Tuesday, March 24, 2009
A light-sport blend of old-school nostalgia and modern technology
In a sky filled with high-performance pistons, turboprops and jets that speed to their destination, there’s still something undeniably irresistible about a little yellow Cub. Puttering around low and slow, the humble two-seater makes lazy circles over emerald fields as its pilot smiles down on Earth, senses ignited by a soft breeze and the scent of grass airstrips that waft through the open window. The classic Cub doesn’t care about horsepower or tailwinds; it’s on a flight plan to nowhere, without a worry in the world. “What’s the rush?” the gentle old machine asks. “I will show you what flying is about: fun, passion and simplicity.” But what if you wanted to have your cake and eat it too? Then CubCrafters is your answer.
I Want It All
Founded by Jim Richmond in 1980 in Yakima, Wash., CubCrafters quickly attained success as a top rebuilder of PA18 Super Cubs. Today, the company also manufacturers its own aircraft, the Sport Cub and Top Cub. Both are modernized versions of the original Cub that combine classic design with new technology, safety features and comforts.
Priced at a base of $127,500, the 2009 Sport Cub S2 weighs in at 832 pounds empty, has a gross weight of 1,320 pounds and is certified as a light-sport aircraft. The second-generation, fabric-covered aircraft features numerous improvements (more than 100, according to CubCrafters) over its predecessor. Among these is a 30-inch-wide cabin (four inches wider than the Top Cub) that benefits from a relocated panel four inches forward and a door that’s four inches wider. Safety features, including AmSafe air bags and inertia-reel shoulder harnesses, now come as standard equipment. Flaps are now standard as well, as are two 12-gallon wing tanks that provide a 450-mile range. There’s a new cabin heater, battery and battery access. There’s new light housing on the wing and tail. There’s a lot of new in this airplane.
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