Aeronca Chief - This Is A Great "Classic" - Here's Why
The Aeronca Chief is a great little 2 seater that was built from 1946 through to 1950. There were roughly over 2000 of them built at that time. It is somewhat of an upgrade to the Aeronca Champion that was also built at the same time.
IMPORTANT: When you are looking into buying a Aeronca aircraft you have to realize that the Champion has seating one in front of the other. Where as the Chief has side by side seating. Depending on your personal preference, you might like one or the other. The best thing to do is to do a test flight on the seating that you might like. That way you can rule out if you like it or not...
Reason #1 - The Aeronca Chief Is A Great "Cheap" First Aircraft To Own...
***Just be careful of this one BIG MISTAKE***
The great thing about this model is the fact that it is very cheap to buy. You can probably get a good one for under $20,000 if you look for it. The great thing about this is - there are not a lot for sale at any given time. That is a good thing because if you have pressure on the inventory levels it tends to keep the prices stable.
That way, you should hopefully be able to make a bit of money off of it when you go to sell it. Or at the very least, get what you paid for it. You have to remember that this airplane is in high demand because it is a classic & a lot of pilots like to buy them to restore them and then sit on them for years or decades.
***WATCH OUT*** Stay away from models that have been renovated & restored and you can't verify the source of the work. Sure it is good that the airplane has a rebuilt engine - but do you know who did it?
Same thing goes for the other restoration work... If you don't know who did the work or can't source the person to see if they are actually a professional, then think twice about buying the model you are looking at.
Reason #2 - It Is Very Economical To Own...
(Here's a great little "hidden benifit to owning this aircraft...)
The reported fuel burn of the Aeronca Chief is around 4.5 gallons per hour. That is not a lot of fuel for a small airplane! A lot of single engine airplanes are well over 10 gallons per hour. Not only that, because Chief's are older, they are much more simple in terms of technology then newer airplanes that you can buy.
SIDENOTE: That means you are not going to have to deal with all the electronic's issues that you would otherwise have to deal with if you were going to get a newer, larger single engine airplane. As well, if your only burning 4.5 gallons per hour on average, your going to be able stay in the air longer and have a lot more fun.
The other hidden benefit of this great little airplane is the fact that you can land it pretty much anywhere that you can get an airplane into. It is a tail dragger which means, if you can find a smooth strip - you should be able to land it. That is a great benefit especially if you are into flying into remote areas.
Reason #3 - Most Pilots Who Buy One, Keep It For A Long Time...
(This is the reason most pilots don't get rid of these airplanes...)
The pilots who own Chief's seem to keep them for what seems like forever. The reason is that they are so cheap to own, that even if you can't fly it anymore a lot of pilots just keep it in the hanger to look at it.
And they also know that over time, there is a good chance this airplane could go up in value. And if they have kept it in good shape over the years, there is a good chance they might do okay financially with it.
That's why you see a number of these up for sale by pilots who don't fly and or see that some of the ones for sale have very little total time on the engine over the last number of years. The pilot who owns it has likely been sitting around looking at it for 5 years before thinking about selling it. (-:
So get out there and see what you can find with this aircraft. You might be able to find a real good one that fits exactly what your looking for...
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