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The American 8KCAB Decathlon, the American Champion 8KCAB Super Decathlon, and the 8GCBC Scout are light conventional landing gear aircraft. The two seat airplane are designed for flight training but can be flown for personal use or aerobatics. The empty weight of the Super is 1,340 lbs (608 kg) and the maximum takeoff weight is 1,950 lbs standard, 1,800 lbs for aerobatic. The cruise speed for the aircraft is 128 mph (206 km/h), the stall speed is 53 mph (85 km/h) and the maximum speed is 200 mph (321 km/h).
The main body of the American Champion Decathlon is modeled after the American Champion Citabria Series and is welded metal tubing with the outer fuselage made of wooden longerons and formers and are covered with fabric as are the wings and tail surfaces. The wings of the 8KCAB feature aluminum ribs and are strut braced. Since the Citabria had limited inverted capability, the Decathlon was designed to perform more maneuvers.
The engine is a fuel injection system as was the engine in the 7KCAB Citabria. Several variants of the Lycoming IO-320 series were used in the Decathlon line. The Super Decathlon uses a Lycoming AEIO-360-H1A or -H1B engine. Though no longer in production, there were over 6,000 of the series built.
Other variations in the series include the original design, the Champion 8KCAB Decathlon, the Bellanca Decathlon version powered by the Lycoming AEIO-320-E1B engine, the Bellanca Decathlon CS version outfitted with a constant speed propeller and a Lycoming AEIO-320-E1B, and the Bellanca Super Decathlon version.