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PIREP on CC Sport Cub

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Apr 6, 2008
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I'm doing my research on LSA and I'm currently pretty high on the CubCrafters Sport Cub S2 out of Yakima, WA. This pirep was posted yesterday on the supercub.org forum (super cub gatherings section) following the 2008 Valdez competition weekend:

The entire discussion: http://www.supercub.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=16001

As mentioned in Paul Claus's thread, I had a huge unexpected pleasure during the big weekend at Valdez. That was discovering the joy of flying the new CC Sport Cub.

Several times through the weekend, Jim Richmond casually mentioned that I would be impressed with the Sport Cub. As a jaded Super Cub Pilot - I am not an easy target for anything that could be labled "copy" or artificial - if it's not Super Cub, then I'm not interested. Friday, I landed my own Cub on a nice, but tight beach at near high tide (and still rising) in a remote corner of PWS on the way to Valdez. Later that evening I flew friend of 6 years Rick Papp up to 5,000 feet viewing the intricate snowcaps on each rock on the vertical walls in the mountains, then dropped down and viewed mountain goats and black bears up close. We landed on a gravel bar to shut down and enjoy the quiet of a sunset away where the land in all 360 degrees of our view was untouched by man. I flew in the Bush contest, with both takeoffs within about 5 feet of each other, and both landings about 8 feet (or was it the other way around). I was consistent, if not the absolute shortest. So, by Sunday, how was I to be impressed to fly an LSA Cub?

Well, sure, Jim, I'll give it a try. After all, I am training my 14 year old son in a 65 hp J-3, and that is fun for both of us. And besides, in the back of my mind just the day before, the average PA-18 combined score in the Bush Class (shortest takeoff distance and shortest landing distance divided by 2) was 138 feet. The Sport Cub was just 66 feet, though granted a breeze began to blow late in the day. But here again - The Sport Cub had also narrowly beat unbeatable friend Jerry Burr in his highly modified, well flown J-3. And last years' Carbon Cub was a high powered Sport Cub, right?

So, in the morning I climbed in, right after Greg Miller and Paul Claus had each taken a spin, and had come back with favorable grins.

The padded shoulder harnesses contain the air bags, Jim told me. Hmm. There is elbow and leg room. Hmm. So how does she handle?

I taxied out to RWY 6. Only 100 hp? OK, let's see it climb out. So, I put in 1 notch, and added throttle - the tail was up immediately, and she balanced real well on the mains. The tail was powerful and crisp. More power, and straight off the runway we went. Pull her up to climb - but with a low enough deck angle to be safe in event of an engine out. Stick and rudder pressures are very light, and well balanced. Ok, now we are safely through 150 feet, so I pulled her up to highest angle she would fly. Very high deck angle, airspeed down to 33 indicated. Still climbing strong, straight up through 500, then 1000 feet, in well less than a minute. Trim on the top of the stick (electric) one hand and just as intuitive as stock. At 29 she stalled, dropped straight ahead 5 degrees and with a little less stick pressure, went right on flying. A 65 J-3 would only be at 25% of this altitude by now. Still 1 notch flaps.

From the moment I got in this airplane, I was absolutely comfortable in it. "Wore it", is the expression, with the credit to the airplane. So, with less than a minute of flight time in it, I made an immediate left turn, directly towards the mountain that parallels the Valdez Airport. Have you seen the pictures from Valdez? It's that mountain. Rick Papp had again glassed some Mtn. Goats and a Black Bear on this mountain, and we had flown along in my Super Cub, looking at them up close. So, within 3 minutes of takeoff, in an "unfamiliar" - no - it was familiar - airplane , I was again flying a wing length or two off the side of the mountain, viewing Mountain Goats. Flew along the mountain on up to the Valdez Glacier, flew out over the center of it, and did some slow flight in each flap setting, steep turns, even dumped flaps and added power up to cruise flight just to say I did it. What a delight.

Finally, I realized I had been gone a long time. I figured I better skip going out on the gravel bars - this Cub would do fine playing on bars all day - and I would not shut down the engine over the field, stall it till the prop stopped, and then deadstick it in - after all, the temporary VALDEZ Radio FSS had just opened, and I didn't want to upset their applecart today. But I did power back to 1400 or so, and did a cruise speed glide to an overhead midfield crosswind, come around to a right Base (standard at Valdez for RWY 6). I was still high, real high. So on my right turn to final, I just stuffed full left rudder, and slid down final REAL steep to the lines before the number. I still didn't want to give this plane away, so...I landed on the right wheel and rolled it 750 feet down the runway, with the wingtip a foot off the pavement, pulled up to fly again and rolled on the left wheel another 750 feet, then back to the right and off at the midfield turnoff.

Jim said the plane is 300 pounds lighter than a stock Super Cub. CubCrafters has done a lot of thinking and implementing to design, build, certify, produce, market and sell a Cub that has the features of a Super Cub, and be so much lighter. Sure, there are times that you need more ponies to pull out of a mud hole, or uphill strip, or big rock bar. But flight characteristics, aerodynamically and in ground handling, for SEAT OF THE PANTS FLYING, this CC Sport Cub has it all. Viable, respectable airplane with the control-ability of a Super Cub, with the weight of a J-3.

I am not paid by CubCrafters. I just liked way it flew, and was really surprised. Try it if you can.

Bob Breeden


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