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Fighter / Attack:
   Bell P-39 Airacobra
   Bell P-63 Kingcobra
   Brewster Buffalo
   Chance-Vought F-4U Corsair
   Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
   Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
   Douglas A-1 Skyraider
   Douglas A-26 Invader
   Douglas SBD Dauntless
   Fairey Firefly
   Focke-Wulf Fw 190
   Grumman F4F Wildcat
   Grumman F6F Hellcat
   Grumman F7F Tigercat
   Grumman F8F Bearcat
   Grumman TBF Avenger
   Hawker Hurricane
   Hawker Sea Fury
   Lockheed P-38 Lightning
   Messerschmitt Bf-109
   Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen
   North American P-51 Mustang

   Polikarpov I-16
   Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
   Supermarine Spitfire
   Yakovlev Yak-3
   Yakovlev Yak-9


Trainers:
  
Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan (C-45)
   Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
   Boeing / Stearman PT-17

   Commonwealth CA-25 Winjeel
   Commonwealth CA-1 Wirraway
   DeHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk
   DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth
   Fairchild PT-19 Cornell
   Hunting / Percival Provost
   Meyers OTW
   Nanchang CJ-6
   Naval Aircraft Factory N3N
   N. Am. BT-9 / BT-14 / Yale
   N. Am. T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard
   N. American T-28 Trojan

   Piaggio P149
   Ryan PT-22 Recruit

   Scottish Aviation T1 Bulldog
   Vultee BT-13 Valiant
   Yakovlev Yak-11
   Yakovlev Yak-18
   Yakovlev Yak-52


Bombers:
   Avro Lancaster
   Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
   Boeing B-29 Superfortress
   Bristol Blenheim / Bolingbroke
   Consolidated B-24 Liberator
   Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

   Douglas A-3 Skywarrior
   DeHavilland Mosquito
   Fairey Swordfish
   Heinkel He-111 / Casa 2.111

   Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon / Ventura
   Martin B-26 Marauder
   North American B-25 Mitchell


Transports:
   Beechcraft C-45 (AT-11)

   Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (KC-97)
   Curtiss C-46 Commando
   Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota
   Douglas C-54 Skymaster

   Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
   Fairchild C-123 Provider
   Grumman C-1 Trader (S-2)
   Lockheed C-60 Lodestar
   Lockheed C-69 Constellation


Utility / Observation / Special Duty:
   Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
   Aeronca L-16 Grasshopper
   Antonov AN-2 Colt
   Auster AOP 6/9
   Avro 652 Anson
   Avro Shackleton
   British Taylorcraft I-V
   Cessna L-19 / O-1 Bird Dog
   Cessna O-2 Super Skymaster
   Cessna T-50 / UC-78 Bobcat
   Consolidated PBY Catalina

   DeHavilland U-6A / L-20 Beaver
   Fairey Gannet
   Fairey Swordfish
   Fieseler Fi156 Storch
   Grumman S-2 Tracker (C-1)
   Grumman HU-16 Albatross
   Grumman OV-1 Mohawk
   Junkers Ju 52/3m

   Lockheed P2V Neptune
   Max Holste M.H.1521 Broussard
   Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun

   Noorduyn UC-64 Norseman
   North American L-17 Navion
   N. Am./ Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
   Piper L-4 Grasshopper
   Stinson L-5 Sentinel
   Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper
   Westland Lysander


Jets:
   Aero L-29 Delfin
   Aero L-39 Albatros
   Aermacchi MB-326
   Avro Vulcan
   BAC Strikemaster
   Blackburn (BAC) Buccaneer
   Canadair Tutor
   Cessna A-37 Dragonfly
   DeHavilland Vampire
   DeHavilland Venom
   English Electric Canberra
   English Electric Lightning
   Folland Gnat
   Fouga CM-170 Magister
   Gloster Meteor
   Grumman F9F Panther
   Hawker Hunter
   Hispano HA-200 Saeta
   Hunting Jet Provost
   Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
   Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
   McDonnell-Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
   McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom
   Messerschmitt Me-262
   Mikoyan MiG-15
   Mikoyan MiG-17
   Mikoyan MiG-21
   N. Am. F-86 Sabre / FJ-4 Fury
   N. Am. F-100 Super Sabre
   N. Am. / Rockwell T-2 Buckeye
   Northrop T-38 Talon / F-5
   PZL / WSK TS-11 Iskra
   Saab J35 Draken
   Soko G-2A Galeb
   Temco Pinto & Super Pinto


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Aeronca L-16 Grasshopper

(Variants/Other Names: Aeronca 7BCM / 7CCM Champ



L-16 N4628E at Brodhead, Wisconsin, USA in July 2011.
Photo by Buck Wyndham

History: Like its wartime Aeronca L-3 parent, the L-16 was a US civilian aircraft in military colors. During WWII, the Aeronca 65TC Defender had been pressed into service as the O-58, performing light observation, utility and liaison duties. It was later redesigned, designated the L-3, and served in many theaters and in many diverse roles.

After the war, when US civilian aircraft production resumed, Aeronca upgraded and redesigned its prewar designs into the 65-hp Model 7AC Champ. The Champ quickly became one of the the most popular training aircraft of the post-war pleasure-flying boom. The 7AC, in turn, was soon upgraded to the 7BC, with a larger engine, and was subsequently produced for the US Army under the designation L-16A (85-hp engine) and L-16B (90-hp engine). It served in the Army throughout the Korean War, where it performed many of the same roles it had in WWII: Target-spotting, observation, general utility, and even rescue.

In the late 1950s, quite a few L-16s returned to civilian life, where most of them shed their wartime paint and resumed life as 7BCM or 7CCM Champs, teaching primary students to fly all across the US. Still others went on to serve in the US Civil Air Patrol, a civilian search-and-rescue arm of the US Air Force. As the years have passed, a few have recently been restored to their L-16 livery in commemoration of their unique history. The lineage of these versatile and honest airplanes is such that they do not attract a great deal of attention at warbird gatherings, yet their place in military aviation is undeniable and appreciated by a growing number of enthusiasts and owners.

Nicknames: Grasshopper

Specifications (L-16B):
        Engine: One 90-hp Continental C-90-8F or Continental O-205-1 flat-four piston engine
        Weight: Empty 870 lbs., Max Takeoff 1,300 lbs.
        Wing Span: 35ft. 1.75in.
        Length: 21ft. 5.75in.
        Height: 7ft. 0in.
        Performance:
            Maximum Speed: 135 mph
            Ceiling: 12,000 ft.
            Range: 400 miles
        Armament: None

Number Built: Unknown, probably 250+

Number Still Airworthy: Unknown. Probably more than 50 Aeronca L-16s still exist, but many have been converted back to 7BC (or even 7AC) configuration.

Links:
Aeronca Aviators Club
Arkansas Air Museum L-16
Army Wings and Wheels -- An L-bird event in June 2007.
Canadian Bushhawks Liaison Squadron -- Airshow formation display team.
Citabria Owners Group -- Supports owners of Aeronca wartime models.
International Liaison Pilot and Aircraft Association (ILPA)
L-16 Flight Instruction in Maryland, USA
National Aeronca Association (USA)
Rag Wings and Radials -- Operators of an L-16.
Red Sky Aviation -- L-16 and 7AC rentals in Livermore, California.

Books: Browse a selection of books about liaison aircraft.

 

 



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All text and photos Copyright 2011 The Doublestar Group, unless otherwise noted.
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