Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Carbon Dating

Beautiful, refined, muscled like a linebacker: a Cub for the hotrod soul

Galloping Into The Lead
CubCrafters has enjoyed steadily growing sales, and at the beginning of 2012 notched its 200th delivery. Not sale—delivery. That makes it the top-selling American-made S-LSA in the U.S. market. (Cessna's Skycatcher is produced in China).

Airborne over the expansive towns, ranches and swamps of Central Florida, John Moreland guides me through a thoroughly enjoyable demo of the SS that includes departure and approach stalls, high-bank turns, and even a simulated "Impossible Turn" drill I'm doing from now on to demonstrate the minimum altitude LSA in general require to return to the tarmac after an engine failure (the number, by the way, is around 300 feet for a 270-degree turn).

Here's the short tell about handling: it's Super Cub-plus smooth, firm and solid. Feed in rudder and aileron to enter/exit from turns; short-field chops are legion; stalls are so benign as to be almost laughable—relax the stick, barely nudge the throttle and that's it.

And slow flight? Ha! Again: The airplane will whisper along holding altitude at stall-threshold speeds all day, with excellent aileron control, behind that big mill and Catto composite fan. The simple truth: If you want Super Cub performance and then some, look no further.

First-Cabin Class
Walking around and sitting in the airplane is a decidedly visceral treat, too. Every last fitting is impeccably designed and beautifully finished. You won't find a classier, more re-fined or polished LSA in any style or performance bracket.

Take the medium gray floor pan: It's molded in textured carbon fiber: sexy, strong and makes you feel good just to look at it. The Carbon Cub SS gets its name, of course, from the numerous carbon-fiber components throughout.

Vertex Standard Spirit
There may be nothing more reassuring for student pilots making their first solo in a Carbon Cub or any other LSA than being able to hear their instructor's voice talk them through any rough patches...from the ground. That neat little trick is often accomplished with handheld radio transceivers like the Vertex VXA-710 ($349), a do-it-all air-band transmitter/receiver that does a whole lot more in a compact, hand-sized package. A handheld radio also is a great backup.

The top-o'-line, feature-packed VXA-710 is no exception, with dimensions of 21⁄4x33⁄4x11⁄4 inches and a crazy-light weight of 9.9 ounces, thanks in part to its magnesium case. This baby nearly does it all; full aviation transceiver band and five watts of transmitter power; impressive VOR and CDI Navigation tools; NOAA and WFM Broadcast band during downtime.
Even Business Radio Service (BRS) band and FM 2-Meter (144MHz Band) receiving (inflight music!), an exclusive to Vertex, are built in. Headset adaptor, rechargeable lithium battery and "rubber ducky" antenna adaptor (SMA to BNC) connector are included. Full programmability, 160 memory channels and full submersibility for field use during inclement weather make this a handheld to check out. Contact:

Labels: LSAsPilot Reports

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