for import permits for 20 new Champion 7EC/7FC models. DCA gave approval on 18 September 1957 but none appear to have been actually imported, unless they were the four aircraft marketed by Fawcett Aviation at Bankstown 1958-59, listed below at Part 3.

         This listing covers Aeronca and Champion models in Australia up to the Champion Citabria ("Airbatic" in reverse) aerobatic range, first seen here in 1967
I consider these more contemporary designs, and the Bellanca production that followed, to be outside the scope of this historical listing.

Part 1: Commercial imports of Aeronca and Champion aircraft 1937-1959:

                        Aeronca 100            c/n AB.104                                                                      VH-UXU
Built by Aeronautical Corporation of Great Britain Ltd at Walton Aerodrome, Peterborough, England.
Licence-built Aeronca C-3 fitted with 36hp British-built Aeronca JAP J-99 dual-ignition engine.

Test flown Walton, then stored

Stored stock taken over by Aircraft Exchange and Mart Ltd, London
Shipped to Australia
Arrived at Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney for assembly.
Test flown Mascot. CAB gave authority to fly pending certification paperwork for this new type
VH-UXU visited Moree NSW on a demonstration tour flown by Aerial Transport Co's pilot Captain Jerry Pentland, widely admired as a WW1 flying ace and for hisNew Guinea flying . The Aeronca was kept at the Moree trucking yards while making local flights at Moree.
Registered VH-UXU G.B.S. Falkiner trading as Aerial Transport Co Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW
Australian CofA issued
Change of ownership: Southern Airlines and Freighters Ltd, Melbourne Vic

This company was formed in 12.36 by former Guinea Airways pilot Ian H. Grabowsky with original plans to operate Melbourne-Adelaide with 7 Junkers Ju 86 airliners. When that failed to materialise, Grabowsky amalgamated with Intercity Airways Ltd, Sydney to finally commence operations in 7.37 Sydney-Broken Hill-Mildura with Tugan Gannet VH-UVU, Codock VH-URP and DH.90 Dragonfly VH-UXS. Among pilots was Sid de Kantzow, who, with Grabowsky, became ANA visionaries. Sid was later sent to Hong Kong to supervise ANA interests in the fledgling Cathay Pacific Airways.
The role of the diminutive Aeronca with Southern Airlines and Freighters was probably ferrying pilots. The Sydney-Broken Hill service was suspended 9.2.38 due poor patronage and lack of Government subsidy and the company placed in the hands of Receivers.
Change of ownership: W.H.J.Colville, Sydney NSW
Change of ownership: Bert Thomas, Gordonvale Qld.
He was a keen private flyer who was President of the Far Northern Aero Club. He purchased the Aeronca on behalf of the club because it could be flown within wartime petrol rationing limits
Departed Sydney on ferry to Queensland. Handed over at Mackay Qld 20.6.40 to Bert Thomas who continued the flight to Cairns. Reached Gordonvale 22.6.40.
Paint scheme was red fuselage, silver wings
Operated by Far Northern Aero Club, Cairns Qld
Engine trouble while flying from Innisfail to Cairns caused a forced landing at Babinda Qld. No damage, pilot was Far North Aero Club instructor Mr.V.Trevathan
Propeller damaged after striking a bird in flight over Cairns, the subsequent vibration resulting in a forced landing on a tidal saltplan at Saltwarer Creek. No damage, instructor Mr.Trevathan and pupil Mr.B.Thomas were unhurt. The propller tip was repaired and Mr.Trevathan took off from an open area near the corner of Sheridan and Spence Streets near the Commercial Hotel.
Retired due faulty engine. Stored in a shed on Cairns Aerodrome while waiting for a replacement engine. Planned overhaul not carried out due to the war.
DCA report: the remains of VH-UXU are dumped in a corner of a wartime bomb blast dispersal bay adjoining the aerodrome

Two views of VH-UXU at Mascot circa 1938 from the Frank Walters Collection, thanks to Dave Eyre

Refuelling at the Post Office petrol pump at Byrock, near Bourke in outback NSW circa 1939.        State Library of NSW

                          Aeronca 100            c/n AB.105                                                             VH-UXV, VQ-FAJ, ZK-AYW
.36 Built by Aeronautical Corporation of Great Britain Ltd at Walton Aerodrome, Peterborough, England.
Licence-built Aeronca C-3 fitted with 36hp British-built Aeronca JAP J-99 dual-ignition engine.

Test flown Walton, then stored

Stored stock taken over by Aircraft Exchange and Mart Ltd, London

Ordered by G.B.S. Falkiner trading as Aerial Transport Co Pty Ltd, Sydney NSW

Shipped to Australia, assembled Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney
Registered VH-UXV A.R. Clancy, Sydney NSW
Change of ownership: I.F.McSparron, Ardlethan NSW

Retired for duration of WWII, dismantled
Struck-off Civil Register
Restored to Register VH-UXV E. D. Jones, Sydney NSW
Sold to Captain Gordon J. Webster, Marine Superintendent, Suva Fiji
Departed Sydney as cargo on RMV.Mootah, arrived Suva 26.10.49
Struck-off Australian Register as sold to Fiji
Registered VQ-FAJ Gordon J. Webster, Suva

Flown by Webster until he left Fiji, when he sold it an entthusiast syndicate at Nadi, Fiji
Change of ownership: J.P.Meehan, Nadi
Damaged in forced landing on Singatoka golf course, Fiji. Repaired

New Zealand Registration ZK-AYW reserved when the owner planned to take the Aeronca home with him after his Fiji attachment. But it remained in Fiji and the registration was not talen up
Change of ownership: T.A.Saunders, Aeradio, Nadi Airport
Crashed while attempting to outclimb rising ground at Drasa, Fiji

Damaged aircraft stored dismantled Fiji, damaged by floods
Packed at Nadi Airport for shipping to NZ to new owner
Left Fiji as freight on ship Argentinian Reefer for Wellington, New Zealand
Change of ownership: Colin Feldwick, Miramar, Wellington NZ

Stored, pending restoration
Project taken over by Kip Netherclift, Hastings
Registered ZK-AMW Kip Netherclift, Hastings
First flight after lengthy rebuild, pilot Jerry Chisum
Change of ownership: Wingnut Syndicate, Warkworth NZ


VH-UXV at Mascot 1938.                                                                                    Ed Coates Collection

VQ-FAJ at Nausori airfield, Suva Fiji circa 1953, with a Fiji Airways DH.89 Rapide behind.         Photo via Nick Lindsley    

Seen from the control tower at Nadi International Airport Fiji.              Photo via Laurie Saunders

The superb restoration as ZK-AMW seen at Hastings NZ in February 2007 just few months after it flew again.
Photo by Dave Welch

                           Aeronca 100            c/n AB.102                                                                      VH-UYZ
.36 Built by Aeronautical Corporation of Great Britain Ltd at Walton Aerodrome, Peterborough, England.
Licence-built Aeronca C-3 fitted with 36hp British-built Aeronca JAP J-99 dual-ignition engine.

Test flown Walton, then stored

Stored stock taken over by Aircraft Exchange and Mart Ltd, London

Shipped to Australia
Registered VH-UYZ  Wyndham W.Pike trading as Light Aeroplanes Pty Ltd, Brisbane Qld
Australian CofA issued. Engine specified as J-99.
Flown from Archerfield to Oakey by Wyndham Pike and Mr.C.G.Henderson, both members of the Royal Queensland Aero Club
Change of ownership: H.H.Simpson & J.B.Newberry, Mackay Qld
Arrived at Mackay on delivery, flown by Mr. Simpson
Change of ownership: J.B.Newberry, Sarina Qld
Change of ownership: Bert Thomas, Gordonvale Qld
Operated by Far Northern Aero Club, Cairns Qld
Annual CofA expired, not renewed
Struck-off Civil Register

Archerfield late 1930s now with an American-built Aeronca E-113 singe magneto engine.    State Library of Queensland

                          Aeronca 100            c/n AB.103                                                                      not registered
.36 Built by Aeronautical Corporation of Great Britain Ltd at Walton Aerodrome, Peterborough, England.
Licence-built Aeronca C-3 fitted with 36hp British-built Aeronca JAP J-99 dual-ignition engine.

Test flown Walton then stored

Stored stock taken over by Aircraft Exchange and Mart Ltd, London
Packed for shipping to an Australian to the order of Lyons Brothers, Sydney

Nothing further known

                          Aeronca 50C Chief     c/n  C-1618                                                                 VH-ACH
Built by Aeronautical Corporation of America at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.
Engine was a 50hp Continental A50-3.
First flight

Ordered new by Airflite Pty Ltd, Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney. Airflite was a successful business  managed by A.H.P "Albie" Lewis, offering flying training, charter, maintenance as well as import agents for aircraft.

Shipped to Australia.
CAB Inspection report Mascot after assembly by Airlite Pty Ltd.
Australian Registration application: Airflite Pty Ltd, Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney
CAB approved the aircraft to be flown pending formal certification which would be delayed due to the coming Christmas holidays.
First test flight Mascot, pilot Wawn
Albie Lewis visited Newcastle to demonstrate VH-ACH to the Newcastle Aero Club
Registered VH-ACH Airflite Pty Ltd, Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney
Australian CofA issued
Albie Lewis displayed the new Aeronca at Essendon Aerodrome, Melbourne while on a sales tour from Sydney to Melbourne, Adelaide, Broken Hill. He gave demonstartions at Nhill Vic on 4.2.49
Tail skid caught in a drainage grating and was torn away from the fuselage attachment while taxying at Mascot, pilot A.H.P. Lewis. Quickly repaired.
Albie Lewis departed Sydney in VH-ACH for a demonstration tour of northern NSW and Queensland.
Arrived Lismore NSW on a tour of country aero clubs by pilots Charles Gatenby and F.Fitzpatrick. They were assessing the demand for pilot training, following the Newcastle Aero Club ceasing private training when it took on RAAF cadet training under the Empire Air Training scheme.
Change of ownership: Hodson T. Howse, Roma Qld, later Briusbane Qld
Arrived at Grafton NSW flown by instructor Hod Howse to conduct local pilot training
WW1 pilot Captain F.E. Finlay flew VH-ACH on a tour of Queensland country post offices carrying "Miss Post Office" Amy Huggins. Joyrides were given as part of wartime fund raising for The Queensland Patriotic Fund. Arrived Mackay 9.8.40, Cairns 10.8.40
VH-ACH visited Grafton NSW, flown by instructor H.T.Howse. The local newspaper reported that he was offering training to local aero club pilots or RAAF pilot recruits who wanted practice prior to their call-up.
DCA inspection report at Archerfield Aerodrome, Brisbane. Airframe and engine are maintained in the Qantas Empire Airways hangar.
CofA expired. Parked in QEA hangar Archerfield
Owner H.T.Howse requests DCA approval to ferry VH-ACH from Archerfield to Sydney for storage for the duration of the war. He was air crew on Qantas Empire flying boats based at Rose Bay, Sydney and QEA Archerfield required his Aeronca to be removed because they need all hangar space for RAAF aircraft overhaul work.
DCA replied that the calculated 30 gallons of fuel required could not be approved under the current wartime fuel rationing and suggested the aircraft be stored in Brisbane.
CofA renewed at Archerfield Qld
DCA inspection report Archerfield: two bullet holes through the starboard front wing spar near wing strut attachment. The aircaft ahd been fired on while flown by American Mr. Hawkins staying at the Belle Vue Hotel, George Street Brisbane.
Wing spar repair completed Archerfield, CofA renewed
DCA Archerfield memo: VH-ACH has been standing outside in the weather for some time due to lack of hangar space. Fabric has deteriorated.
CofA cancelled by DCA due airframe condition
Howse advises DCA he is now based Perth with QEA and does not intend to renew the CofA 
Howse still in Perth, negotiating to sell VH-ACH to Doug Muir, QEA ground and flight engineer on Catalinas on the Order of the Double Sunrise services from Perth to Ceylon and Karachi.
sale to Muir not completed
Change of ownership: Robert T. McGeoch, Brisbane Qld
Struck-off Civil Register. Aircraft to be rebuilt.
Restored to Register VH-ACH: Royal Queensland Aero Club, Archerfield Airport, Brisbane Qld
Redesignated Aeronca 65C Super Chief after re-engined with 65hp Lycoming
Change of ownership: Donald C. Adams, Bundaberg Qld trading as Queensland Airplanters Pty Ltd
Change of ownership: P.E.K.Smith, "Bexhill" Station via Tambo Qld
Change of ownership: M.L.Keating, Mackay Qld
Change of ownership: Keith R.Wilson, Carinya Station, Jambin Qld
Struck-off Civil Register as withdrawn from service
Reportedly stored by Len Neale, who acquired VH-ACH and a 1930s Heath Parasol "Miss Sandgate" from the Wilson family at Jambin and restored the Parasol.

Mascot December 1938 after assembly following shipping from America.                  Frank Walters Collection

Melbourne-Essendon 27 January 1939 during Airflite manager Albert Lewis' demonstration tour with the new Aeronca.
Albie Lewis poses for the press photographer.                                        Ed Coates Collection

Jumping forwrd to 1964, VH-ACH seen on owner Keith Wilson's farm at Jambin Qld.     Photo by Ivan Wilson

VH-ACH at Bundaberg Airport Qld in 1964 in good company - a Piper Cub and Waco.           Photo by Ivan Wilson

                         Aeronca 50C Chief     c/n  C-3059                                                                VH-ACJ, VH-RMB, 24-3251

Built by Aeronautical Corporation of America at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.
Engine was a 50hp Continental A50-3.
Registered VH-ACJ: L. B."Ben" Steinke, Adelaide SA

Steinke had previously owned Percival Gull VH-UTC, both aircraft often flown for him by Adelaide commercial pilot Bill Maddocks.
Tipped on to nose during landing at Nhill Vic when struck by a wind gust, fracturing a wing strut.  Maddock and Steinke were on a flight from Melbourne to Adelaide and were not injured.
Change of ownership: A. Finlay, Brisbane Qld
Change of ownership: Dr.T.M.S.(Mervyn) Hall, Toowoomba Qld
Overturned landing Toowoomba due wind gust, aircraft was on its back. Dr. Hall and a passenger were unhurt
Crashed Toowoomba
Struck-off Civil Register
Rebuild project with Flt Sgt Geoff Mathews at RAAF Amberley. His restoration began 8.61
Partially rebuilt fuselage at Brisbane-Eagle Farm Airport in the Westernair hangar

Long-term rebuild project by Ron Baines and Roy Molynieux, Redcliffe Qld.
The fuselage spent many years in Ron Baines' home garage
Restored to Register VH-RMB: Peter Mochrie, Buderim Qld
Change of ownership: Gosturn Pty Ltd, Canberra ACT
Change of ownership: Kevin French trading as Rainbow Air, Rainbow Beach Qld
Transferred to Recreational Aircraft RA-AUS Register as 24-3251
by 2015
Owned by Alan Wilson, Biloela Qld.

This 1939 photograph was attached to VH-ACJ's initial Australian CofA document

Parafield circa 1940.                                                                                     Nigel Daw collection

VH-ACJ in a new paint scheme.Owner Ben Steinke is in front of the aircraft, with Adelaide pilot Bill Maddocks behind him.
                       John Hopton Collection

Circa 1949 while owned by Dr. Mervyn Hall of Toowoomba Qld.                                John Hopton Collection

1962 press picture of Flt Sgt Geoff Mathews at RAAF Amberley with his rebuild of Aeronca VH-ACJ

VH-ACJ partially rebuilt at Brisbane-Eagle Farm Airport in August 1966 in the Westernair hangar.
The project was to take another 30 years to complete.                     Photo by Bob Livingstone

Nearing completion as VH-RMB, Archerfield Qld 9 November 1993.                              Photo by Tony Arbon

Transferred to the RA-AUS Register as 24-3251, seen in 2015 at its home base Smoky Creek Airfield, Biloela.
Photo: queensland.blogspot

                         Aeronca 65C Super Chief     c/n  C-4919                                                  VH-ACY, VR-WAA
Built by Aeronautical Corporation of America at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.
Engine was a 60hp Continental A65
First flight
US Export CofA issued

Shipped to Australia
DCA Inspection at Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney after assembly
Registered VH-ACY: Ronald K. Maconachie, Wellington NSW
Change of ownership: Dr. Geoffrey L.Young, Katoomba NSW. Aircraft based at Tottenham NSW

Young had learned to fly with Cambridge University Squadron while living in England prewar. He enisted in RAAF and by December 1941 held rank Flight Leiutenant at 4EFTS Mascot. He later served with RAAF Medical Services in New Guinea.
While parked at Mascot the Aeronca was struck by a taxying DH.60 Moth, chopping two feet off the Aeronca's starboard wing. Repaired by Airflite Pty Ltd at Mascot.
CofA renewed on completion of repair
Annual CofA renewal at Mascot
Wingtip damaged when aircraft was lifted by a wind gust while parked outside Marshall Airways hangar Mascot
DCA requirment for all operational civil aircraft to be painted in camouflage. Dr Young replied to the correspondence confirming that he is still flying his Aeronca, which he keeps in a garage.
CofA expired. Stored in a garage at Katoomba while Young is away with RAAF
Dr Geoffrey Young gained NSW Government agreement to finance his proposal that he operate a flying doctor service for Central Western NSW independent of the Broken Hill base of the Flying Doctor Service of Australia which served outback regions. His base was Forbes NSW, he immediately purchased DH.87B Hornet Moth VH-UXO fitted to carry a stretcher patient, and used his Aeronca for clinic schedules, landing on roads at towns without airfields.
CofA renewed Mascot. Owner's address changed to: Dr.G.L.Young. "Westlands", Forbes NSW

Flown regularly by Young from Forbes NSW on medical duties until supplemented by Waco YKS-6 VH-UYD acquired in June 1945.
Change of ownership: E. Stafford Young, Sydney NSW

Stafford Young was a member of Young's family, which were successful in the sugar industry at Bundaberg Qld. He was a missionary in Borneo before the war but now due ill health will donate this aircraft to the Borneo evangelical mission which he supports.
VH-ACY is at Mascot for CofA renewal but work delayed waiting for engine parts ordered from USA
CofA finally renewed at Mascot
Flown Sydney-Melbourne to the Australian HQ of Borneo Evangelical Mission by mission pilot Bruce Morton. He is a former RAAF fighter pilot who has joined as a missionary.
VH-ACY was dedicated by the mission in a ceremony at Essendon Aerodrome
Departed Sydney as freight on board ship MV Elax for Borneo
Donated to Borneo Evangelical Mission, Sarawak
Struck-off Australian Civil Register
Registered VR-WAA E.Stafford Young on behalf of Borneo Evangelical Mission

Fate unknown

Borneo Evangelical Mission acquired Auster J/1B VR-WAB in 1952, and Auster J/5B in April 1956 for which the registration VR-WAA was reissued.
Sarawak Register does not give a cancillation date for the Aeronca but a note implies it was returned to Australia.

Mascot 1939 after assembly by Airflite.                                              Civil Aviation Historical Society collection

Borneo Mission pilot Bruce Morton with VH-ACY at Essendon 6 July 1949.               John Hopton Collection

                         Aeronca K Scout         c/n  K-162                                                                VH-ACK
Built by Aeronutical Corporation of America at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.
Production Model K, 40hp Aeronca E-113C engine.

US CofA quotes type as "Aeronca K & KS" (float attachments)
Sold to William T. Vanberbilt.  Airframe has been treated for corrosion. Sale includes Edo floats and when floats are installed the landing gear and tail skid is to be returned to Aeronca.
Registered NC18888 William T. Vanderbilt, New York, NY.
Remained registered to Vanderbilt until registration cancelled 25 February 1939
Used on American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth’s fourth and last Antarctic expedition along with Northrop Delta NR14267. The Aeronca floatplane was carried on a platform at the stern of the expedition ship Wyatt Earp.
Ellsworth Expedition in Wyatt Earp sailed from New York for Antarctica via Cape Town, via a stop at Sydney. Left Cape Town for Antartica on 26.10.38 but bad weather and ice flows delayed their arrival until early January 1939. The Aeronca floatplane had been used for scouting routes through pack ice for the ship. Later that month a crew member was seriously injured when crushed by ice and Ellsworth abandoned the expedition to get him to the nearest hospital, which was Australia
Wyatt Earp docked at Hobart, Tasmania
Following recommendations from experienced Antarctic explorer Sir Douglas Mawson, the Australian Government agreed to purchase the Wyatt Earp and its Antarctic gear for future Australian Antarctic expeditions. The purchase included the two aircraft carried on board.

(The Ellsworth Expedition had sparked tensions between the Australian and US Governments. Allegedly at the request of the US Department of State, Ellsworth had claimed areas of Antarctica in the name of the United States by dropping a canister containing the written claim and a US flag from the Northrop. The areas including land previously claimed by Australia. The Australian Government's highly unusual action of making a benevolent offer to purchase the Wyatt Earp is believed to have triggered by an opportunity to stop Ellsworth returning to Antarctic while at the same time providing equipment for future Australia expeditions - which were delayed by the outbreak of World War Two later that year.)

Aeronca stored in Aero Club hangar at Mascot pending a decision on its future.
The Northrop was moved to RAAF Richmond where it was stored dismantled until June 1939.
Aeronca K NC18888 and Northrop Delta NC14267 issued to Department of Civil Aviation, Melbourne.
DCA used the Northrop
for radio navigation aid calibration work as VH-ADR.
Cable from DCA Director General A.B.Corbett to Civil Aeronautics Authority, Washington DC:
“The Government of Australia has purchased from Mr. Lincoln Ellsworth the vessel Wyatt Earp together with various equipment including an Aeronca KS NC18888 and Northrop Delta NR14267 which he used during his recent exploration work in the Antarctic. Request send approved airplane specifications for these two types.”

DCA had no use for the Aeronca. The Department had a policy of supporting Australian aero clubs and had supplied clubs with many DH.60 Moths. After a review of established aero club needs,  Aeronca NC18888 was allocated to Canberra Aero Club on favourable hire-purchase terms.
Inspection for Australian certification carried out by Kingsford Smith Air Service Ltd at Mascot Aerodrome, Sydney. A new land undercarriage assembly had been odered from USA.
Weighed on DCA scales at Mascot 4.12.39 on completion of overhaul
as a landplane.
Registered VH-ACK: Canberra Aero Club, Canberra ACT.
C/n quoted as “K.S.162”.
Australian CofA issued with conventional undercarriage
VH-ACK delivered Mascot-Canberra by Canberra Aero Club pilot Mr. R. J. Cotterill.
Blue fuselage and silver wings.
Memo from DCA Mascot office to Head Office Melbourne: “Re Aeronca VH-ACK: floats and accessories and spare propeller are held at this station. Request advice on their disposal.”
They were instructed to send them to Essendon Aerodrome Melbourne by road freight.
(On 12.5.41 DCA Director General A.B.Corbett sent a memo to Mascot office regarding the moving of the Aeronca floats and fittings to Melbourne the previous year. He requested reasons why Mascot had accepted the higher of the two quotes from trucking companies. Mascot responded with a detailed justification of reasons for the extra cost.)
Following the forced landing of Douglas DC-2 VH-USY Bungana at Dimboola Vic 8.2.40, Australian National Airways were forced to cut a number of air services on their Melbourne-Canberra-Sydney route. As a temporary measure Canberra Aero Club was hired to fly mail sacks in Aeronca VH-ACK between Canberra and Wagga  where they connected with Ansett Airways Lockheed 10 services.
12.2.40 Canberra-Wagga return, pilot Tom Campbell
13.2.40 Canberra-Wagga return, pilot Jack Cotterill
Propeller damaged while taxying at Duntroon Aerodrome, Canberra while conducting circuits
Annual CofA renewal at Mascot by S.D.Marshall of Marshall Airways
Annual CofA expired. Canberra Aero Club secretary wrote to DCA stating that the club has ceased functioning due the war situation. The Aeronca will be stored for the duration.
Change of ownership:  Laurence H. Bickerton and Reginald J. Keen, Melbourne Vic
DCA approve ferry flight Canberra-Essendon by L.H.Bicketon, subject to engineer’s inspection
CofA renewed at Essendon. C/n quoted as “K.162”
Change of ownership: Thomas Edward Betts, Barwon Heads Vic
CofA expired
Letter to DCA from Dr.C.W.Hammond, Rosebud Vic: he is considering purchasing VH-ACK which is currently grounded at Geelong with an unservicable engine.
Correspondence with DCA from Mr. Reginald Keen alleging that Betts forged signatures on the ownership transfer form and illegally took possession of the Aeronca in April 1946. He and Bickerton had agreed to sell the aircraft to Betts in exchange for a sedan car and a cash payment. They learnt the car had money owing to a finance company, which they paid but told Betts they would not sign the ownership transfer form until he reimbursed them.
DCA wrote to Betts. Reply from T. E. Betts’ son T. Frederick Betts who was well known to DCA for flying a variety of aircraft in the Geelong area with expired CofAs: ”I was ignorant of the fact that that these signatures had to be in their own hand.”

DCA referred the matter to Deputy Crown Solicitors office whose report stated that the son Fred Betts was an enthusiastic aviator but had a disastrous business reputation in Geelong. Fred Betts freely admitted forging his father’s signature on the form. Subsequent court action in Geelong in January 1947 convicted T. Frederick Betts of fraud and forgery.
DCA agree to cancel the CofR in Betts' name and reissue CofR in name of Bickerton & Keen
to allow them to sell the aircraft to Mr.Berryman of Geelong
Change of ownership: William H. Berryman, Geelong Vic
CofA not renewed
DCA received reports that VH-ACK is flying on weekends at Geelong and carrying passengers. No reply to letters to owner Berryman
CofR expired. Struck-off Civil Register
Advertisement in Aircraft magazine, Melbourne: “For Sale. Aeronca Cabin. F.L.Betts Geelong”
Letter to DCA from W.H.Berryman, Geelong: he has sold VH-ACK to Frederick Lionel Betts of Geelong for 350 plus a 1937 Chevrolet Roadster. The letter was cosigned “Frederick Thomas Betts”
Letter to DCA from Frederick Thomas Betts: he has sold VH-ACK to C.H.Sears, Melbourne in exchange for a Ford Prefect motor car.
Restored to Civil Register VH-ACK: C.H.Sears, Melbourne
CofA renewed
Change of ownership: Ronald S. Dabscheck, Melbourne Vic
Change of ownership: C. B. Gates, Horsham Vic
Change of ownership: A. R. Mogg, Sydney NSW
DCA Register shows VH-ACK has been re-engined with a 65hp Continental A65
Change of ownership: E. U. Klages. Wagga NSW, later Sydney NSW
Change of ownership: L. K. Kirk, Sydney NSW
Change of ownership: Aeronca Aviation Group, Moorabbin Vic
Change of ownership: V. E. Lipman, Melbourne Vic.
Flew with name “Polar Star” painted on nose
noted at Archerfield Qld, operated by W.T.Appleton, Brisbane Qld
He also owned B.A.Swallow VH-AAB
visited Archerfield Qld for an air show, pilot Tom Appleton. All blue, white trim, name Polar Star
Parked outside at Archerfield, wings removed, cockpit covered with plastic sheeting
Fuselage moved to shed in Brisbane area, wings stored in a different shed, where the interplane struts went missing. Continental C65 engine was being overhaul at Archerfield.
Civil Register Change of ownership: W. T. Appleton, Brisbane Qld

Rebuild project by Tom Appleton. Fuselage damaged when the shed in which it was housed was burnt by a brush fire
Struck-off Civil Register
Acquired as a restoration project by Keith and Graham Orphan, Stamford Hill, Grantham Qld
Fuselage, wings, tail group and Continental engine moved to their hangar at Stamford Hill.

When Graham Orphan moved to New Zealand, VH-ACK was shipped with his other aircraft including Aeronca 7AC VH-UMN - see below

Current. Stored at Omaka Aerodrome, Blenheim NZ pending restoration

This 1939 picture of the "Wyatt Earp" in Antarctica shows the Aeronca floatplane stowed at the stern and the
Northrop Delta
on the forward deck.                                                  Photo via Graham Orphan

Aeronca NC18888 "Ellsworth Antarctic Flight" on board the ship Wyatt Earp, portside at Hobart 4 February 1939.
 David Dodd/ANARE Club, via Graham Orphan

Geelong Vic circa 1946 while owned by Fred Betts.                            Photo: Fred Betts via Graham Orphan

VH-ACK at Belmont Common airfield, Geeling Vic circa 1947 during its adventurous Geelong days.   Photo by Bob Fripp

Bankstown 1952                                                                           Photo by Eddie Coates

Camden NSW January 1964.                                                                    Photo by Geoff Goodall

Camden NSW April 1965.                                                                         Photo by Dave Eyre

Moorabbin Vic November 1967, now allover blue with white trim.                          Photo by Geoff Goodall

Moorabbin May 1969. Two months later it moved base to Brisbane.               Photo by Terry Ellis via Nigel Daw collection

VH-ACK in storage suspended from the roof of a hangar at Omaka Airport, Blenheim NZ, pictured in October 2021.
Photo by owner Graham Orphan

Part 2: Post World War II Aeronca imports:

                              Aeronca 7AC Champion     c/n 7AC-1593                                                            VH-AJX, ZK-AWF
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.
Production Model 7AC, 65hp Continental A-65 engine.

Ordered by Stack & Co Pty Ltd, Sydney

Shipped to Australia
Registered VH-AJX  Stack & Co Pty Ltd, Sydney
Interim CofA issued pending full type certification for First of Type
Change of ownership: Brown & Dureau Pty Ltd, Belmont Common airfield, Geelong Vic
Now based at Bankstown with Brown & Dureau's Sydney branch.
Appears to have been operated by the flying school of Morris Air Service, Bankstown
Change of ownership: John R.Gilder, Garden Ranch Station via Muswellbrook NSW
John Gilder departed Bankstown in VH-AJX for Katherine NT where he has purchased another property. He bought the Aeronca to travel between his two properties.
Struck-off Australian Register as sold to New Zealand
Registered ZK-AWF N.C. Lowe,Hastings   
NZ CofA issued
Change of ownership: F.G. & G.A. Patterson, Waipawa
Change of ownership: S.H. Jensen, Palmerston North

Modified to Aeronca 7BCM
Change of ownership: H.D.Nielson
Change of ownership: Ruapehu Aero Club, Waiouru
Crashed on takeoff destroyed Tangiwai, Karioi NZ

In the aircraft display park at an airshow held at Fisherman Bend Vic in December 1947.    Photo by Bob Fripp

The Brown & Dureau company float in a Geelong street parade circa 1947.             Kevin O'Reilly collection

Bankstown 1949.                                                                             Frank Walters Collection

Bankstown identity Howard Morris (second right) with a group of pilots circa 1949. This uncaptioned photograph suggests
that VH-AJX was being operated by the Morris Air Service flying school at the time.     Geoff Goodall collection

Sold to New Zealand as ZK-AWF, seen still in factory yellow and orange scheme.           Ed Coates Collection

In the early 1960s with "Aeronca Champion 7AC" and "Ruepehu Aero Club "painted on the engine cowling.
Geoff Goodall collection

At Tairei NZ later in 1960s, with the nose inscriptions removed.                        Geoff Goodall collection

                              Aeronca 11AC Chief      c/n 11AC-184                                                            VH-AJZ                                              
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.
Production Model 11AC, 65hp Continental A-65 engine.

Ordered by Stack & Co Pty Ltd, Sydney

Shipped to Australia
Assembled Mascot
Registered VH-AJZ  Stack & Co Pty Ltd, Sydney
Interim CofA issued pending full type certification for First of Type
Change of ownership: Dr. Sydney J. Blumer, Sydney NSW
Overturned during forced landing in a paddock in Sydney suburb of Fairfield, pilot unhurt
Repair had commenced, not completed
Owner Dr Blumer had died and his Estate wished to sell his Aeronca AJZ and Tiger Moth VH-BGW
Struck-off Civil Register in 1951 DCA census of unairworthy aircraft
Solicitors of the Estate of S.J.Blumer wrote to DCA advising that Aeronca VH-AJZ had been sold to Mr. William Campbell-Hicks effective 1.8.51, and Tiger Moth VH-BGW sold to Captain A.J.Murray

Rebuild completed at Bankstown
Test flown Bankstown on completion of rebuild. CofA renewed.
Restored to Register VH-AJZ: William Campbell-Hicks t/a Campbell-Hicks Airways, Condobolin NSW
Change of ownership: I.N.McNeill, Ardlethan NSW
Change of ownership: William Campbell-Hicks, Condobolin NSW
Change of ownership: Walter E. James t/a W.E.James Aircraft Taxi Service, Wollongong NSW
Change of ownership: A.F.Bevan, Wollongong NSW
Crashed into sea off Windang Beach near Wollongong NSW
While operating a shark patrol along beaches the aircraft was seen to descend gradually from 500 feet altitude to 200 feet over water then engine noise ceased and aircraft dived into the water.
Pilot sustained serious injuries and the observer was killed.

Bankstown circa 1949 outside the Morris Air Service hangar.                                    Greg Weir collection

Newspaper picture of the April 1949 accident in the Sydney suburb of Fairfield.

Bankstown 1955.                                                                                       Photo by Eddie Coates

Part 3: Champion Aircraft Corporation production from 1954:

                             Champion 7FC Tri-Traveler    c/n 7FC-150                                                 VH-FBP

Built by Champion Aircraft Corporation at Osceola, Wisconsin as a production 7FC.
90 hp Continental C90-12F engine.

Ordered by Australian agents Fawcett Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport Sydney

Shipped to Australia, assembled Bankstown by Fawcett Aviation
Registered VH-FBP Air Training Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport, Sydney

Air Training was a Fawcett Aviation associate which operated Illawarra Flying School from the Fawcett hangar at Bankstown.
noted at Bankstown parked on Illawarra Flyig School flight line
Change of ownership: F.E. Dean, Bowral NSW
Change of ownership: Barry W. Gash, Bowral NSW
Change of ownership: A. Mills, Sydney NSW
Change of ownership: R.J.Nelson, Sydney NSW
Change of ownership: Michael B.Dugan, Wilton NSW


VH-FBP at Bankstown 1958 soon after it was imported.                                                    Ed Coates Collection

Bankstown April 1976.                                                                            Photo by David Carter

                           Champion 7EC Traveler    c/n 7EC-654                             VH-CNC (1), VH-CNO, VH-CFS, VH-PTP

Built by Champion Aircraft Corporation at Osceola, Wisconsin as a production 7EC.
90 hp Continental C90-12F engine.

Ordered by Australian agents Fawcett Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport Sydney

Shipped to Australia, assembled Bankstown by Fawcett Aviation
Registered VH-CNC: Air Training Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport, Sydney

Air Training was a Fawcett Aviation associate which operated Illawarra Flying School from the Fawcett hangar at Bankstown.
Change of ownership: Cootamundra Flying Club, Cootamundra NSW
Change of registration to VH-CNO
Change of ownership: Cootamundra Flying School, Cootamundra NSW
Change of registration to VH-CFS
Change of ownership: Griffith Aero Club, Griffith NSW
Change of ownership: Parker Brothers Auto Co, Warrnambool Vic
Change of registration to VH-PTP
Change of ownership: B.G.Hearn, Melbourne Vic
Change of ownership: Hearns Hobbies Wholesalers Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
Change of ownership: C.Tracey & Co Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic, later Gisborne Vic c/- W.Waterton
Change of ownership: W.F.Waterton, Yuroke Vic
Change of ownership: Ian D. Pearce, Yass NSW


VH-CNO at Cootamundra 1959, red and white factory scheme.                             Photo by Ben Dannecker

Now reregistered VH-CFS, Cootamundra 1960.                                                        Photo by Ben Dannecker

VH-CFS at its new home base Warrnambool Vic 1966.                                       Geoff Goodall collection

Now reregistered VH-PTP, seen at Moorabbin Vic in November 1969.                  Photo by Paul Daw

VH-PTP visting an airshow at Ballarat Vic in March 1979.                                Photo by Nigel Daw

VH-PTP arrives at a Temora NSW fly-in event in March 2014.                                         Photo by Terry Fletcher

                         Champion 7EC Traveler    c/n 7EC-689                                                  VH-CNC (2)

Built by Champion Aircraft Corporation at Osceola, Wisconsin as a production 7EC.
90 hp Continental C90-12F engine.

Ordered by Australian agents Fawcett Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport Sydney

Shipped to Australia, assembled Bankstown by Fawcett Aviation
Registered VH-CNC: Air Training Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport, Sydney

Air Training was a Fawcett Aviation associate which operated Illawarra Flying School from the Fawcett hangar at Bankstown.
Change of ownership: John R.Pater, Warragul Vic
Change of ownership: Hegarty & Allen Industries Pty Ltd, Eden NSW
Used for fish spotting for the Eden trawler fleet
Change of ownership:  J Parker, Parker Brothers Garage, Colac Vic
Change of ownership: J. G.Downey, Colac Vic
Change of ownership: A.E.Parker, Melbourne, later Pambula Beach NSW, Moresby River Qld
Change of ownership: David J. Kerr, Brisbane Qld


VH-CNC at Cootamundra NSW January 1964, red and cream.                                Photo by Geoff Goodall

Moorabbin February 1970.                                                                       Photo by Peter Kelly

Caboolture Qld February 2016, many rebags later but still the same paint scheme.         Photo by Ian McDonell

                           Champion 7FC Tri-Traveler    c/n 7FC-281                               VH-BWT, VH-UEJ, 24-9877, VH-UVE
Built by Champion Aircraft Corporation at Osceola, Wisconsin as a production 7FC.
90 hp Continental C90-12F engine.

Ordered by Australian agents Fawcett Aviation Pty Ltd, Bankstown Airport Sydney on behalf of Royal Aero Club of SA

Shipped to Australia, assembled Bankstown by Fawcett Aviation
Registered VH-BWT Royal Aero Club of South Australia, Parafield Airport, Adelaide SA
Change of ownership: A. W.Webb, Wirrega SA.
Operated by Keith Aero Club, Keith SA
Change of registration to VH-UEJ
The aero club requested a registration change to vacate the club's VH-BW block, VH-UEJ was assigned by DCA SA/NT Region from their VH-UE block then used for random allocations. 
Change of ownership: E. J.Dagleish, Morundah NSW
Change of ownership: A. E.Johnson, Boort Vic
Change of ownership: L.M.Trim & V.D.Humphris, Narrandera NSW
Change of ownership: D. Hindmarsh, Gerringong NSW
Change of ownership: Barry W. Gash, Bowral NSW
Damaged in accident Mittagong NSW
Struck-off Civil Register
Restored to Register: Gunnar S. Andersen, Moss Vale NSW
Change of ownership: L.M.Trim, Narrandera NSW
Change of ownership: G.D.Eastwood, Goolwa SA
Damaged Aldinga SA: right undercarriage leg broke away during takeoff, hanging from aircraft. Pilot made left wing low landing, aircraft swung through 90 degrees. Failure point was a 1958 factory weld.
Airframe 2,100 hours.
Minor damage Strathalbyn SA, right main gear structural failure during landing roll
Change of ownership: C.J.Dingle, Drummond Vic
Change of ownership: Geoff D. Eastwood, Goolwa SA
Transferred to Recreational Aircraft RA-AUS Register as 24-9877 Geoff D. Eastwood, Goolwa SA

Rebuilt with a tailwheel (making it equivalent to a Chamption 7EC model)
Restored to Australian Civil Register as VH-UVE: Harvey D. McBain, Nelson Vic.
Operated by South Coast Air Centre Pty Ltd, Aldinga SA

Parafield December 1962 on the Royal Aero Club of South Australia flight line. Blue and white.  Photo by Geoff Goodall

Narrandera NSW November 1969 same blue and white paintwork.                       Photo by Mike Vincent

Attending a fly-in on Joe Drage's farm airstrip at Wondonga Vic in September 1984.          Photo by Geoff Goodall

Another rustic scene, Coldstream airfield Victoria in February 1989                           Photo by Nigel Daw

The same Champion 7FC at Nelson Vic after rebuild with a tailwheel and return to the Civil Aircraft Register as VH-UVE.
Photo by Harvey McBain of the Nelson Aeroplane Company

              *                    *                     *                  *                   *                  *               *                 *

Part 4:   Sport aviation private owner imports from the 1970s:

Aeronca 11AC Chief VH-IDH imported in 2001 arrives at Langwell Station near Broken Hill NSW for a fly-in BarBQ in October 2009.
Photo by Phil Vabre

           Following the commercial imports listed above, Aeroncas and Champions enjoyed a second age in Australia as popular mounts for a new generation of antique and vintage aviation pilots. The Aeroncas fit the "American Classics" category and a number have been privately imported, making welcome additions to sport aviation gatherings.
           I have been able to fill in a little of their US owners from FAA published US Civil Registers for the years 1963 to 1972. Interestingly by 1972 many were deregistered, abandoned at airfields across the States, by then of little value. The surge in the Antique Airplane scene saved them from oblivion, to be rebuilt by enthusiastic owners. Unfortunately the FAA ceased publishing registers for the intervening years, when the dreaded Microfiche took over. A number of the privately imported aircraft below came from South Africa, when their owners migrated to Australia: "asset export" was a means around Government financial laws restricting funds leaving the country. 
           The advent of the Recreational Aviation Australia (RAAus) Register has allowed some Aeronca or Champion owners to transfer to the RAAus Register (24-xxxx series) with more relaxed requirements than the CASA VH- Register. Eligibility for the RAAus Register includes Maximum takeoff Weight 600kg and no more than two seats.

                               Champion 7EC Traveler   c/n 7EC-354                                                N4338C
Built by Champion Aircraft Corporation at Osceola, Wisconsin as a production 7EC.
Registered N4338C
US Civil Registers: Lesley N. Forden, Alameda, California
Change of ownership: Albert W. Knave, Livermore, California
Struck-off USCR as sold to Australia

Imported by John J. Bange, Clifton Qld
noted stored dismantled in a shed at Bange's farm near Clifton Qld. No registration painted on the airframe, no callsign reminder in the cockpit. Plate: 7EC-354 built 13.10.55.
John Bange said the Champion had not been assembled because of a problem.
Also present at the farm were John Bange's Porterfield VH-UVH and Tiger Moth VH-AZF, plus
PA-22 VH-FFS, BA Swallow VH-AAB
noted stored at Bange's farm, unchanged

By early early 1980s the aircraft was unmoved and derelict

No further reports, fate unknown

N4338C in derelict condition at John Bange's farm at Clifton Qld early 1980s.         Photo by Graham Orphan

                               Aeronca 7AC Champion  c/n 7AC-1269                                                      VH-XCA, 24-4196
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.

US Civil Register: Los Alametos Navy Aero Club, Los Alametos California
US Civil Register: David J. Vader, Long Beach California
US Civil Registers: Ray H. Atnip, Salinas California
Change of ownership: Frank C. Roger, Watsonville Califonia
Struck-off US Civil Register, exported to Australia
Registered VH-XCA   Anthony W. Stinson, Sydney NSW
Change of ownership: R.W.Branley, Long Jetty NSW
Change of ownership: A.S.Rundle, Alstonville NSW
Damaged in accident Bagotville NSW
Transferred to Recreational Aircraft RA-AUS Register as 24-4196


Looking fresh off the 1946 Aeronca production line, VH-XCA seen in April 1983 at Mangalore Vic.   Photo by Geoff Goodall

                              Aeronca 7AC Champion  c/n 7AC-3499                                                     VH-XYX
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.

US Civil Register: John Franey, Fort Washington, Washington
US Civil Register: Guthrie Gary Co, Portland, Oregon
US Civil Registers: Richard L. Vogt, Salem, Oregon
US Civil Register: not listed
Registered VH-XYX: K.R.Ingersoll, Baxter Vic
Damaged in accident Cobden Vic
Change of ownership: Geoffrey M.Hosking, Kinglake West Vic


VH-XYX made its Australian debut at the April 1985 Mangalore Air Show.                   Photo by Geoff Goodall

                              Aeronca 7AC Champion  c/n 7AC-5005                                                     VH-EPZ, 24-4605
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.

US Civil Register: William P. Hayes, Miller, South Dakota
US Civil Register: Lester Rear, Watertown, South Dakota
US Civil Registers: William Keelor, Willmar, Minnesota
US Civil Register: not listed
Registered VH-EPZ: M.G.Sutcliffe, Melbourne Vic
Change of ownership: Cavanell Pty Ltd, Melbourne Vic
Change of ownership: C.E.L.Johnson, Narre Warren Vic
Transferred to Recreational Aircraft RA-AUS Register as 24-4605


VH-EPZ at Ballarat Vic in February 1987, previous US registration N1442E on the rudder.        Photo by Geoff Goodall

Now on the RA Register as 24-4605, seen at Kyneton Vic in May 2010.                     Photo by Phil Vabre

                             Aeronca 11BC Chief       c/n 11BC-109                                                      VH-HRH, 24-8804
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.

US Civil Register: Madelyn M. Weiss, Littleton, Colorado
US Civil Registers: Dean R. Mills, Lakewood, Colorado
US Civil Registers: Charles A. Lemmond, Parsons, Kansas
US Civil Register: not listed
Registered VH-HRH R.W.Townsend, trading as Air Circus, Sydney NSW
Change of ownership: S.A. Harwood, Nowra NSW
Change of ownership: T. J. Rankin, Bowral NSW
Change of ownership: J.D. Bresnahan, Bowral NSW
Change of ownership: M.B.Kornfeld, Toowoomba Qld
Change of ownership: G.B.Lovett, Melbourne Vic, later Barjarg Vic
Transferred to Recreational Aircraft RA-AUS Register as 24-8804


Aeronca 11BC N4021E at Sydney-Bankstown in March 1985 awaiting assembly.        Photo by Bob Livingstone

VH-HRH "Annie" at the annual Watts Bridge Qld fly-in event August 1997.                        Photo by Tony Arbon

VH-HRH reregistered in the RAAus series as 24-8804, attended a fly-in at Dunwich Qld in October 2022.
Photo by Ian McDonell

                         Aeronca 7AC Champion     c/n 7AC-5530                                            VH-HXY
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.

US Civil Registers: Vincent Mart, Spencer, Iowa
Struck-off USCR as sold to Australia
Registered VH-HXY Geoff A. Davis, Rowland Flat SA
Crashed Rowland Flat SA (near Tanunda)
Struck-Off Register

Rowland Flat SA April 1990.                                                                         Photo by Nigel Daw

                              Aeronca 11AC Chief       c/n 11AC-213                                              VH-NTE, 24-3175, N86399
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.

US Civil Registers: James L. Seibio, Garden Grove, California
US Civil Register: George V.Blakemore, South Gate, California
US Civil Register: Harold T. Edmonds, Los Angeles, California
US Civil Register: not listed
Registered VH-NTE D.C.C.Ecclestone, Penrith NSW
Change of ownership: R.G.Greig, Wentworthville NSW
Transferred to Recreational Aircraft RA-AUS Register as 24-3175
Restored to US Register as N86399 Peter L. Lapthorne, Sparta, Missouri
US CofA renewed


VH-NTE at Mangalore in April 1992.                                                            Photo by Dave Tanner

VH-NTE after transfer to the RA Register as 24-3175, photographed at Melton Vic in March 2010 by Phil Vabre

                          Aeronca 7AC Champion, to 7BCM      c/n 7AC-3425                                     VH-UMP
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.

US Civil Register: Donald R. Morton, Eureka, California
US Civil Register: John J. Flynn, Bayside, California
US Civil Registers: Peter H.Haynes, Arcata, California
Change of ownership: Jim Ingraham, Woodland, California
Struck-off USCR as sold to Australia
Registered VH-UMP B.D. Alford, Portland Vic. Partnership with Stuart Oakley
Change of ownership: S.M. Schulz, South Kilkerran SA
Change of ownership: Kenneth R. Ingersoll, Baxter Vic


Parafield SA October 1997                                                                            Photo by Nigel Daw

                             Aeronca 7AC Champion      c/n 7AC-5384                                                VH-UMN, ZK-KCO
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.
Registered NC1817E Verhostra Aviation Sales & Parts, South Bend Indiana
Change of ownership: Dresser Aviation Service Inc, Terre Haute Indiana
Reregistered N1817E in change of US registration system
Change of ownership: University of Illinois, Urbana Illinois
Change of ownership: Billy G. Coburn, Syracuse Indiana
Change of ownership: South Dakota State College, Brookings, South Dakota
Change of ownership: Dean Tammen, Willmar Minnesota
Exported to Canada, struck-off US Civil Register
Registered CF-BMQ Dean Tammen, Delta, British Columbia Canada
Ownership now D. Diston, Delta BC
Ownership now A.B. Duncan, Richmond BC
Change of ownership and registration: C-FBMQ Uwe Schmidt, Victoria BC
Purchased in Canada by Keith and Graham Orphan, Grantham Qld. Shipped to Australia.
Struck-off Canadian Register, owner still Schmidt
Registered VH-UMN: Keith C. Orphan, Grantham Qld
Exported to New Zealand, struck-off Australian Register
Registered ZK-KCO: Graham M. Orphan, Blenheim NZ


VH-UMN at Watts Bridge Qld in August 1995, with Canadian flag on the fin. Note the modified rear cabin windows.
Photo by Tony Arbon

Graham Orphan sends this family snap of ZK-KCO on the beach at D'Urville Island on the NZ Marlborough Sounds,
with his wife Jane and daughter Philly. Philly arrived in another aircraft, the Aeronca being a two-seater

                            Aeronca 7AC Champion      c/n 7AC-2266                                                VH-STU, 24-5982
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.

US Civil Register: Lee Alvord, Portland, Oregon
US Civil Register: Thomas M. Smith, Tigard, Oregon
US Civil Register: Raymond Foster, Salem, Oregon
US Civil Register: Joe G. Stanton, Salem, Oregon
Registered VH-STU Stuart N. Oakley, Portland Vic
Harvey McBain of Nelson Aeroplane Company, Nelson Vic commenced a major overhaul of VH-STU following the death of its owner during 2013
Transferred to RA Aus Register as 24-5982 Adelaide Biplanes, Aldinga SA


24-5982 at Adelaide Biplanes' home base Aldinga SA

                            Aeronca 7AC Champion      c/n 7AC-3076                                               VH-AYK
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.

Sold new to South Africa as ZS-AYK

Exported to Australia
Registered VH-AYK Peter J.Cohoe, Torquay Vic


VH-AYK at Camden NSW.                                                                               Photo by Dave Eyre

                             Champion 7FC Tri-Traveler           c/n 7FC-118                                            VH-LIA
Built by Champion Aircraft Corporation at Osceola, Wisconsin as a production 7FC.
Registered CF-LIA
Owner Emil Markle & Herbert Maurushat, Claresholm Alberta
Owner Emil Markle, Claresholm Alberta

Reregistered C-FLIA
Change of ownership: Collin Markle, Blairmore Alberta
Change of ownership: J & M Flying Ltd, Stettler Alberta
Cancelled from Canadian Register as exported to Australia
VH-LIA noted at Archerfield Qld, operational, blue and white
Registered VH-LIA Jorgen Rasmussen, Biloela Qld, later Jambin Qld


VH-LIA at an Old Station fly-in, near Gladstone Qld May 2016 in the same paintwork as when it arrived from Canada.
"Aeronca Tri-Traveller " is painted bebind the cabin.                                      Photo by Ian Mcdonell

                             Aeronca 7AC to 7DC Champion  c/n 7AC-885                                                     VH-RCM, 24-5210
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.

At some later time converted to Aeronca 7DC: 85hp Continental C85, higher All Up Weight and  enlarged dorsal fin.


US Civil Registers: Robert E. Enders, Cement City, Michigan
US Civil Registers: Nelson E. Loar, Onsted, Michigan
Change of ownership: David R. Smith, Old Hickory, Tennessee
Struck-off US Civil Register as exported to Australia
Registered VH-RCM David R.Smith, Queanbeyan NSW
Magazine report: David Smith has been restoring his 1946 Aeronca at his home in Canberra for the past 4 years after buying it froman owner in Michigan USA.
Damaged in accident Goulburn NSW
Change of ownership: Air Safety Solutions Pty Ltd, Queanbeyan NSW
Transferred to Recreational Aircraft RA-AUS Register as 24-5210


VH-RCM attended a fly-in at Cootamundra NSW in October 2003.                                  Photo by Phil Vabre

                             Aeronca 7AC Champion  c/n 7AC-98                                                   VH-LDT, 24-1563
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.

US Civil Registers: Robert D. Hering, Alvin, Texas
Change of ownership: Harold G. Parker, Pearl River, Louisiana
US Civil Register: not listed
Struck-off US Register as sold to Australia.  Final US owner still Harold Parker
Registered VH-LDT: G.David Thomas, Sydney NSW, later Tamworth NSW
Transferred to Recreational Aircraft RA-AUS Register as 24-1563


VH-LDT departing the static display enclosure at the March 2005 Avalon International Airshow.  Photo by Phil Vabre

                             Aeronca 11AC Chief     c/n 11AC-1624                                                     VH-IDH
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.
Sold new to South Africa as ZS-BRE
Sold to South West Africa (Namibia)

Reportedly retired circa 1969, stored

Restored to South African Register as ZS-ULS

Exported from South Africa to Australia
Registered VH-IDH Ian D.Harvie, Grose Vale NSW
First flight in Australia after restoration at Wedderburn NSW


Aeronca Chief VH-IDH attended a fly-in at Echuca Vic in April 2009, only a few days after completing its restoration.
Photo by Phil Vabre

                            Aeronca 11AC Chief     c/n 11AC-247                                                          24-3716
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.

US Civil Registers: Leroy Marler, Chico, California

Exported from USA to Australia to address Riddell Victoria
Registered on Recreational Aircraft RA-AUS Register as 24-3716
Clerical cancellation from US Register: sale reported. Riddell, Victoria, Australia


Aeronca Chief 24-3716 at a fly-in at Swan Hill Vic in April 2005.                                            Photo by Phil Vabre

                           Aeronca 7AC Champion floats        c/n 7AC-5659                                               N2088E
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.


US Civil Register: Louis Tisdale, Menard, Texas
US Civil Registers: Robert Maher, Gillette, Wyoming
US Civil Register: Keith O. White, Gillette, Wyoming
Change of ownership: Minta Air, Wasilla Alaska

Reportedly leased as a floatplane as N2088E by Seaplane Taxis, Perth Western Australia

Returned to USA
Struck-off USCR still owned by Minta Air, Alaska

No pictures have been found of the subject Aeronca Champion floatpane N2088E, but here's an example of the many
Champion floatplanes in use in Alaska
.      Taken at Anchorage, Alaska in September 1979 by Geoff Goodall

                            Aeronca 7AC Champion  c/n 7AC-1672                                                   VH-IMS, 24-7224
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.

Sold new to South Africa as ZS-AXI

Re-registered ZS-VGN

Exported from South Africa to Australia
Registered VH-IMS B. Ross, Buderim Qld
Transferred to Recreational Aircraft RA-AUS Register as 24-7224


24-7224 at Gympie Qld in July 2010.                                                                 Photo by Robert Frola

                           Aeronca 7AC Champion, to 7DC     c/n 7AC-3307                                    24-7836
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio.

US Civil Registers: Goodlett Flying Club, Goodlett, Texas
US Civil Register: Signal Mountain Soaring Society Inc, Big Spring, Texas
US Civil Register: not listed
N84600 Change of ownership: Kenneth J. Love, Canberra ACT Australia
Struck-off US Register as exported to Australia
Registered on Recreational Aircraft RA-AUS Register as 24-7836


Aeronca 7DC 24-7836 at Wangaratta Vic in April 2022, still with N84600 on the rudder.       Photo by Phil Vabre

                           Aeronca 11CC Chief     c/n 11CC-173                                                          24-2947
Built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation at Lunken Airport, Cincinatti Ohio, Continental C85 engine
US Civil Register: James E. Long, Oxnard, California
US Civil Registers: John M. Norton, Salida, California
Change of ownership: Wendel T. Jahne, Camas, Washington
Struck-off USCR as sold to Australia
Registered on Recreational Aircraft RA-AUS Register as 24-2947


Aeronca Chief 24-2947 at Heck Field Queensland in July 2022.                                     Photo by Ian McDonell
This listing could not have been made without these two oustanding reference sources:
- Tony Arbon's AustAirData Register Historical Register Search:
- John Streeter's Australian Civil Aircraft Register Database

Other references:
- Australian Civil Aircraft Register, Department of Civil Aviation and its successors
- DCA aircraft files, National Archives of Australia, Melbourne
- US Civil Aircraft Registers, FAA, 1963 to 972, held by compiler
- British Civil Aircraft Since 1919, A.J. Jackson, Putnam, London, Volume One 1973
- All About Aeroncas, Rod W. Simpson, Air Britain Digest, Summer 1992
- SE Asia Civil Aircraft Registers, Air Britain 1979
- SA Air Journal, monthly, 1963-1965
- Australian Air Log, monthly, 1965 to 1968
- Air Britain Archive, quarterly 1986, NZ Civil Register
- Bill Maddocks - Aviator, Chas Schaedel, Aviation Heritage Vol 32 No.4, December 2001, Aviation Historical Sociey of Australia
- Whatever happened to the Polar Star?, Keith Orphan, Classic Wings Downunder magazine, Issue No.10
- Melvyn Davis, Adelaide: information on Australian Aeroncas

My thanks to Aeronca owner Graham Orphan at Omaka NZ for his continuing input to this page.

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