The Christen Eagle was designed by Frank Christensen, founder of Christen Industries. Frank was an aerobatic pilot and manager of the U.S. 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.