July 8, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
It’s been a tough year for American Champion, with sales cut in half, but international sales are improving. The company manufactures tandem-seat tailwheel models.
Last year sales were only two a month, but that has increased to four. Sales in Europe once totaled 10 to 12 per year but there have been only two this year. However, sales are improving in Brazil, Canada, and India. The Scout and Decathlon tailwheel models account for most of the sales. Recent sales do include the Explorer, Adventure, and Aurora models.
Employment at the plant has dropped from 94 people to 42 workers.
Improvements continue to flow from the Wisconsin factory. Night vision will be offered, Aspen avionics have been added, and the Scout will get a 210-hp Continental engine.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
A touch of history, affordable flying, unique sightseeing, a good meal, and a community of pilots: Isn’t that what general aviation is all about?
Getting the job done on the local and national levels requires long-term planning, a hands-on approach, and keeping the effort moving, said Sean Collins, AOPA’s Eastern regional manager.
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