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Thread: PA12 or PA18?

  1. #1
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    Default PA12 or PA18?

    I'm looking at buying a partnership interest in a Cub. I'm currently looking at two options - a PA12 with a 180hp or a PA18 with a 150. I'm new to flying and would like some feedback on the pro's and con's of these planes. Both are in great condition with low HSMO.

  2. #2
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    I have owned both on a couple different occasions...The PA-12s have more room and usually cruise a little faster. The cables that are outside on an 18 are inside the wings on a 12...The 12s also seem to trim out for a more comfy cruise...

    The 18s take off and land shorter... the angle of incidence is steeper on the 18, while the 12 was made for cruising speed...
    There are more "LOTS" 18s and lots more mods for them..

    Most 12s have old tubing hidding under their fabric...

    Check out the supercub.org website...
    Tell em Alex sent you...
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

  3. #3

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    180 horses in the PA12 certainly changes the equation, though it won't make it land any shorter.

  4. #4
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    Default pa 12 or 18

    1) I'm I understanding this correctly. Even with a stall speed of 32 knots, the pa12 takes a longer landing field?
    2) The pa12 does have extra room and more power, but it seems to me that all the mods and adjustments made to a pa12 are just trying to get this plane to perform closer to a pa18.
    3) As for take offs and landings, what are the differances in field requirements?

  5. #5
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    To be quite truthful, if you currently have no experience in either one, you (at your current level) will not be able to tell the difference. It take lots of practice and experience to obtain the most out of either aircraft.
    The 12s are a touch wider in their gear stance so they may be a little easier to keep straight during landings.

    The original design stall speed of the PA-12 and the PA-18-150 were about the same , 42 mph... The older and lighter super cubs had a 38 mph design stall speed as does the PA-11 that I currently use for float ratings. Note that while my landing attitude power off stall speed is 38mph, my power-on stall speed in a prop-hanger attitude is only 32-34- mph NOT KNOTS.. Not that it matters because I can't land in that attitude.
    If they now have VGs installed, you will have more control at lower speeds, but my experience is that they still sink at about the same speed without letting the pilot know about it...

    Remember, a 180 HP PA-12 has been heavily modified. The original PA-12 had a 108 hp 0-235 engine and no flaps. The PA-12 (The Super Cruiser) was an improved J-5C.
    The 12 you are talking about now has almost twice the horse power, flaps, PA-18 tail feathers, modified fuel and a whole lot more weight.....

    Since almost all Cubs have been modified to death,,,, You need to look at the current empty weights and the legal gross weights...
    And the paperwork,,,, There are a lot on non-legal STCs flying around,,, All it takes is one bad piece of paper of one pound extra after an accident, and you are left holding the bag financially and liability wise...
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
    http://site.dragonflyaero.com

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    Since you're new to flying it's safe to say that either airplane will work exceptionally well for your skills. You'll have several years under your belt before the subtle performance differences will be important to you. From the practical standpoint I'd look at the difference in insurance costs. That's a wild card for a new guy. Operational and maintenance expenses between the two will be very similar.

    Something else I'd consider before making an investment in a partnership deal is have an experienced Cub guy fly the two planes and give you his opinion. There are good Cubs and not-so-good Cubs (and 12s). You can't tell by looking at them or by reading the logs. Some things can be explained but some things are hard to quantify. If one of the planes in question flies like magic and the other feels just average the answer would be clear in my mind.

  7. #7
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    Yep, without lots of hours the cub and 12 will seem about the same, except you may feel you can pack more in the 12. But, when it comes to the down and dirty the cub will take the prize. Ive been through them all, and still have a couple. From the J-3, PA-11, PA-12, Arctic Tern, PA-14, and most have their nitch, but when it comes to short and dirty, I still climb in my cub. Folks that have the 12's throw a lot of money at them trying to make them into 12's....but they never will be.

    180 hps can get out shorter then 150s and 160s, and they fly fast...but they cant get in as short, so its a moot question as to how short they can get out.... unless its a longer strip and they are carrying a load. On the other hand, they cant be beat on skis and floats.

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