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Aeronca C-2 Sport

In 1925 a craftsman John Dohse, was conducting taxi tests on the C-2 when the plane leapt into the air, and for the first time since 1903, a plane, pilot and powerplant all shared their first flight.  

Jean Roche, arrived in the US from France in 1906 and worked for Standard Airplane until 1917 when he became Chief of Aircraft Design for the U.S. Army Air Corp. a post he would hold for the next 43 years.  Roche’s desire to build his own powered glider would lead to the production of the C-2, the design was sold to the Aeronautical Corp. of America, later abbreviated to Aeronca.

The “Flying Bathtub” is an open cockpit, single seat, monoplane, with a triangular shaped fuselage made of steel tube and fabric, with wood and fabric wings. In 1930, the aircraft sold for about a year’s wages, $1300.00 or could be rented for $4.00 per hour, with the cost of gas ond oil about 1 penny per mile, it was a very economical and affordable aircraft for the common man.  

The C-2 was right for the times, flown by stunt pilot, Forrest “Iron Hat” Johnson it was the hit of airshows around the country, Jimmy Doolittle and Roscoe Turner flew and praised it.  The aircraft was remarkable for a two-cylinder achieving speeds of 85MPH and would glide for 11 miles (engine off) for each mile of altitude.  More than 160 C-2’s sold during the height of the great depression. 

Acquired by Yanks in 2008, this maybe the last airworthy C-2 that exists today.

The Aeronautical Corporation of America

The Aeronautical Corporation of America was incorporated under the laws of the State of Ohio, in November, 1928, and was the first American company to build and market a truly light aeroplane. The original Aeronca monoplane weighed but 398 pounds empty. In 1931, the Aeronca C-2 held the World's Height Record for Light Aeroplanes in Category "C," and established an unofficial record of twenty-six hours sustained flight and had several long-distance flights of 800 miles or more to its credit.

During 1931, Aeronca manufactured six different versions of the original C-2, and all were approved by the Department of Commerce. These models, all of which are similar in general arrangement and construction, were:

Aeronca C-2 Deluxe:

  • A single-seater with the 30 hp Aeronca E-107-A engine.
  • It was similar to the original C-2, except that a number of improvements were made, including a wide tread landing gear with Airwheels.

Aeronca PC-2:

  • The type C-2 De Luxe fitted with twin floats.

Aeronca C-2N:

  • The type C-2 De Luxe with the 36 hp Aeronca E-113 engine.
  • This model may be converted into a seaplane.

Aeronca C-3 Duplex:

  • A two-seater with side-by-side seating.
  • 36 hp Aeronca E-113 engine.

Aeronca PC-3:

  • The type C-3 Duplex fitted with twin floats.

Aeronca C-1:

  • A new single-seat model.
  • 36 hp E-113 engine.
  • Wing area of 115 ft.² (10.68 m²), as compared with 142.2 ft.² (13.2 m²) of the other Aeronca models
  • Designed to be sufficiently strong for stunt flying.
  • May be converted into a seaplane.

Specifications and Performance Data (C-2)


  • Single-seat light monoplane.


  • High-wing wire-braced monoplane.
  • Wings, of Clark "Y" section, in two sections, attached at the center-line to the single top longeron of the fuselage.
  • They are wire-braced for both to a cabane and below to the bottom fuselage longerons.
  • Structure consists of two solid spruce spars, with reinforcing blocks at the points of attachment of the bracing wires and at the roots, solid spruce or bass compression ribs and ordinary ribs, double wire drag-bracing, the whole being covered with fabric.
  • The ailerons are entirely of duralumin construction and are interchangeable.


  • Welded steel-tube structure, with five nearly-parallel longerons forward and three from the back of seat aft to the tail-post.
  • The section of the fuselage forward is square and aft triangular.
  • The single top longeron acts as the anchorage for the wings forward and forms the apex of the triangular-section fuselage aft.
  • The two mid-longerons which form the top of the forward section in the region of the cockpit terminate aft of the cockpit.

Tail Unit:

  • Normal monoplane type.
  • Welded steel-tube framework covered with fabric.
  • The fin is built integral with the fuselage.
  • The right and left elevators and tail-planes are interchangeable.
  • The tail-plane is adjustable on the ground.


  • Divided type.
  • Consists of two independent streamlined steel-tube tripods bolted to the fuselage.
  • To these tripods are attached short stub-axles, on which are mounted Goodyear Airwheels.
  • Twin floats may be attached to the fuselage by eight struts and two wire fittings.
  • The landing gear attaching points are used for four of the struts and the two wire fittings.
  • The floats are metal-covered, are of the round-topped and curved Vee-bottom type, with five watertight compartments.

Power Plant:

  • One 30 hp Aeronca E-107-A or 36 hp Aeronca E-113 two-cylinder horizontally-opposed air-cooled engine.
  • Engine suspended on three points on a welded steel-tube mounting built integral with the fuselage.
  • Main fuel tank holding 8 U.S. gallons standard to all machines.


  • Open cockpit under the wings, seating one.
  • Transparent panels in the wing-roots give upward vision.
  • Large windscreen in front of cockpit.
  • Luggage compartment behind seat.
  • Control column and rudder bar in single-seat model, but two-seat type has rudder pedals.
  • Cables and pulleys are used throughout the control system.


  • Span: 36 ft (10.9 m)
  • Length: 20 ft (6.1 m)
  • Height: 7 ft 6 in (2.28 m)
  • Wing Area: 142.2 ft.² (13.2 m²)

Weights and Loadings:

  • Weight empty: 426 pounds (193.4 kg)
  • Petrol and oil: 54 pounds (24.4 kg)
  • Pilot: 170 pounds (77 kg)
  • Baggage: 50 pounds (22.7 kg)
  • Weight loaded: 700 pounds (317.5 kg)
  • Wing loading: 4.92 lbs/ft.² (24 kg/m²)
  • Power loading: 26.9 lbs/hp (12.2 kg/hp)


  • Maximum speed: 75 mph (120 kph)
  • Cruising speed: 60 mph (96 kph)
  • Landing speed: 30 mph (48 kph)
  • Initial rate of climb: 550 ft/min (168 m/min)
  • Service ceiling: 16,500 ft (5,032.5 m)
  • Cruising range: 240 miles (384 km)


  • Photos, John Shupek, Copyright © 2009 Yanks Air Museum. All Rights Reserved
  • Grey, C.G. and Bridgman, Leonard, "Aeronca: The Aeronca Monoplane." Jane's All The World's Aircraft 1931. 1931. pp.242c-243c
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