“Climbing into the cockpit of an airplane and taking to the skies is like embarking on a thrilling adventure that awakens the soul and leaves you breathless with a sense of wonder.” - Amelia Earhart
I grew up in the air capital of the world, a term known by an increasing few, slowly fading into history. You couldn’t throw a rock without the risk of hitting an airplane, engineer, pilot, factory worker, or grass field. A unique combination of adventure, grit, opportunity, and a newly accessible frontier that benefited from long flat runways budded up in the midwest that served as a nursery for the modern aviation work we know today. I always wanted to fly and enjoyed watching aviators and the entire ecosystem surrounding them. Being in the sky is something that simply must be experienced, as words fail to convey it properly.
So fast forward several decades into life, and I finally was able to take a big leap forward in that dream. After a lot of determination, hard work, and some wit I bent the stars into alignment to own, operate and fly a small general aviation airplane. I set out for something fun, challenging, classic, and able to mostly explore the Pacific Northwest in the USA.
After searching and exploring many different aircraft I found N1182H, a 1948 Aeronca Sedan 15AC, a timeless gem of an airplane that embodies the spirit of classic aviation. This meticulously crafted four-seat aircraft combines elegance and functionality, harkening back to a time when aviation was sparking to life amongst the general public. As a tailwheel or conventional gear airplane it’s a rewarding flying experience that starts the moment the airplane is untied from the tie downs.
The Aeronca Sedan 15AC showcases a high-wing design, featuring metal skin wings with tubular steel structure and fabric rear empennage that is strong and light yet flexible where it needs to be. Its sleek lines and art deco period look create a striking silhouette that commands attention wherever it goes.
Equipped with a continental C-145-2 which is a six cylinder 145 horsepower horizontally opposed air-cooled engine, the Aeronca Sedan 15AC delivers dependable and smooth performance. With a cruising speed of approximately 85 miles per hour and a range of around 450 miles, it’s a wonderfully balanced cruiser that is aptly named ‘sedan’. The videos belong show my first flight in the airplane, along with a climb out to hear the sounds of the engine.
Step inside the N1182H Aeronca Sedan 15AC and be greeted by a generous and roomy interior that balances comfort and minimalist functionality. With seating for four occupants, including the pilot, this aircraft is perfect for personal adventures, weekend getaways, or even business travel. It has a useful load of around 850 lbs to get a takeoff roll of around 1050ft.
The N1182H Aeronca Sedan 15AC offers a captivating flying experience, combining smooth handling with responsive controls. Its versatility allows you to explore a variety of landing surfaces, be it asphalt, or grass strips, where it feels at home. I’ll post some adventures, learnings, and experiences in the future.