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Champion Aerospace - The Benchmark for Aviation Innovation

Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Champion Aerospace is a leading producer of igniters, exciters, and ignition leads for turbine engines, as well as spark plugs, oil filters, and ignition harnesses for reciprocating piston engines. The company’s history coincides with the history of aviation itself—the Wright Brothers inaugural flight predates Champion’s debut in the aerospace industry by only a short period of time. Today, Champion is the sole supplier of ignition components to Rolls-Royce and Snecma for the Olympus 593 engine which powers the Concorde supersonic airliner.

In the early days of the aviation industry, Champion Aerospace introduced the idea of integrating automobile spark plugs into the single ignition systems then in use on small planes. These single ignition systems were adapted from automobile engines by using Champion-brand automotive spark plugs. By the 1920s, Champion developed advanced spark plugs specifically for the burgeoning aviation market. Notably, Champion plugs were used in the liquid-cooled V-8 engine of the Curtiss JN-4D trainer biplane. Affectionately dubbed “Jenny,” the Curtiss JN-4D was synonymous with American aviation in the 1920s, having been used to train an estimated 95% of all US pilots in World War I.

Today, Champion Aerospace is still the number one choice for spark plugs for leading engine manufacturers due to its history of using breakthrough technology. Champion spark plugs are engineered with two layers of corrosion protection—nickel plating and high-temperature epoxy paint. A fused glass seal ensures positive retention of the center wire and stops gas from leaking. Plated threads prevent seizing for easy removal. To resist heat erosion, nickel alloy electrodes offer exceptional spark resistance during firing. A copper core guarantees efficient thermal transfer and maximum electrical conductivity. To prevent cracking due to heat, the internal insulator is ceramic.

Champion Aerospace spark plugs are engineered for use on the following engine manufacturers’ platforms:
  • Allison
  • Franklin Engine Co.
  • Grob
  • Gypsy Major
  • Jacobs Aircraft Engine Co.
  • Kinner
  • Lambert
  • Leblond
  • Menasco
  • Orenda
  • Pratt & Whitney
  • Ranger
  • Rolls-Royce
  • Teledyne Continental Motors
Champion Aerospace is ISO 9001 certified to produce ignition components for the following aircraft:
  • Boeing: 247D, Stratoliner 307B, Fortress B-17G, Stearman 75, and Stratocruiser B377.
  • Curtiss-Wright: Falcon CW-22, SNC-1, Commando C-46, Satellite, and LFA.
  • Douglas: Bolo B-18A, Dragon B-23, Invader B-26, Dolphin D-117, Havoc A20G, DC-2, Skytrain DC-3, Skymaster DC-4, Liftmaster DC-6, and DC-7.
  • Lockheed: Electra 10, Electra 12, Super Elecra 14-H-2, Lodestar 18-56, Hudson 414, Ventura 237, Constellation 1049, and Starliner 1649.
  • Champion Aerospace parts are used on the engines of the following rotorcraft:
  • Bell: Utility 47G, 47G-2, 47G-3, 47G-3B, 47G-3B1, 47G-3B2, 47G-4, 47G-4A, Bellarus 47H, 47H-1, Ranger 47J, 47G-5, 47G-5A, and 47J2.
  • Enstrom: F28A, F280C, F28BF, 28F, 280F Shark, 280FX and 280L.
  • Sikorsky: S-51, S-55A, S-55C, S-56, and S-58.

As of 2001, Champion Aerospace has been operating as a brand under Cleveland-based TransDigm Group Incorporated. Champion was procured by TransDigm Group for USD$160 million in cash. For the fiscal year 2012, parent company TransDigm reported USD$1.7 billion in revenues.


December 17, 2018
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