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Details about   Aeronca

1942 Aeronca O-58A,L-3A Will be the Only Airworthy Example left of twenty built


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Item condition:

Project near completion, no engine or prop included.All major components are included but additional

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Jul 03, 2014
US $32,900.00
Approximately C $40,124.84(including shipping)
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Item location:
Panama City, Florida, United States
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Last updated on  Jun 23, 2014 08:40:39 EDT  View all revisions

Item specifics

Condition: Used : Split the cost with friends
A vehicle is considered used if it has been registered and issued a title. Used vehicles have had at least one previous owner. The condition of the exterior, interior and engine can vary depending on the vehicle's history. See the seller's listing for full details and description of any imperfections. See all condition definitions- opens in a new window or tab
Seller Notes: Project near completion, no engine or prop included.All major components are included but additional purchases of small parts and material required for completion.
Make: Aeronca Model Year: 1942
Offered for sale is Aeronca O-58A AAF Serial # 42-7796 built 11/15/1941 and delivered to the 109th Observation Squadron, 67th Observation Group November 18th, 1941 only a few weeks before Pearl Harbor. You may never have an opportunity like this again to own a truly historic and significant aircraft.

We have spent over two years, and 1200 man hours restoring this aircraft to this point but are selling in order to focus our time and resources on a T-41B we are also restoring. We simply do not have the time to complete this project.

There is a local IA on the field who can be contracted to complete the project to fly away condition with the engine of your choice. Buyer would need to contact the IA directly to work out the details and cost structure to complete the aircraft. Buyer would be responsible for all additional costs associated with the completion of the restoration.

 We have all of the factory drawings and manuals some original as well as other historical artifacts and equipment that go with the aircraft. Our two years of research have revealed a full rich history and we have included biographies of two famous pilots who received training in the aircraft at the Liaison Pilots School in Pittsburg Kansas. Relatives of the pilots have provided additional photos of the two airman.

We have hundreds of photos of the restoration, please contact us for them as well as any other information you may need. 

International buyers are responsible for all arrangements, paperwork and cost associated with overseas shipment.
Aircraft is located in a hangar at F95.

                                             Aeronca O-58A N49087

                                    Army Serial No. 42-7796, Aeronca Serial No.  42-7796

                              Date built 11/15/1941, Date Accepted US Army 11/18/1941

                                    Army Flight Time 756 hrs,  Total Time 1,138 hrs

                                                        In Storage since 10/21/1954

42-7796 is one of only two O-58A aircraft that still survive of the twenty built by Aeronca and delivered to the Army November of 1941 a few weeks before Pearl Harbor. The other O-58A 42-7798 was heavily damaged in a crash in 2011. 42-7796 will be the only airworthy example left in the world when completed. Records show that Ft. Rucker has in storage a O-58A but we visited the museum storage facility and the aircraft they have is a TC painted with tail # 7798 and is a replica. No O-58A aircraft are known to exist in any museums.

The O-58A differs from later L-3 aircraft in that it is the only Aeronca ever built where the factory used the military serial # as the Aeronca factory number. It has a different welded frame, is lighter by 40 lbs, was equipped with Learadios (not RCA) and had a large overhead greenhouse structure of Spruce not steel. The O-58A had metal ribs,  leading edges, and instrument panel while later B and C models had all wood wings and wood panel. The O-58A has front brakes only and was not equipped with a rear throttle when it left the factory. The elevator trim is located on the upper left side of the cockpit. Initially the Learadios were mounted on the left hand window sill frame where the rear throttle would have been. A brace bolted to the pilot seat supported a tray hooked to welded tabs on the window frame. 42-7796 still has those welded lugs on the window frame and the welded bolt holes on the pilot seat frame.

During 1942 several O-58A aircraft were converted to L-3A configuration, rear throttles were added in the field by clamping on a support. The addition of the rear throttle required relocation of the radios in the same locations as the L-4A aircraft with the transmitter on a rear baggage shelf and the receiver on the floor between the pilots legs. Early L-3B aircraft also mounted one of the RCA radios to the front floorboard. The field installation of the rear throttle was not recessed in the same fashion as the factory installed welded mount and the throttle rod was exposed between the rear and front throttles.

We have restored 42-7796 as she appeared the Spring of 1942, the red center has been removed from the insignia, along with the US Army on the wings. The 109th Observation Squadron Markings remain on the vertical fin, the 24 stands for aircraft #24 of the 109th OBS. Yellow radio call numbers were not painted on O-58  aircraft till 1943.

                                                                  Aircraft History

42-7796 last flew 10/21/1954 and was then disassembled and placed in storage with a total airframe time of 1,138 hours. We have complete records including all original logbooks from the day she left the Army . The first civilian logbook entry shows time flown in military service is 756 hrs brought forward from AAF form 1A. We also have a large collection of original documents that came with the aircraft including registration forms from 1945, 337s and other documents.

                                                  Military History O-58A 42-7796

We spent two years fully researching the history of 42-7796 and have retrieved the aircraft card, along with locations and units served with. We have flight reports from the assignment at the Liaison Pilot Training School in Pittsburg Kansas as well as pilot Bios , and photographs.

42-7796 was delivered to the 109th Observation Squadron, 67th Observation Group 11/18/1941 a few weeks before Pearl Harbor. The aircraft  flew with the 109th during the Carolina Maneuvers Nov/Dec 1941. The aircraft also flew out of Esler Field, Camp Beauregard La. while with the 109th. 42-7796 remained with the 109th OBS from January 1942 thru June  5th, 1942 when the 109th began preparations for deployment to England. During the first half of 1942 while with the 109th, 42-7796 flew anti submarine patrols along the Eastern Coastline and Gulf coast. 42-7796 was transferred to Pittsburg, Kansas June 5th, 1942 initially to the Glider Pilot  School there which was changed over to the Liaison Pilot Training School January, 1943. 42-7796 remained at Pittsburg thru 1943 and early 1944. The training school was shut down in 1944 and 42-7796 was sold as surplus January 8th, 1945.

                                                                            Col. Robert J. Low    

                                        US Army 1941 - 1963, 0-1166547

Colonel Low flew 42-7796 several times during the summer and early fall of 1943 while in training for his Liaison Pilots wings at Pittsburg Kansas. He graduated  in class P-44-II with a stage B grade of 92 and no accidents. Col. Low went on to fly in both the European and Pacific theaters and later the Korean War. For five days in 1950 during the US Marine retreat from the Chosin Reservoir Col. Low made repeated flights in to makeshift icy airstrips to evacuate wounded, for these actions he was awarded the Silver Star. Col. Low later became a helicopter pilot and taught air tactics at the Army Command and General Staff College at Ft. Leavenworth Kansas. He also helped develop the helicopter doctrine used by the 1ST Air Calvary Division in Vietnam.  During his service he received two awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, and seven awards of the Air Medal. He passed away in 2001 and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

                                                                                  Leonard Bolton

                                  US Army WW II and Korea 0-1183243

Leonard Bolton flew 42-7796 several times during the summer and Fall of 1943 while in training for his Liaison Pilots Wings at Pittsburg Kansas.  While in training he nosed 42-7796 over  landing in tall grass on a cross country to Carthage MO. The only damage sustained to 42-7796 was a dented cowling, broken prop and damaged airbox.  After graduation from Pittsburg, Bolton went on to fly Piper L-4 aircraft in the Philippines. Later during the Korean War he became a personal pilot for General Douglas MacArthur. Boltons daughter, Author Joanna Bolton has provided several WW II and Korean photos of her father and Mother including one of her Mother posing with a O-58A tail # unknown.                                                          

Project Details


Airframe had been in dry storage since 1954 and the tubing was in beautiful condition. We made the decision to hand clean the tubing rather than blasting to preserve the tubing in original condition and not remove any wall thickness  thru blasting. The original factory zinc chromate was easily removed and the tubing hand polished with scotch brite pads and wheels.  Only minor repairs were required, the lower tail post tubing was replaced with 4130, small tubing along the lower nose was replaced, pilot seat diagonal tubes replaced with 4130, and new shoulder harness fittings added. The frame was then treated with metal prep was and then coated with a red oxide primer followed by epoxy.

All wood was replaced with new,  formers, stringers, floorboards, main tank tray, window frames, etc.  New aluminum instrument panel, door and window fairings, upper nose curved sheet metal and boot cowling were fabricated. New rudder cables made. All controls, and pedals cleaned, primed and painted.  Aircraft has very nice  set of Cleveland 161/162 wheels and drum brakes that are rated at 1500 lbs and have no AD on them. They are approved under the TC for this aircraft. The brakes have been cleaned and have new shoes and pads.  Excellent original Aeronca tail wheel.  New main tires and tubes and tail wheel installed. Both fuel tanks are included with new stainless straps.  Trim tab, door handle, fuel gauge and most instruments are included. All glass replaced with new, All new hardware used in assembly.  Very nice engine mount has been cleaned and painted. New stainless firewall fabricated.

Fuselage is covered using the Air-Tech STC which goes thru primer. Top coat is Poly-Fiber Aerothane with flattener. The flat Aerothane is a dead match for an original WW II fabric sample we have from a L-5. The fabric received three primer coats hand sanded before the final color coats were applied.  The colors are Dark Olive Drab # 41 and Neutral Gray # 43.

The national insignia colors were matched to correct WW II color cards. Interior panels are simulated WW II Bedford Cord. Seat  cushions are covered with a coordinating vinyl.  All Gear components are excellent and have been covered and painted, oleos have been rebuilt, fuselage is up on the gear. All tail surfaces have been cleaned and epoxy primed, rudder has been painted and new trim tab fabricated and mounted.   Included are the original metal cowlings and metal eyebrows.


New spruce spars have been installed, right wing has compression struts and drag wires installed, needs ribs nailed down, tip bows, leading and trailing edges installed and wood root rib built. Right wing has new spruce spars installed needs same work as left wing and also drag wires installed. All steel components are included and have been cleaned and epoxy primed. Ailerons are excellent and need covering. A very nice set of undamaged wing struts is included.

Equipment, Manuals and Documents

Project includes a brand new old stock set of Learadios and reel, headset and mic. Also included is a very rare WW II ceramic antenna wire tail insulator. A complete set of  reproduction manuals are included, along with a nice set of factory drawings. A large number of original documents and manuals are also included and WW II artifacts. A large amount of research material and documentation is included. This is the most complete and highly documented WW II liaison aircraft I have seen and this rare aircraft is a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire.



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Item Location:Panama City, Florida, United States
Shipping to: Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia

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