LSA Antique Golden Age Aeronca C65 Chief

From the Light Sport Aircraft area of the popular barnstormers.com aviation website is this 1938 Aeronca C65 Chief, 65hp side-by-side two seater. That thrifty 4 gallons per hour mill is stone reliable. And stone age too, no electrics so starting is by the Armstrong method.

That’s a custom paint job using tints similar to the stock factory paint jobs of the era but styled quite unlike 1938 designs which were used to camouflage the rather portly lines of the type.

That polished wood dash may be too bright for actual use, but wow.

Nice storage.

Typical weird ass vintage trim crank controls of the era, counter intuitive compared with modern trim wheel controls.

What a beauty from the golden age of light flying and still airworthy for as much fun as a peep can experience while clothed, for around $15,000 usd – asking.

Why the good deal, you ask? Well, the fine economical little engine is hand cranked so there is that hazard added to the taildragger danger. And most of the pilots of these old LSA, no-medical-exam-needed, very light aircraft are also old and are giving it up. Kids these days like video games.

And while I admire it as kinetic art and it is a fine aircraft it wouldn’t work for me either. For one thing the pilots and crews were smaller than most of us in this century and the accommodations reflect this.

And can you see out of this airplane? No, you cannot. Like peeping out a letterbox or playing Flight Simulator on a cell phone. Not safe enough for the FAA’s ‘see and be seen’. And, for me, more nerves than fun.

I want to see both the ground and all around me for enjoyment: and to decrease that midair anxiety I always felt flying Cessna 150 / 152 / 140 / 172 type high-wingers – because I cannot bleeding see all around me. How can I see someone coming at me and how, if she’s in another flying letterbox, can she see me? See and be seen? How?

Also no ballistic safety chute like in many modern builds. Chromo steel can be tops for toughness but 65 hp craft of that era needed lightness and modern planes are stronger and safer. Very ancient welds done by many mechanics also comes to mind.

These are covered with cloth, best for lightness, but a pricey hangar is needed because the cheap tie-down parking is under the sun. All these disadvantages won’t matter to the right new owner though, I’m betting. If someone had interior storage it probably is a money maker too at that price. A piece of history.

All images copyrighted by barnstormers.com or the aircraft’s owner.

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