Tuesday, August 24, 2010
King Kong "Little" Cub
CubCrafters’ top LSA offers a big surprise when the throttle goes forward
Lyle replaced the Bearcat’s P&W R-2800 engine with a huge Wright R-3350, and in combination with water injection, higher turbo boost and a number of other tricks, Lyle claimed the engine
was churning out well over 3,000 hp. I never found out if that was an actual dynamometer readout or just a dream, but he did have remarkable success with the airplane on the air-racing circuit—six national championships.
Such raw power may also be a key to Rare Bear’s world time-to-climb prop/piston record (91.9 seconds from sea level to 3,000 meters—9,843 feet) and its three-kilometer propeller speed record (529 mph).
The folks at CubCrafters in Yakima, Wash., don’t have any such grand plans for their Carbon Cub SS, but the airplane certainly is the most enthusiastic LSA you’re liable to encounter. Though CubCrafters’ Carbon Cub (previously known as the Super Sport Cub) is saddled with the same 1,320-pound gross weight limitation as on other LSAs, the airplane sports an impressive 180 hp, the most powerful engine in the class. The Carbon Cub’s engine is a new modified mill known as the CC340, developed by ECi of San Antonio, Texas, and CubCrafters, specifically for application to the Carbon Cub product.
Accordingly, the CC340 engine has an all-up weight of only 242 pounds. It features a lightweight CATO composite propeller, 40-amp alternator, a purpose-built ultralight starter and electronic ignition. The result is 35-50 pounds less weight on the nose compared to a standard O-360 Lycoming installed in a Piper Archer or in CubCrafters’ own Top Cub. Unlike the Lycoming 360, the CC340 develops its full 180 hp from only 340 cubic inches of displacement.
In addition to lighter weight forward of the firewall, the SS features remarkable weight reductions in other areas. In contrast to the Super Cub, the Carbon Cub contains 50% fewer parts, and the total airframe is 250 pounds lighter than its Piper predecessor. The fuselage is of 4130 aluminum, and the wing is the traditional Piper USA35B airfoil.
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