American Champion 7GCBC “Citabria High Country Explorer”
Two-seat Light Cabin Monoplane
Archive Photos ¹
[American Champion Aircraft 7GCBC “High Country Explorer” (N78SE, s/n 1382-2005, 2005) on display 8/27/2005 at the Camarillo Air Show, Camarillo, CA (John Shupek photo copyright © 2005 Skytamer Images)]
The “High Country Explorer”, a variant of the 7GCBC, is the first certified aircraft to offer the new Superior Vantage engine. With a jump to 180 Horsepower (from 160), the airplane has exceptional performance. Deriving various design choices from the 8GCBC Scout, an 'in-between' airplane has been created. The cowling is taken from the Scout by adding the side louvers and ground adjustable cowl flap. Following this cue, the Scout airbox was added to offer dual inlets when carburetor heat is used.
To allow for a larger diameter propeller, the High Country comes standard with the Aluminum Gear and 800 × 6 tires. The lighter gear is both taller and lighter, helping to offset the extra weight of the Superior O-360 over the standard Lycoming O-320. This is both a feature and a limit, as the 800 × 6 is the smallest tire permitted. Thus, it is not compatible with the current wheel pants. However, for those who want larger tires, tundra tires are compatible and any of the active STCs out there can be used just as a standard 7GCBC would.
Lastly, the Superior Vantage permissibly runs on premium automotive fuel. No reformulated or alcohol blends are permitted. As always, Aviation Grade 100LL is the preferred fuel.
Additional Standard Equipment
- Instruments: none
- Electrical: none
- Aluminum Gear Legs
- 800 × 6 Tires
- 8GCBC style Ground Adjustable Cowl Flap
- 8GCBC style Dual Carburetor Heat Airbox
- Micro Aerodynamics Vortex Generators
Specifications (7GCBC High Country Explorer) ²
- Powerplant: Superior Vantage O-360-A3A2
- Horse Power @ RPM: 180 @ 2,700 rpm
- Recommended Engine TBO: 2,000 hours
- Propeller: Sensenich 76EM8S8-0-58
- Propeller Diameter: 76 in.
- Length: 22.1 ft.
- Height: 7.7 ft.
- Wingspan: 34.5 ft.
- Wing Area: 171.9 sq. ft.
- Wing Loading: 11.34 psf
- Power Loading: 10.8 lbs/hp
- Seats: 2, Tandem
- Cabin Length: 8 ft. 10 in.
- Cabin Width: 2 ft. 6 in.
- Cabin Height: 3 ft. 11 in.
- Empty Weight (typical): 1,300 lbs.
- Maximum Gross Weight - Normal Category: 1,950 lbs.
- Useful Load - Normal Category: 650 lbs.
- Payload with Full Fuel - Normal Category: 440 lbs.
- Maximum Gross Weight - Acrobatic Operation: 1,800 lbs.
- Useful Load - Acrobatic Operation: 500 lbs.
- Payload with Full Fuel - Acrobatic Operation: 290 lbs.
- Fuel Capacity: 36 gal. (35 gal. Usable)
- Oil Capacity: 8 quarts
- Baggage Capacity: 100 lbs. (10.4 cubic feet)
- Acrobatic Limit Loading: +5“g”, -2“g”
- Takeoff Distance, Ground Roll: 504 ft.
- Takeoff Distance Over 50-ft Obstacle: 872 ft.
- Maximum Demonstrated Crosswind Component: 17 kts.
- Rate of Climb, Sea Level: 1,366 fpm
- Maximum Level Speed, Sea Level: 142 mph
- Cruise Speed / Endurance with 45 Minute Reserve @ 75% Power: 132 mph/2.45 hours
- Fuel Consumption @ Altitude: 11 gph @ 7500 ft.
- Service Ceiling: 15,500 ft.
- Landing Distance over 50-ft. Obstacle: 866 ft.
- Landing Distance, Ground Roll: 293 ft.
Limited and Recommended Airspeeds
- VX (Best Angle): 61 mph
- VY (Best Rate): 83 mph
- VA (Design Maneuvering): 120 mph
- VF (Maximum Flap Speed): 90 mph
- VNO (Maximum Structural Cruising): 120 mph
- VNE (Never Exceed): 162 mph
- VR (Rotation, 14° flaps): 50 mph
- VS1 (Stall, Clean): 52 mph
- VS0 (Stall, Full Flaps): 49 mph
- Shupek, John. “American Champion 7GCBC Citabria High Country Explorer,” The Skytamer Archive, Copyright © 2005 Skytamer Images. All Rights Reserved
- American Champion Aircraft, American Champion 7GCBC High Country Explorer
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