By Dave Hirschman
Sure, Scott E. Carson’s day job puts him in charge of building and selling the world’s most technologically advanced passenger jets.
But the Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO went across the state to CubCrafters in Yakima, Wash., for his personal aircraft—a Sport Cub S2 light sport aircraft that’s about as different from a 787 Dreamliner as anything that flies can possibly be.
While 787s are built from carbon fiber, weigh up to 540,000 pounds, and can carry about 300 people on globe-spanning trips up to 8,000 miles, Carson’s Sport Cub is covered with fabric, weighs 1,320 pounds at max gross, and carries up to two people on trips of 450 miles or less.
“Scott has a real passion for general aviation,” said CubCrafters President and CEO Todd Simmons. “The Sport Cub is meant to take him back to the pure, grass roots joy of flight.”
Carson was scheduled to take delivery of his new plane on Jan. 23. It’s equipped with oversized tires, a Garmin 496 GPS, and Bose headsets. It’s painted in the cardinal red of his alma mater, Washington State University.
“It’s a well-equipped airplane,” said Simmons.
CubCrafters has built and sold more than 75 Sport Cubs at an average price of about $145,000, including options, Simmons said.
That puts the modernized Cub far ahead of the 787 in terms of actual deliveries (the first 787 flight is scheduled to take place this year after several postponements). But 787 sales have topped 840 to date—and international demand remains strong.
A Sport Cub can land in 245 feet, or slightly more than the 787’s 208-foot wingspan. It flies about 100 mph compared to 561 for the Boeing and carries 25 gallons of avgas compared to 37,693 gallons of jet fuel.
In fact, a new Sport Cub’s base price of $119,500 is well below the cost of topping off the fuel tanks just once in a 787.
January 23, 2008