January 12, 2011
By Alton K. Marsh
A CubCrafters 180-hp Carbon Cub light SS sport aircraft has landed in 69 feet and taken off in 64 feet to win a takeoff and landing contest in Valdez, Alaska, using the company’s 3X3 landing gear modification kit just approved by the FAA. There was no wind.
The extended gear places the wheels three inches forward and three inches lower, transferring the aircraft’s weight further aft. It allows the pilot to brake aggressively after landing. The gear modification kit by CubCrafters sells for $2,250, and is available as a modification for all PA-18 Super Cubs. CubCrafters is authorized to manufacture its own brand of the popular Cub design started by Piper Aircraft.
The company recently received a supplemental type certificate for the gear kit. The kit is made of stronger materials to handle the braking loads. The heavy duty 3X3 gear increases prop clearance. Ground handling is also improved, as the aircraft more readily settles into a three-point stance and remains there on roll out.
“I like everything about it!” said CubCrafters owner Jim Richmond after his first flight in a 3X3 equipped Super Cub. “Some older 180 horsepower Cubs tend to be a little heavy in the nose, and this really takes care of that. It’s easy to handle on the ground, and you can really stomp on the brakes!”
CubCrafters announced other changes to its line of products. The Carbon Cub now has an ignition backup battery system, adjustable cowl flaps, Iridium spark plugs, detented cables for mixture, carb heat, and cabin heat (to stop the controls from creeping out of adjustment), lightweight lighting and strobe packages with an LED landing light, a Dynon D180 Super Brite avionics screen, and no price increase over 2010.
The Sport Cub S2, another light sport aircraft, also has the changes to cables, lighting, and avionics screens, and a new base price of $134,950.
The Top Cub, a certified Part 23 aircraft, now offers an Alpha-Omega Suspension System, an auto fuel STC, and a PS Engineering PM3000 intercom.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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Greg Pecoraro, AOPA vice president of airports and state advocacy, brought Indiana aviation community members up to date on the association’s initiatives.
Elbit Systems has upgraded infrared systems that see through darkness and weather for nearly visual landings and takeoffs, as well as taxi operations.
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