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In 1925 a craftsman John Dohse, was conducting taxi tests on the C-2 when the plane leapt into the air, and for the first time since 1903, a plane, pilot and powerplant all shared their first flight.
Jean Roche, arrived in the US from France in 1906 and worked for Standard Airplane until 1917 when he became Chief of Aircraft Design for the U.S. Army Air Corp. a post he would hold for the next 43 years. Roche’s desire to build his own powered glider would lead to the production of the C-2, the design was sold to the Aeronautical Corp. of America, later abbreviated to Aeronca.
The “Flying Bathtub” is an open cockpit, single seat, monoplane, with a triangular shaped fuselage made of steel tube and fabric, with wood and fabric wings. In 1930, the aircraft sold for about a year’s wages, $1300.00 or could be rented for $4.00 per hour, with the cost of gas ond oil about 1 penny per mile, it was a very economical and affordable aircraft for the common man.
The C-2 was right for the times, flown by stunt pilot, Forrest “Iron Hat” Johnson it was the hit of airshows around the country, Jimmy Doolittle and Roscoe Turner flew and praised it. The aircraft was remarkable for a twocylinder achieving speeds of 85MPH and would glide for 11 miles (engineoff) for each mile of altitude. More than 160 C-2’s sold during the height of the great depression.
Acquired by Yanks in 2008, this maybe the last airworthy C-2 that exists today.