American Champion Unveils Xtreme Decathlon

Trainer offers improved overall performance.

Xtreme Decathlon
Xtreme Decathlon
Xtreme Decathlon

On the opening day of AirVenture, American Champion introduced a new, more powerful version of the Super Decathlon called the Xtreme Decathlon. The airplane is intended for aerobatic training and the working prototype that is on display at the show will eventually go to a Melbourne, Australia-based flight school called Aerobatics Australia.

The new airplane includes several modifications, the most significant one being a 30-horsepower boost over the Super Decathlon. In addition to improving the performance, the 210 hp Lycoming AEIO-390-A1B6 added 39 pounds of weight to the airplane, but 62 pounds worth of weight reducing modifications more than made up for the difference.

Engineer and test pilot Jody Bradt said the Xtreme Decathlon is 15 mph faster than the Super Decathlon and, at 1,660 fpm, it provides nearly a 400-fpm improvement in climb performance as well. The area of the elevator has been increased, which helps the CG with the added weight up front and allows for lighter control inputs, according to American Champion’s vice president of engineering, Jerry Mehlhaff Jr.

The wingtips are clipped and Bradt said the wide ailerons are mounted at a 29 percent hinge point to provide aerodynamic boost. Bradt said the engineering team is considering adding spades as well. However, the current design’s clipped wings and boosted ailerons already provide a 120-degree-per-second roll rate, a 33-percent improvement over the Super Decathlon.

American Champion expects certification to be complete this fall and Bradt said the company expects to deliver the six airplanes currently on order this year. Depending on demand, the future production rate is planned at 20 to 40 airplanes per year, he said.