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Thread: Experimental Cub Kits

  1. #1
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    Default Experimental Cub Kits

    I have decided I want to build an experimental cub from a kit. The issue I am having is which kit to build. My first choice is the Backcountry Revision 2, but there are other great kit makers such as Carbon Cub, Dakota Cub, Javron Cub and also the SuperStol (not cub). I have my reasons for wanting to go experimental, and I know I will have quite a bit more $$$ in an experimental over an original cub, but why not have want you want if you have the time to build and the money to build it? So my question is, if you could have any of these, why and what mods would you add. Maybe you can help me make up my mind. Thanks.

  2. #2

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    Hard to give advice until I know what are you planing to do with the plane? Is this going to be a 24/7 working cub hauling moose, dogs, cabin stuff and working a long way from home. Is it going to be a Valdez STOL performer? Flights around home or for a few weeks in the brooks. Are you going to fly alone or need room for three/four. Do you want to go fast or slow? Floats, wheels or ski plane? Any fuel issues like no Av Gas available? Just a few things to think about. Mods for one may not be good for the other.
    DENNY

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    Denny, thanks for replying to this thread. I really thought there would be more guys that are obsessed with this subject as I am. I have a folder built with info on all of these different kinds of kits that I study almost every night. I've talked to every kit manufacturer asking them question after question. As soon as I think I know which kit I am going to build, I end up changing my mind.
    My question was, I you could have any of these planes, why and what modifications would you have to make this your ultimate dream plane.
    To answer your question, I live to be in the wild. My life revolves around it. I need a plane that will allow me to go further and haul more gear, fuel and dead animals. Even though I like to watch it, I have no intentions of flying in the Valdez STOL competition. I need a plane that will land short, haul plenty of fuel and get me home to my wife when she finally says enough is enough. I like the Backcountry Revision 2, with the leading edge slats, big Keller Flaps and large capacity fuel tanks. I will fly by myself mostly, I like the option of putting it on floats and skis and plan on dropping a 180hp engine into it. Thanks.

  4. #4

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    OK, that is a good start, I have a buddy that just finished a Backcountry plane last year AKA THE CUB SPANKER! It is a beast!!! Big motor flys fast and slow lots of cargo room can seat two in the back. I think the newer backcountry will be just as good or even better. Having said that it is somewhat of orphan. Ya, there are some around but its not like you are going to drop into Stoddards for any part you need. Same thing would go for a carbon cub. If you want floats now you are really looking hard for stuff. If you are a small guy like me and only need one passenger than a stock cub is great!!! Parts to get home are stashed everywhere around the state!!! You will never have enough fuel!! So put in 59 -60 gal in the wings and figure out a way to carry more in the belly tank. I would build a custom pod with bladder I could slide out and pump into wing. Three things to consider with getting in and out short. Weight, wing, and power. There are tradeoffs with each but a big wing with Keller flaps rules!! Slats are nice but I don't if they are worth it have to ask around on that one. If you are starting from ground up 180 is very nice to have. Nose weight always comes up when you talk 180 hp. Easy fix is to make a carbon fiber box at tail with access panel. Put your tools and survival gear there and now nose weight will not be a problem. When you flip the dogleg put the lower leg on the right not left, makes putting big propane bottles in the back easier. Put in back seat controls!! are all getting older and having something the back seater can uses in an emergency is nice, also helps on biannual. Change the wing angle of incidence to as high as you can get it, but be careful because that can cause fitment issues with other parts. 31 inch bushwheels with some of that shock gear, 4 leaf tail spring, big back tire, usual stuff. Dash FULL ENGINE MONITORS!!! Being 200 miles on the other side of nowhere is a bad place to be guessing why your engine is running rough!!! Usual VFR STUFF. Get the new style elt and slave to GPS. One note is to set in a cub and look forward, you see lots of nose cowling even in level flight. Put your GPS up high on the dash so your not looking down so much. You don't need to see the cowling. Go to Supercub.org and look at bills Javron build most of the questions are covered there. His cub sounds like just want you want. Be carefull with the latest/greatest stuff most times it is not that good just different!!

    Lots of rambling here pick what you like and leave the rest, If you start a build thread we can second guess you the entire time of your build!!!

    DENNY

  5. #5

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    We just started building a carbon cub EX2. The kit is very easy to work with and put together very professionally.
    Everything fits and support from CC is excellent.
    Great product overall.

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    Unless you're experienced building Cubs you have no business building a Rev 2 Backcountry. The Carbon Cub is the most complete and builder-friendly kit. Javron is like building a certified Cub using new parts. A Backcountry is a cool plane but requires a great deal of modification and fabrication from start to finish. It will also be the heaviest of the choices by a good margin. To build it right the Rev 2 will clearly be the most expensive.

    Do you have much/any Cub time?

  7. #7

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    Please keep in mind any "kit" you purchase should be reviewed very heavily. We have built kit airplanes for customers that were so bad that we sent the entire fuselage frame back to the company because it was complete trash. No parts in the kit would fit on the new fuselage we got next.
    It literally cost the customer probably $150,000 more to put this aircraft "kit" together than any other kit or cub rebuild.
    Company's like Vans aircraft and Cub Crafters put out a legitimate kit and product because they have done thousands of them.
    They are refined.
    Watch out for the start ups and smaller quantity types.

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    I appreciate the feedback. I'm taking 6 weeks next spring and will visit every kit manufacturer that made my short list, hopefully get to put my hands on each kit and if I'm lucky, get to fly each. All that being said, and because I am hard headed, the original question still stands.
    Let's say someone shows up at your door tomorrow and hands you $150,000 with the one condition is that you have to spend it on an experimental cub kit and build it any way you want to make it a "perfect" plane for you. Which one and what mods would you have to make it your perfect plane. Before you answer, think about your first solo, your first cross-country and the daydreams of landing on some gravel bar in the middle of nowhere. Don't worry about builder experience or flying skills. Think outside the box a little. Have some fun. Help me spend my money.

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    Show up on my door with $150K for a Rev 2? I'll tell you you're the better part if $100K short.

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    My favorite mod favors the Rev 2. The upper longeron is moved to the top. The baggage door is huge as is the cargo area. BCSC designed the airplane to use the Superior IO-400 so the airframe is extended back 2' to counter any nose heaviness. With this airplane 180hp isn't going to be enough. Once you get into 210-220hp you'll probably want a CS prop. The dollars stack up.

    The Carbon Cub is light and has a great power to weight ratio.

    Javron is a copy of a standard Supercub. Jay won't alter the AOI but most other mods are offered. For discussion sake it's a Piper Supercub without FAA restrictions.

    You can buy a slat kit from BCSC for $4K and add it to any Cub wing. Performance STOL flaps, too, for about $10K.

  11. #11
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    Cub Crafters is a great company and offers the only true cub "kit" , the others you will spend a ton of time sourcing parts that are not in the Kit. Just Aircraft would be the next best STOL kit but are limited on hauling loads. If you want to go fly and hunt and fish I would recommend buying one that is built because you will spend the next 2 years building and not flying. The SQ-12s that Wayne Mackey Has built and are flying up here are some of the most impressive back country haulers I have seen and would be my first pick if I could chose and money was no factor. A PA-18 is hard to beat though and sets the bar. I fly a exp. PA-14 it gets the job done.

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    How much of the carbon cub is made of carbon fiber? Or is it just light from other things?

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    Carbon fiber floor boards and interior panels and a carbon fiber plenum in the engine compartment are the only parts that come to mind. The Carbon Cub is an improved widebody Supercub with 180hp that weighs 900#. That's impressive. The kit quality is equally impressive. Whether it's the best airplane is totally subjective.

    My Backcountry Rev 2 also has carbon fiber floor boards and interior panels. It also came with a carbon fiber boot cowl and engine cowl. When completed my plane will weigh about 400# more than a standard Carbon Cub. Weight isn't everything.

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    I had the good fortune to ride in the just aircraft superstol that Robby Pedderson had in Valdez this spring. If done right that thing is a blast. It won't win any races but it sure gets off the ground in a hurry. Robby was a nice guy to talk to as well. It won't haul an entire moose in one trip or probably not two for that matter but if you're into that kind of flying making multiple trips won't bother you. There is a guy here in Fairbanks too that has one if you want to see it up close. I haven't talked to him about it but he'd be able to give you a consumers report on what it will and won't do.

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    I'm not in the lightweight STOL airplane market but if I was considering a Highlander I'd have to take a hard look at the Savage Cub, too.

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    If I could afford it, I would have a Carbon Cub but I can't so I'm scratch building a highly modified Bearhawk LSA that will have flaps and an 0-320/160+...otherwise buy a C-180 and enjoy it.
    Somewhere along the way I have lost the ability to act politically correct. If you should find it, please feel free to keep it.

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    I've built/restored a J-3, PA-18, Christian Eagle, Rans S-19, Stein Skybolt, and a couple Rutan Q-2s. My next is a Carbon Cub. Go to the factory and take a look, you will be extremely impressed. If you want a true kit that is a lot of fun and will not have you looking all over the country for parts (I've been there too many times) get the CC and have a blast building it. Building your own plane is just as much fun as flying them...with the right kit. There is no better cub kit then the CC and everything about that cub is very impressive.

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    I hope Bearsnack updates his impressions of the EX2. That's a cool airplane but I wonder about the durability of that lightweight airframe. I looked at and favored the Carbon Cub for a couple of years. I had every intention of buying a kit and no doubt I could have been happy with it. The thing that bothered me is that every Carbon Cub you see is a carbon copy. There's less personalization in that plane than a standard Cub and way, way less than most ground-up Cub clone builds. The best opportunity to build a true custom plane was with the Rev 2. That appeals to me so that's the one I bought. In retrospect the custom part is more than an opportunity, it's a requirement. Mine will likely be the second Rev 2 to fly and it'll have a somewhat similar appearance to #1 but will be very different in detail. No two Rev 2 kits are the same. No two Rev 2 airplanes will be the same. That's completely opposite the easy build/complete kit CC approach. To each his own. If anyone wants more detailed Rev 2 build pireps send me a PM.

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    I was trying to decide which kit to go with about a year ago I ended up going with a Javron probably the biggest reason was I wanted bigger flaps than cubcrafters has and it seems that their kit is so refined that it would be difficult for someone with my skills to modify the wing to get kellar flaps in the wing I have had a lot of issues with my kit and not close to done would go a different direction if I could do it over

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    You might want to look at a Bearhawk 4-place or a Patrol, they are fast, can haul, and are good stol performers... just a thought

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