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The Aeronca Aircraft Corporation (formerly the Aeronautical Corporation of America) was highly successful in producing light aircraft. From 1928 to 1951, they built over 11,000 of them usually in a two-seat configuration. The Second World War saw literally hundreds of O-58 Defenders/L-3′s built, but none actually saw service with US forces abroad; they were, instead, used to train pilots and artilliery observers in the ‘Zone of the Interior’ as it was known.

Post-war, Aeronca brought out a new model, the 11AC Chief. Powered by the ubiquituous Continental A65-8F of 65hp, the Chief was a handsome, high-wing aircraft. This particular example was built in 1946, and is based on Bodmin Airfield, Cornwall, and operated by the Southwestern Aeronca Group. The Chief was manufactured with various engines, but with the Continental A65 they will cruise at 90 mph and return about 3.5 UK gph on the now-legal (according to a CAA Bulletin) ‘mogas’ – ‘avgas’ is becoming increasingly hard to find and expensive. The CAA approves engine types to use ‘mogas’, and the aircraft fitted with them, on a case by case basis (see Airworthiness Notice No. 98, Issue 13).

G-IVOR had previously been on the Irish Register - as EI-BKB - before being imported to the U.K. and assuming his 'vanity' registration marks! A bonus point for the correct identity of the small flag being flown above the wing of  G-IVOR (a white cross on a black background). Do I hear Cornwall? True, it is used by many to denote the territory of Cornwall (or Kernow), but actually first belonged to St Piran, an abbot in the sixth century CE, who became the patron saint of tin miners, before being adopted as the flag of the whole county.

G-IVOR is seen on a blustery Keevil Airfield, turned into the wind and well picketed, during the Great Vintage Flying Weekend.

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