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1979 CHRISTEN EAGLE I-F – N41ET, N42ET, N43ET

The Christen Eagle was designed by Frank Christensen, founder of Christen Industries. Frank was an aerobatic pilot and manager of the US Aerobatic Team that won the 1972 World Aerobatic Championship. The Christen Eagle I was built specifically for the Eagles Aerobatic Team. This single-place aircraft was never available in kit form, but used to promote the Christen Eagle line of aircraft. The model offered as a kit was the Christen Eagle II, the two-place version of the design. This aircraft represented a departure in several ways from previous kit planes designed for the homebuilding community.

The Eagle II combined professional design with factory quality parts. The resulting kit raised the bar for aircraft kit manufacturers. It was one of the most complete airplane kits ever marketed. Included in the Eagle’s kit were tools, jigs, factory welded assemblies, finished fiberglass moldings and a 30 volume set of construction and flight manuals; in short, all the parts, materials, and information necessary to build the Eagle, even for first-time builders.

The Eagle’s vibrant paint scheme was never intended for use beyond a few showcase prototypes. Despite the unusual difficulty of taping and applying the complicated pattern, the 8-color scheme was much in demand by homebuilders, and was soon included in the kit.

The Eagles Aerobatic Flight Team, whose three planes now hang in the AirVenture Museum lobby, are the most famous Eagles pilots. Charlie Hillard, Tom Poberezny, and Gene Soucy flew the Eagles in aerobatic performances from 1979 until 1995. At the close of their farewell performance during the 1995 EAA Convention, they had been flying together for 25 years - longer than any other team in aerobatic history.

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