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Thread: 7ECA, Champ - 100hp vs 115hp, anyone here experienced both ?

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    7ECA, Champ - 100hp vs 115hp, anyone here experienced both ?

    Considering looking for a project. Wondering if anyone around here had flown both the continental and lycoming versions and could tell me how they compare in performance. I know the o-200 is considerably lighter than the o-235 and a lot of cub guys seem to prefer it due to weight. Not concerned about about the other differences, champ vs spring landing gear, etc. generaly associated with the 2 different models or the costs. looking for empty weight, ground roll, climb rate, cruise speed and such. Thanks !

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    I have flown a 7AC with O-200 and thought it to be a nice aircraft, although I was surprised at its 90 mph cruise.

    The 7ECA seems about 10 mph faster. I personally would opt for spring steel gear - maybe that was the difference - but maintenance on those oleos is getting expensive in their old age.

    And this is opinion - if you like to work on things, get a project. If you like to fly, get one that is airworthy. Far cheaper in the long run, and you can turn it into a project later.
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    d.grimm's Avatar
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    235 cubic inches vs 200 and spring gear vs oleos?
    Newer one all the way.
    Dave

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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    The O-235 has a reputation for durability and making a long TBO w/o lots of parts replacement. Parts for the O-200 may be less durable but less expensive. Oleo gear wears and is costly to maintain. But both designs are great airplanes.

    My 7ECA from 45 yrs ago with O-235 performed well. I've owned and flown Continental's 200 CI engines and they feel underpowered in comparison.

    Gary

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    It's been 20+ years, but I flew both versions on the same day. Density altitude of around 7000 feet at Bozeman MT (approx 4500 feet elevation as I recall).

    The o-200 version took almost 5 minutes to get to pattern altitude. 200 fpm to start with and slowed down from there. It took forever to climb 2000 fee agl.

    The o-235 version seemed to get up there a little faster than a C 152. 2 FAA sized adults and half fuel in both cases.

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    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Another Cubber View Post
    Considering looking for a project. Wondering if anyone around here had flown both the continental and lycoming versions and could tell me how they compare in performance. I know the o-200 is considerably lighter than the o-235 and a lot of cub guys seem to prefer it due to weight. Not concerned about about the other differences, champ vs spring landing gear, etc. generaly associated with the 2 different models or the costs. looking for empty weight, ground roll, climb rate, cruise speed and such. Thanks !
    An early Champ 7CCM on floats either Pks or Edo will eat a 7ECA with 0235 for breakfast. The empty weight of a 1965 ECA would be approximately 200lbs more than the CCM with either
    C90 or O200 engine. Or CCM= 850lbs vs 7ECA=1050 on wheels. However Oleo gear should be your LAST choice for off airport or ski flying. Even when properly maintained Oleo gear has a horrible history "horrible history" out in the weeds. The spring steel gear is about bulletproof if mounted correctly.
    Years ago in the early days at Greenville Seaplane Convention, a good 90 Champ was always the airplane; that would make a PA11 owner nervious to compeate against.
    A 7ECA would have only had the Cub guys yawning........

    Sent from my LM-X210 using SuperCub.Org mobile app

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    I appreciate the responses. Maybe should have mentioned champs too. Thought the eca's would be very similar except for engines and an easy way to compare. Would love to find an affordable project or flying pa-11 or 18-95 but have all bit given up. I'm a full time A&P IA so im strong on labor and part scrounging but tight on budget. Looks like a tricked out champ variant would be the best stick and rudder, tandem seat, "damn i wish it was a cub" grass strip machine i could get myself into at the moment.Recently saw a couple cosmetic mods that made me dislike the champ less. Interested in any other champ or citabria mods anyone considers essential.

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    supercrow's Avatar
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    An aircraft I always thought was underated was the Champ Challenger (7GCB maybe; don't quote me on the model, can't remember for sure) It was a 150 HP Champ with flaps, and with the right prop was a damn fine performer. There was one in this area a couple years ago and I think ended up in Texas and needed everything, but fits a rebuilders budget. Many years ago there was one on my pond on 1800's and a cruise prop and it still would go. On 2000's with the right prop I always wanted to try one. Don't know how many they built, but once in a while you find one. Just food for thought.

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    Scouter's Avatar
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    I have time in both, more in a 7eca with a 115 than the 0-200 version. My dad got rid of the 0200 version early on before it killed someone. Way too heavy an airplane for that motor. We should have sent it to the professer of lightness in Cooperstown for a session with him. You would have to take 200 lbs out of those sleds to even start. Earle is spot on about those dreadful oleos, something Champion got from polish farmers who built airplane suspensions.
    If you live at sea level and fly out of 6000 feet of pavement you can get around by yourself. A really hot day and at altitudes that plane won't fly. There can't be many of those left in the fleet?
    a really nice light 7EC would eat those ECAs for lunch
    The 115hp version was a decent ship. Had a nice climb prop, and still cruised 110. Not a great climber but not bad
    flew it on skis some.
    0200 is a devil ship����
    jim

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    My 7EC with a C-90 and 46 pitch Sensenich weighs 1025. My 200# and another that size can go fine. But I think if it weighed any more I'd want more HP.
    You have to stay low longer on takeoff before the 'Hand of God' arrives. More hp is better on Champions in my experience.

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    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scouter View Post
    I have time in both, more in a 7eca with a 115 than the 0-200 version. My dad got rid of the 0200 version early on before it killed someone. Way too heavy an airplane for that motor. We should have sent it to the professer of lightness in Cooperstown for a session with him. You would have to take 200 lbs out of those sleds to even start. Earle is spot on about those dreadful oleos, something Champion got from polish farmers who built airplane suspensions.
    If you live at sea level and fly out of 6000 feet of pavement you can get around by yourself. A really hot day and at altitudes that plane won't fly. There can't be many of those left in the fleet?
    a really nice light 7EC would eat those ECAs for lunch
    The 115hp version was a decent ship. Had a nice climb prop, and still cruised 110. Not a great climber but not bad
    flew it on skis some.
    0200 is a devil ship����
    jim
    Jim,
    Here is the same basic plane Reid is refering to a 7GC.....the B signified "flaps" this is after he did some tuning
    on it . See if you think it performed ok?
    https://youtu.be/lkdAmDGcD8U

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    O235 low compression cylinders are getting hard to find and are about $400 more than O320 cylinders.


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    cubdriver2's Avatar
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    I had a nice lite CCM C90-8 Mac 7341 prop on 1400s. Was a great 1 up floaplane and a would climb like a horny mountain goat on skis and wheels. The one Ray bought up by Scouter climbs even better.. I loved the oleo gear, only time it sucks is in a strong crosswind. Cheapest performance airplane out there.

    Glenn
    "Optimism is going after Moby Dick in a rowboat and taking the tartar sauce with you!"
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    Im familiar with the the 7GC. Worked on one last year i could have snagged but still had the "cub or nothing" mentality. The 90hp pa-11 sold me on the lighter is better and is the reason i was curious about the o-200 in a champ or citabria. Don't necessarily need a lot of performance, something with 400+ lbs usefull load that will get in and out of 1500 ft grass strips at 1000 msl for not a lot more than a warrior is worth. Sounds like the 100hp eca is out. Have worked on oleos, don't prefer them but could live with them.

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    Oh, and dying to try flying floats !

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    So you just couldn't find the 11 or 18-95?

    Here's a thought: find a stock J3 with either a 90 or an 85 Stroker and a wing tank. Leave it otherwise stock. $45 grand for a nice one with low time engine. You will have fun, and when you sell, you will actually make money.

    I bought my first Cub for $1200, my second for $25K, and the J4 fully restored for $22K. I am not thinking of selling any of them, but $30 grand would tempt me for the worn out 85 Cub.

    But back to the Champ - the club has a 7BCCM (I think) - 90 hp, and we call it the "piglet". It also has a 160hp 7GCAA and that thing flies every darn day! Club members seem to like it better than the Super Cub. It is comfortable, attractive, and goes straight up!

    Wanna know why we call the 90 hp the "piglet?"

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    Ok, I’ll bite, why do you call it “the piglet”?


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    'There can be no liberty unless there is economic liberty".
    Margaret Thatcher

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    I've owned a 7ECA with the O-200 for three years now. I bought it to have to fly while building the Bearhawk Patrol, and because it was light enough that I could fit my oversized butt and a 200-lb instructor (is there any other kind?) and still have UL to carry enough fuel to do some useful training. Empty weight is 1027, max gross is 1650, so I've got 623 lbs of UL.

    At gross weight, we see about 200-300 fpm (bumpy air) on hot summer days at near sea level (DA ~ 4000'). Solo, I see closer to 350-400 fpm. Cruise at 5000 ft and 2400 rpm is about 85 mph. Turning 2500 rpm gets about 88-90 mph. Running 2600 rpm gets me about 92-93 mph, and 2700 rpm gets about 94-95 mph. Diminishing returns as you add power / increase fuel consumption. And ALL of those numbers are substantially lower than my performance estimates for a "new" 7ECA with O-200. (I started with the O-235's "book" numbers, and used standard aviation rules of thumb to calculate revised "book" numbers, since there is absolutely no operator's manual, pilot's guide, or any other documentation for the Continental powered 7ECAs...)

    But then, my lower-than-book numbers make sense, because my prop has been "worked on" quite a bit. While it's still (barely) airworthy, it is absolutely NOT as efficient as a new one would be. I'd love to replace it with a more modern profile propeller, but McCauley no longer sells the specified propeller, and the O-200 model 7ECA has no STC'ed props available that I can find, and my IA is hesitant reluctant to sign it off if I replaced it with one of Sensenich's newer wood props, even though the TCDS says "Any other approved fixed pitch wood propeller which is eligible for the engine power and speed and which meets the diameter and static rpm limits specified under 'Propeller Limits' for the pertinent model." I suspect I'd be a LOT happier with a Sensenich than with the ancient McCauley 1A100ACM69 in its current condition!

    Given all of the above, and if I were given the chance again, I would still buy the plane. I've learned a lot flying it, and it's a lot of fun to fly. And best of all, it's cheap to keep, and cheap to fly, and insurance is very affordable.
    Jim Parker
    '65 Champion 7ECA - Flying
    ?? Bearhawk Patrol - Building

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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Jim I'd contact this DER Terry Bowden (http://faa-der.blogspot.com). He may be able to assist you in sourcing a propeller suitable for your older aircraft. It may cost something for his time but what are your other options, especially if your IA's reluctance can be unloaded by another source of data.

    Gary

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    Sounds like im looking for a little more go power than the o-200 7eca. Not sure what the issue with one of the certified wood props on your plane. Not cheap, but i would contact MT. Quite a few options on their tcds. They could whip up something that would likely outperform the sensenich.
    Talked to a local today that has some time in a champ with o-235 says it will do everything i want and more. Can't imagine it would have any useful load. Anyone know what these weigh ? On the sunject of weight, why do the citabrias weigh so much more than champs ? Is it mostly interior, instruments, and electrical ? I know they're supposedly "beefed up", but wheres the beef ?

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    The 11's and 95's are getting scarce and costly. Seen ads for flying project 18-95's in the past for less than 40k. Got some time in a 90hp 11, convinced myself I didn't need 150 hp, and havnt seen an 18-95 since. Thought about picking up a j3 and modding it to be more like an 11 but seemed like a lot of work and money to get half what i want. Hence the quest for something champ/citabria in the 30-35k range. Too bad taylorcrafts aren't tandem seating. But then they would probably be as hard to get as a cub.

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    The Taylorcraft L2 is tandem, and with spoilers it is an honorary J3.

    Sadly, most of the Cub 95s got converted to 150/flaps. Boo!

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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Champs might weigh mid-upper 800# Citabria might weigh 1100 plus or minus. Cover jobs got heavy on the latter and interiors grew plush and carpeting. Probably better heavier steel tubing, bigger fuel tanks, and spring gear does weigh something. Spring gear has its moments but nothing wrong with an older Champ with a hot engine and the right prop.

    7EC Manual: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/97...mpion-7ec.html
    7ECA: http://www.heilmannpub.com/N8746V_POH.pdf

    Gary
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    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    You gotta realize that the balancing act is a very fine line with these little airplanes. A 90hp Champ or Cub is a great
    airplane with one person in it, and even that is directly tied
    to the weight of the pilot; I knew two fellas years ago that both owned PA11 90's. One guy was about 5'5 and weighed 145lbs, the other guy was 6'1 and weighed 240lbs. Of course there was no comparison in how they
    performed in ANY conditions. Ditto on dropping a 250lber
    into the back seat. Even thought a PA11 will haul 500lbs of
    People and full tanks (illegally) it will take a bit to get it too do it. And the real difference is ROC on the under 100hp crowd........ Hot day, high humidity, no wind. Same short
    pond thats easy with a 90hp Cub or Champ at 50 degrees
    dry air, 5kt breeze on nose, may be completely impossible at 80 degrees, 90% humidity, flat calm. We used to trap dozens of places that were easy spots on skis, that you could only ever go into on floats if everything was perfect.
    The same J3/90 that is a total rocket ship light, will quickly be a total dog, as soon as you take the "light" out of it.......... When your under powered, weight is Every thing.

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    1965 Graduated from High School weight 147
    1969 Received CFI weight 147
    2019 Still CFI weight 144
    Thank you

    Quote Originally Posted by JimParker256 View Post
    I've owned a 7ECA with the O-200 for three years now. I bought it to have to fly while building the Bearhawk Patrol, and because it was light enough that I could fit my oversized butt and a 200-lb instructor (is there any other kind?) and still have UL to carry enough fuel to do some useful training. Empty weight is 1027, max gross is 1650, so I've got 623 lbs of UL.

    At gross weight, we see about 200-300 fpm (bumpy air) on hot summer days at near sea level (DA ~ 4000'). Solo, I see closer to 350-400 fpm. Cruise at 5000 ft and 2400 rpm is about 85 mph. Turning 2500 rpm gets about 88-90 mph. Running 2600 rpm gets me about 92-93 mph, and 2700 rpm gets about 94-95 mph. Diminishing returns as you add power / increase fuel consumption. And ALL of those numbers are substantially lower than my performance estimates for a "new" 7ECA with O-200. (I started with the O-235's "book" numbers, and used standard aviation rules of thumb to calculate revised "book" numbers, since there is absolutely no operator's manual, pilot's guide, or any other documentation for the Continental powered 7ECAs...)

    But then, my lower-than-book numbers make sense, because my prop has been "worked on" quite a bit. While it's still (barely) airworthy, it is absolutely NOT as efficient as a new one would be. I'd love to replace it with a more modern profile propeller, but McCauley no longer sells the specified propeller, and the O-200 model 7ECA has no STC'ed props available that I can find, and my IA is hesitant reluctant to sign it off if I replaced it with one of Sensenich's newer wood props, even though the TCDS says "Any other approved fixed pitch wood propeller which is eligible for the engine power and speed and which meets the diameter and static rpm limits specified under 'Propeller Limits' for the pertinent model." I suspect I'd be a LOT happier with a Sensenich than with the ancient McCauley 1A100ACM69 in its current condition!

    Given all of the above, and if I were given the chance again, I would still buy the plane. I've learned a lot flying it, and it's a lot of fun to fly. And best of all, it's cheap to keep, and cheap to fly, and insurance is very affordable.
    Likes TurboBeaver liked this post

  26. #26
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supercrow View Post
    An aircraft I always thought was underated was the Champ Challenger (7GCB maybe; don't quote me on the model, can't remember for sure) It was a 150 HP Champ with flaps, and with the right prop was a damn fine performer. There was one in this area a couple years ago and I think ended up in Texas and needed everything, but fits a rebuilders budget. Many years ago there was one on my pond on 1800's and a cruise prop and it still would go. On 2000's with the right prop I always wanted to try one. Don't know how many they built, but once in a while you find one. Just food for thought.
    I used to own a Challenger 7GCB serial #14. Loved it! After I tweaked it a little bit, it would do anything and go anywhere with a stock 150 PA-18. Changed the tires to 9:00-6 (I think they were 9:00), the prop to a 1A175GM8046 and "fixed" the wing tips by installing a full sized rib at the tip with Ferguson droop tips. The wing tips improved the aileron feel and response tremendously. Flew it on wheels, skis and EDO 2000 floats. This is the same set of floats which are on my Cub today. Today when I look at some of the places where I landed, I just scratch my head with wonderment. They just don't look big enough for any airplane. It would do a little better on skis than on wheels. On floats it would haul anything which was stuffed into it. I used it to give seaplane passenger rides. Had four small people in the back seat once. Max gross weight? What's that? It would go. Cruise speed was 103 with that prop no matter what the landing gear was. The wing is the same as the 7GCBC and has more span than the other models by few inches. (In case you didn't know, I'm a big fan of increased wing span). The only thing that I disliked about it was that the engine is so close to the firewall that you need an offset screwdriver to take the point cover off of the mags. The later 7GCBCs moved the engine forward. The fuselage was very flexible when on floats in rough water (the door would pop open). The 7GCBCs seemed to be stiffer. Perhaps they increased the wall thickness on some tubing? I don't know.

    A Cub does feel better during low speed handling conditions.

    You can't go wrong with any model Champ if you're wallet limited.

    Supercrow is right, if you can find one that is in your budget, grab it.
    N1PA
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    Cub junkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bozo View Post
    1965 Graduated from High School weight 147
    1969 Received CFI weight 147
    2019 Still CFI weight 144
    Thank you
    Are you bragging or complaining ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cub junkie View Post
    Are you bragging or complaining ?
    I think he was reacting to my "200-lb instructor (is there any other kind?)" comment.

    Hell, if I still weighed what I did in high school, I'd be proud of it, too! (Though my numbers would be a good bit higher - I played football, basketball, and soccer at 192-198.)

    Good for you, Bozo!
    Jim Parker
    '65 Champion 7ECA - Flying
    ?? Bearhawk Patrol - Building

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cub junkie View Post
    Are you bragging or complaining ?
    Neither one.

  30. #30
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    My Dad started spraying with champs in the sixties. He had one with a c90 and one with a o235 he said the o235 champ was a real dog and the 90 would fly circles around it. The o235 was the 115hp


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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    One can say that a particular airplane with an 0-235 is better or worse than one with an 0-200 or C-90, yet when they change the loaded CG and or switch to a different prop their opinion could change. What I'm saying is that there are many combinations, some are doggy and some are super performers. Unless we know the details of the differences, we really are not in a position to evaluate which is better.
    N1PA

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    Is the O-235 the one that is difficult to get parts for?

    I got a neighbor his license in a 115 Citabria with oleos. It did what we asked - not at all bad for a $25K airplane.

  33. #33
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Light Champ with 200 cubes like a C-90 or O-200, against O-235. Best prop for both and right tires for angle. Pounds per HP wins the race with the same wing. Get rid of the 2-300# Gorilla in a standard 7ECA and it could compete.

    Gary

  34. #34
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    A note about the 7GCB. Mine had been used for power line patrol in Ohio so had several thousand hours down low cruising. I found that the fuel tanks had developed microscopic cracks (stains) where the baffles were spot welded and that the ribs within the prop wash also had developed cracks. Beyond that I don't recall any significant issues which needed repair when I recovered the entire airplane. I can't vouch for the other later models, perhaps there has been some changes in this area which prevent these issues?
    N1PA

  35. #35
    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    A note about the 7GCB. Mine had been used for power line patrol in Ohio so had several thousand hours down low cruising. I found that the fuel tanks had developed microscopic cracks (stains) where the baffles were spot welded and that the ribs within the prop wash also had developed cracks. Beyond that I don't recall any significant issues which needed repair when I recovered the entire airplane. I can't vouch for the other later models, perhaps there has been some changes in this area which prevent these issues?
    Pete,
    There was alot of concern over the Buzz Wagner STC to upgrade all the early 7AC/DC/CCM etc to 0235s.
    All of them showed early on that the trailing edge material was far toooo
    thin and flex way more with the increased HP. If you watched the top and back of the wing during a runup it
    looked ridiculous how much it was moving.........on the later 50s models,
    They were fine.

    Sent from my LM-X210 using SuperCub.Org mobile app

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurboBeaver View Post
    Pete,
    There was alot of concern over the Buzz Wagner STC to upgrade all the early 7AC/DC/CCM etc to 0235s.
    All of them showed early on that the trailing edge material was far toooo
    thin and flex way more with the increased HP. If you watched the top and back of the wing during a runup it
    looked ridiculous how much it was moving.........on the later 50s models,
    They were fine.

    Sent from my LM-X210 using SuperCub.Org mobile app
    I owned a 7AC-CONV with the Buzz Wagner STC. It had the O-235 and I flew it on Bushwheels and PK1500 floats. I enjoyed the plane immensely! Great performance and it would carry a load. Regret selling it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WWhunter View Post
    I owned a 7AC-CONV with the Buzz Wagner STC. It had the O-235 and I flew it on Bushwheels and PK1500 floats. I enjoyed the plane immensely! Great performance and it would carry a load. Regret selling it.
    Any recollection of what the legal useful load was ? Can't imagine one being under 1000 lbs wich wouldn't leave much.

  38. #38
    WWhunter's Avatar
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    Empty was 891. GW was 1300. I think I actually had a few more pounds UL when on floats.
    The plane had a starter, but no electrical system. Small battery with solar charger on it. Kept at a dock all summer and never needed a charge. Flew it at least twice a week for the summers. Yes, still miss it!
    Likes Brandsman liked this post

  39. #39

    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    short final
    Posts
    36
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    I've had the chance to check out a couple flavors of champ and i give up. Of all my favorite was a L-16, had a lot going for it but none have the nimble, responsive, strapped in feel of a cub. I'm looking for a j3. When I originally thought about the 7eca its limited acro ability was appealing. Not that i do any, but might be fun to learn loops, rolls and what not. Maybe i can find a clip wing to try on.

  40. #40

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    6,529
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    Do it the way I did. j3 for the pattern, Super Decathlon for inverted flight and limited x-c.

    If I needed to go more than 500 miles it would be a Mooney 201.

    Airplanes are always a compromise.

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