The Citabria is a light single-engine, two-seat airplane that was designed for utility, flight training, and
personal use. It is capable of sustaining aerobatic stresses of +5g to -2g. When the 7ECA Citabria was
first introduced in 1964 it was the only commercially produced aircraft in the United States that was
certified for aerobatic flight. The aircraft derives its name from its aerobatic abilities: Citabria spelled in
reverse is “Airbatic.”
The Design of the Citabria can be traced back to the Aeronca Model 7 Champion, more commonly
known as the “Champ.” In 1954, Champion Aircraft bought the Champ design from Aeronca Aircraft
Corporation and continued production of the more advanced models of the aircraft. Over the course of
the next decade, Champion Aircraft gradually modified these advanced Champ models into the
aerobatic Champion Citabria. Like the Champ, the Citabria features tandem seating, strut-braced wings,
and conventional landing gear. The Citabria does have some very noticeable external changes to the
design including the squared-off rudder surface, wingtips, and rear windows.
The first Citabria model was the 7ECA, which began production in 1964 and utilized a 100 horsepower
Continental O-200-A engine. At first, the 7ECA featured wood-spar wings and oleo-shock main gear.
Within a year of the start of production, the manufacturer began offering an upgrade to a 115
horsepower Lycoming O-235-C1 engine as an alternative to the Continental. The Lycoming engine
became the standard within two years, and in 1967, Champion Aircraft switched to spring steel main
gear legs on the Citabria.
In 1965, Champion Aircraft introduced the 7GCAA Citabria 150 which featured a 150 horsepower
Lycoming O-320-A2B engine. Another 150 horsepower model was introduced that same year: the
7GCBC Citabria 150S. The 150S carries the same Lycoming O-320-A2B engine as the Citabria 150 but has
a wingspan of 34.5 feet which is 1-foot wider than the wingspan of 7GCAA Citabria 150 and the 7ECA
Citabria. The wings of the Citabria 150S also feature flaps, unlike the Citabria 150 and 7ECA Citabria.
In 1970, Champion Aircraft was acquired by Bellanca Aircraft Corporation, which produced the Citabria
until 1980. The Citabria designs then changed hands multiple times during the 1980s before being
purchased by the current manufacturer, American Champion Aircraft Corporation.
American Champion Aircraft Corporation reintroduced the 7ECA as the Citabria “Aurora” in 1995. The
new Citabria Aurora featured metal spar wings, and, in 2004, changed to aluminum main gear legs.
OBX Airplanes Banner Towing
OBX Airplanes uses American Champion Citabria Aircraft for our arial advertising services. We have
found that the Citabria is the perfect airplane for banner towing.
Call OBX Airplanes today to see how we can help promote your local business by marketing to the
crowds of people that visit our beautiful Outer Banks beaches during the summer.
As a Certified Flight Instructor on the Outer Banks of North Carolina I am pleased to say that when you fly with me you will be sure to have fun, be safe and learn to fly!