Spartan C3

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Spartan C3 (N705N).jpg
Role Open cockpit biplane
National origin United States
Manufacturer Spartan Aircraft Company
First flight 25 October 1926
Introduction 1928
Status 2 airworthy in 2001
Number built approx 122[1]

The Spartan C3 was an American three-seat open cockpit biplane of the late 1920s.


The type originated as the Mid-Continent Spartan of 1926. The company was reorganised as Spartan Aircraft Company in 1928 and a series of Spartan C3 aircraft was built between that year and 1930 . The C3 was a tube, wood and fabric aircraft with two open cockpits accommodating three people, and the tail unit had a distinctive "rounded square" shape. Around 122 examples were completed with various engines leading to differing designations.[1]

Operational history[edit]

The C3 was used by schools of flying for training instruction. Other firms utilised the aircraft's two-passenger capability in "barnstorming operations". Three C3 aircraft survived in the U.S. in 2001, of which two were airworthy. Currently, as of 2009, there is only one left that is airworthy. This plane is owned and operated by Lee Kunze of Howards Grove, Wisconsin. As of 2018, a C3-165 is displayed in the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum in New York state; and a C3-225 is on public view in the EAA AirVenture Museum at Oshkosh Wisconsin.[1]

Engine Walter NZ-120 and Spartan C3-2, aviation exhibition Detroit 1929


A Spartan C3-225 on display at EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, Wisconsin

(data from

125 h.p. Ryan-Siemens radial (main production version - approx 100 examples);
120 h.p. Walter (also known as the C3-120);
170 h.p. Curtiss Challenger;
115 h.p. Axelson A;
165 h.p. Wright J-6-5 (initially known as the C3-5);
165 h.p. Comet 7-E;
225 h.p. Wright J-6;

Specifications (C3-165)[edit]

C3-165 on display at the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum near New York in June 2005

Data from Simpson, 2001, p. 518

General characteristics

  • Crew: 1
  • Capacity: 2 passengers
  • Length: 23 ft 10 in (7.26 m)
  • Wingspan: 32 ft 0 in (9.75 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 10 in (2.69 m)
  • Empty weight: 1,650 lb (748 kg)
  • Gross weight: 2,618 lb (1,188 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Wright J6-5-165, 165 hp (123 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 118 mph (190 km/h)
  • Cruise speed: 100 mph (161 km/h)
  • Range: 600 miles (965 km)
  • Rate of climb: 800 ft/min (4.1 m/s)



  1. ^ a b c Simpson, 2001, p. 517


  • Simpson, Rod (2001). Airlife's World Aircraft. Airlife Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84037-115-3.

External links[edit]