YouTube – Super Decathlon
Max. Speed Vne:
22 ft. 1 in.
32 ft. 0 in.
40 U.S. gals.
The Super Decathlon, from American Champion Aircraft, is certified by the FAA for light aerobatics to + 6 or – 5 G’s.
The wing of the Super Decathlon is large and semi symmetrical. It provides for excellent climb, sufficient lift for flying in high heat and into and out of high altitude airports. Cruise speed of the Super Decathlon is respectable despite the drag of its wing struts.
At cruising speed, the Super Decathlon consumes its fuel at a rate of around 10 gallons an hour. That gives it a range of some 400 miles when starting out with a full 40 gallon fuel capacity.
Although the Super Decathlon does not have flaps, it is capable of flying into and out of relatively rough strips just one thousand feet in length.
The Super Decathlon has a high, wide, comfortable cockpit that is easy to get into from either seat, even for larger pilots. There is a single, right side cabin door through which baggage can be loaded into a small compartment behind the rear seat. Its electrical switches, system and flight controls fall within easy reach.
Professional aerobatic pilots appreciate the Super Decathlon because of its slightly larger size than other aerobatic aircraft and ability to perform aerobatic maneuvers at slower speeds than other aerobatic aircraft. This means it is easier to see and will be in front of air show audiences for more time than other aerobatic aircraft getting the crowds more involved.
Due to the fact that most of air show audiences are not pilots, they may not even appreciate some of the more intricate maneuvers performed by aircraft other than the Super Decathlon. Pilots of the Super Decathlon feel that they will still impress audiences with more conventional maneuvers which are performed at slower speeds.
Flying the Super Decathlon
The Super Decathlon makes a comfortable, excellent aerobatic pilot training aircraft as it requires good energy management and control coordination due to its relative lower power compared with other aerobatic aircraft. It is very stable and easy to fly. However, it is capable of most maneuvers an aerobatic student pilot is willing to try. Its aileron spades lighten the input necessary for rolls while an excellent response to elevator inputs make it easy to pitch into vertical maneuvers.
Visibility in the Super Decathlon is excellent during acrobatic maneuvering. The elevator is used to control trim, directly connected to the stick, although there is a separate trim control for pitch as well.
When flown by an experienced aerobatic pilot, even with its somewhat lower power, the Super Decathlon is capable of maneuvers such as a half vertical roll culminating in a hammerhead off the top, or a double snap on down line.
The fuel and oil system of the Super Decathlon have sufficient capacity for the aircraft to fly continuously inverted for approximately two minutes. In that time a variety of outside maneuvers can be performed, including an outside loop with an outside snap roll at the top.
The Super Decathlon has a stall speed of 46 knots, allowing for comfortable short-field approaches. Hard side slips are easily handled for quick altitude bleed off or maintaining controlled approaches in crosswinds.
Over 6,000 Super Decathlon aircraft have been produced to date.
RC Super Decathlon
Wendell Hostetler has plans for sale for two RC Super Decathlon airplanes. The smaller has a wingspan of 115 in. and is 82 in. long. Power can come from 3 to 6 c.i.d. engines. Weight is approximately 24 lbs.
The larger RC Super Decathlon from Wendell Hostetler’s Plans builds to a 126 3/4 in. wingspan and a length of 89 1/2 in. You will need from 6 to 7 c.i.d. engines to power the approximately 30 lb. airplane.
Pilot RC has an ARF (almost ready to fly) RC Super Decathlon. Wingspan measures 150 in. and length is 102 in. It needs from 80 to 120 cc engines or their electric equivalent. Weight, ready to fly, is around 40 lbs.
Phoenix Model has the RC Super Decathlon for sale as an ARF. It has a 66 in. wingspan and length of 48 1/2 in. Recommended are .46 to .55 two stroke or .52 four stroke or the electric equivalent for power. All up weight is about 7 1/2 lbs.
The Chief Aircraft RC Super Decathlon ARF has a 150 in. wingspan and 101 in. length. Engines can be from 100 to 120 cc. Weight, all up, is around 39 lbs.