The Aeronca Chief is a small airplane with one engine and fixed landing gear, and it has two seats arranged side-by-side. The Chief was designed for flight training and personal use, and was produced in the United States from 1946 to 1950. The airplane is known for being easy to fly and well-behaved, and it was intended as a step up from the 7AC Champion which was primarily designed for flight training. The Chief has a powerful rudder and sensitive elevator controls, which can make it difficult to fly for some pilots due to the significant adverse yaw. The cockpit is well-appointed, with flocked taupe sidewalls and a zebra wood grain instrument panel.
The model 11AC Chief was designed and built by Aeronca Aircraft Corporation, and it shared its name with pre-war models but was not a derivative. Rather, the post-war 11AC Chief was designed in tandem with the 7AC Champion, with the intention of simplifying production and controlling costs by building two aircraft with a significant number of parts in common. The Chief and the Champ share between 70% and 80% of their parts, including the tail surfaces, wings, ailerons, landing gear, and engine. Production costs and aircraft weights were tightly controlled, and Aeronca was one of the first to use a moving conveyor assembly line. The 11AC Chief entered production in early 1946, with upgraded versions introduced in 1947 and 1948.
Aeronca ceased all production of light aircraft in 1951, and production of the Chief had already ended by 1950. The design was later sold to E.J. Trytek, who licensed Hindustan Aircraft of India to build the Chief as the HUL-26 ‘Pushpak’, with 154 built between 1958 and 1968. Ownership of the Chief design then passed to Bellanca Aircraft Corporation in the early 1970s, and the design is currently owned by American Champion Aircraft Corporation.