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Published on Sep 27, 2009
Owner George Jenkins flys his Aeronca C3 "Bathtub" around Merritt Field. What a fun aircraft. When the pilot sits very low in this cockpit, landing is made easy. This seating position gave rise to the expression flying by the seat of your pants. The C3 is also responsible for making private aviation affordable. It was the first really successful light plane on the market. Fuel economy was also affordable at 20 miles per gallon. Getting this aircraft in and out of small fields is easy with a 70 foot takeoff roll, 35 mph landing speed and a 12,000 foot ceiling. Aeronca also offered the C3 as a float plane (PC3 P stands for Pontoon) which only added to the flexibility of this aircraft. In 1932, Aeronca offered detachable cockpit doors with inset windows. The panels could easily be taken off for wonderful summer flying or put back on for winter or bad weather flying. 1935 saw the end of production for the Aeronca C3 because it no longer met the ever increasingly stringent Airworthiness requirement for production in the United States. Some of the now illegal features are the 3/32-inch control wires, external wire bracing instead of strut bracing, fabric right up to the firewall, a single-ignition engine and no requirement for an airspeed indicator. A grandfather clause in the Federal Regulations allows these airplanes to continue flying even thought they can no longer be manufactured.