Aviat Eagle II

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Eagle II
Christen Eagle II N49AE EDST.jpg
Role Aerobatic aircraft
Manufacturer Christen
Designer Frank Christensen
First flight February 1977
Christen Eagle II

The Christen Eagle II, which later became the Aviat Eagle II in the mid-1990s, is an aerobatic sporting biplane aircraft that has been produced in the United States since the late 1970s.


Designed to compete with the Pitts Special by Frank Christensen originally of Salt Lake City, Utah,[1] the Eagle II is marketed in kit form for homebuilding. It set a new standard for completely documented homebuilding kits that revolutionized the homebuilding industry. The Eagle II is a small aircraft of conventional configuration with single-bay, equal-span staggered biplane wings braced with streamlined flying and landing wires and a I-strut to form a box truss. The pilot and a single passenger sit in tandem underneath a large bubble canopy. The tailwheel undercarriage is fixed, with the mainwheels mounted on spring aluminum legs. The main wheels are housed in streamlined fairings. The fuselage and tail are constructed of chromoly steel welded tube, with the forward fuselage skinned in aluminum and the rear fuselage and tail covered in fabric. The wing structure is Sitka spruce wood and fabric covered. The engine cowling is fiberglass. By 2011 over 350 aircraft were flying.[2][3]

Operational history[edit]

Christen Eagle II

In 1979, the Eagles Aerobatic Team (Charlie Hillard, Tom Poberezny, and Gene Soucy) chose the Christen Eagle as a replacement for their Pitts Special airshow act "The Red Devils". The act continued until 1995. All three Christen Eagles hang from the lobby of the EAA Airventure Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.[4]


Christen Eagle I
Single Seat Variant. Lycoming AEIO-540 260 hp (190 kW). First design model, built at the San Carlos Airport. 4 Airframes built, one was White with Black Feathers now based in Dallas Texas, the other 3 are in the EAA Museum in Oshkosh WI.
Christen/Aviat Eagle II
Most common variant, two seat dual controls. Lycoming AEIO-360 200 hp (150 kW).
Christen Super Eagle I 540
Very rare, two built. Lycoming AEIO-540 300 hp (220 kW). Formerly flown by the IRON EAGLES AEROBATIC TEAM, now owned by Professional Pilots based in Texas and Tennessee.
Christen Super Eagle II
Several examples built, two seats, limited fuel tanks.


General characteristics

  • Crew: One pilot
  • Capacity: 1 (Aviat eagle: 2, pilot and passenger)
  • Length: 17 ft 11 in (5.46 m)
  • Wingspan: 19 ft 11 in (6.07 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
  • Wing area: 125 ft2 (11.6 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1,025 lb (465 kg)
  • Gross weight: 1,578 lb (716 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming AEIO-360-A1D, 200 hp (150 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 210 mph (337 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 140 mph (225 km/h)
  • Range: 380 miles (610 km)
  • Service ceiling: 17,000 ft (5,180 m)
  • Rate of climb: 2,100 ft/min (11 m/s)

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  1. ^ Frank L. Christensen
  2. ^ Bayerl, Robby; Martin Berkemeier; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011-12, page 94. WDLA UK, Lancaster UK, 2011. ISSN 1368-485X
  3. ^ Tacke, Willi; Marino Boric; et al: World Directory of Light Aviation 2015-16, page 98. Flying Pages Europe SARL, 2015. ISSN 1368-485X
  4. ^ "Christen Eagles The Iron Eagles Aerobatic Team flew 2 identical Christen Eagle 540 aircraft from 1992-2014". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 29 March 2011.  line feed character in |title= at position 17 (help)