Brief History of the Aeronca Engine
Aeronca K and Aeronca Engine facts, photos, sounds, part and restoration information.

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The Aeronca C-2 was built with the Aeronca E-107 engine, 26 hp.  About 115 engine were made.  

The Aeronca C-3 was fitted with the E-113, 26 hp, single ignition.   They used the same engine on the Aeronca K.  In all, they built about 1800 E-113 engines.  Many of these were replacement engines.  

Aeronca licensed JAP to build the engines and C3 in the UK.   I have not been able to find out how many JAP E-113s were built.  I believe the C3s are called Aeronca 100s.  Very little information about the JAP engines.

If you put the engine in context of its history, it was the first reliable (remember context) small aircraft engine.   Radial engines and OX5s (reliable?) were the big engines of the days... that were mounted on expensive airplanes out of the financial reach of the common man.   Our Aeronca forefathers tried many small engines and eventually designed their own, based on Moorehouse's design.  The E-107 was the first and quickly became the E-113.  They were built in my neck of the woods, by Govro-Nelson in Detroit.

In 1939, when the CAA started to require dual ignition, Aeronca struggled, but managed to add dual ignition (ATC 189) to the E-113, rated at 40hp.  By then, it was the end of the Ks and the E-113s as the new flat-fours were on the market.  Even the new Continental and Lycoming 40s and 50s were not reliable for years.

Can we say the E-113 is less reliable than the A-65?   I can tell you this, there are no A.D.s on the E-113.  (Not fair... I know)   I know the cranks tended to break, esp if you did aerobatics.  And the dual-ignition drive "T" was the weak link in that design.  But if you are kind to the E-113, maintain it right, and fly it nicely (no cold starts, no aerobatics, not run freqently, etc.)   But doesn't the A-65 also have its quirks.

I happen to like the E-113 because growing up I thought all airplane engines were E-113s.  As a grown up I have started to document the Aeronca K and the Aeronca Engines on my website at www.aeronca.com.  My father has owned a K since 1957.  We are currently restoring K-255, his 3rd K.  When done, we plan to fly it, as antique airplanes should fly.  But I will probably fly it only on calm warm summer days and inspect it often.

I know there are 60 of 365 K's left.  I don't know how many C-2s, C-3s, E-107, and E-113s are left.  Someday we might start tracking those too.  But I do know that E-113 parts are getting hard to find.  Is it fair to say that since only a few are left that they are dangerous?   I will admit that the C3 is unlike all the other Aeroncas.  But the K has a lot in common with your Chiefs and Champs.

----- Here is another quick review of the E-113 Engine -----

Production of the Aeronca K ended in 1938, with one more being built in 1939 under special request.   357 were built.  The K was the last line of Aeroncas that used the 2-cylinder Aeronca Engine.  In 1938 (then extended to 1939) the CAA mandated that engines have dual-ignition.  Aeronca cobbled together a dual-ignition design for that engine, but it was a compromise and, more importantly, a bit too late.  By then flat-four 40hp engines were entering the market and Aeronca saw the writting on the wall;  While Aeronca started at 26hp on the original engine and eventually got to 40hp in the latest version of the engine, they were unlikely to get much more horsepower from the 2-cyl engine.  While the 4-cyl engines from Lycoming, Continental, Franklin, and Monasco were originally low horsepower (some starting at 40 hp) those engine manufactures clearly had more improvements to make to get more power out of 4-cylinders.  Aeronca did not have the budget to design and test a new engine.   Besides, why should they?  There are now 4 engines on the market.  The only reason Aeronca built the 2-cylinder engine in the first place was because there were no reliable small light engines available.  Now that small light aircraft engines were being built Aeronca got out of the aircraft engine business.

The first Aeroncas to use the new flat-four engines was the CF, KC, KM, KF and KCA, which were the next evolution of the K, but with different spar spacing, landing gear, tail wheel and cabin width.  But the lines looks very much like the original K.   Then came the first of the pre-war Chief series, 50C, 65C, 65CA and so on.

 


Aeronca K and Aeronca E-113 Engine Web Site.       http://www.aeronca.com/k
Web site owned by: Todd Trainor, 2285 Ore Creek Ln, Brighton, MI  Email:  TTAD@AOL.COM

In living memory of my father, Tom Trainor, who passed way Feb 16, 2006