L-16B “Grasshopper”

BY AERONCA

The Army purchased a series of light aircraft for observation in 1948 and 1949, among them was the Aeronca L-16 “Grasshopper”.  These were the post-war Model 7BC Aeronca Champions and had few changes from the basic L-3 design used in WWII.  Most were allocated to the Civil Air Patrol in the mid-1950s and 509 L-16As were manufactured, of which 376 were produced originally for the National Guard.  The L-16A was manufactured with Continental O-190-1 engines which produced 85 hp.  A heavier model the L-16B, of which 100 were built, had 90 hp Continental O-205-1 engines and dorsal fins.

During WWII Robins AFB served as a repair and support base for L-3, the predecessor to the L-16, operating in the Southeast.  After the war, L-16s frequently operated from Robins while serving with the USAF, National Guard and Civil Air Patrol.  The aircraft on display, suspended in the Museum gift shop, is a civilian aircraft acquired by the Museum in 1991 for display.  It is marked in the colors of the Civil Air Patrol when it used L-16s for search and rescue missions throughout the United States.

SPECIFICATIONS:
Span: 35 ft.
Length: 21 ft. 6 in.
Height: 7 ft.
Weight: 1,450 lbs. max.
Engines: Continental O-205-1 of 90 hp.
Crew: Two
Serial Number: 1079

PERFORMANCE:
Maximum Speed: 110 mph.
Cruising Speed: 100 mph.
Range: 350 miles
Service Ceiling: 14,500 ft.