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Super Cub Sweepstakes: One of a kindSuper Cub Sweepstakes: One of a kind

Tail art makes AOPA’s Sweepstakes Super Cub a standout

Designing a paint scheme for one of the most iconic aircraft in general aviation history isn’t easy, which is why AOPA and New Jersey-based Scheme Designers took a hands-off approach to the design for the Sweepstakes Super Cub—for the most part.
June Briefing

Customize your airplane

Vinyl decals give aircraft owners freedom to inexpensively personalize their aircraft without hurting resale value, because they can quickly and easily remove the artwork when the time comes to sell their aircraft, according to Scheme Designers owner Craig Barnett. Simple, already designed nose or tail art vinyl decals can cost less than $100, he said. And, decals look great on the aircraft—the lightning bolt, N number, lettering, and tail art on AOPA's Sweepstakes Super Cub are vinyl decals from Moody Aero-Graphics.

Lock Haven Yellow paint and a black thunderbolt are signatures of Piper Cubs, most notably on the Piper J–3 Cub with the signature bear cub on the tail. The Piper PA–18 was produced in different colors and paint schemes, including the yellow-and-black livery; AOPA’s 1954 Super Cub rolled out of the factory with green paint. Instead of restoring this Super Cub to its original look, AOPA is harking back to the 1940s and ’50s when these rag-wings first made children and adults look up and yearn to fly. With true post-war Lock Haven Yellow from Consolidated Aircraft Coatings, a black thunderbolt, and two-inch N numbers, the sweepstakes airplane will look like a traditional Super Cub.

However, every AOPA sweepstakes airplane features a design that makes it stand out from the rest. Scheme Designers has been designing creative paint schemes for AOPA’s sweepstakes aircraft since 1999. To set the Super Cub apart, Scheme Designers’ Cris Lacognata adapted the cute, lovable bear cub traditionally seen on tails into a cub exploring the wilderness as a nod to the taildragger’s backcountry prowess. The tail also features a mountain scene with a lake, because the aircraft will be given away with amphibious floats, hydraulic skis, and tundra tires. Those who look closely will spot a hidden element on the tail: AOPA’s wings. The rear windows have AOPA’s traditional seal.

Under the Super Cub’s wings, the message, “Win This,” in removable vinyl letters will entice aviators across the country to check out this unique airplane as it flies overhead. The message will be in prominent view as the aircraft will be lifted up on 26-inch Alaskan Bushwheels from Airframes Alaska during show stops in 2018 and on Wipline 2100 floats from Wipaire in 2019.

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Alyssa J. Miller

Alyssa J. Cobb

AOPA Director of eMedia and Online Managing Editor
AOPA Director of eMedia and Online Managing Editor Alyssa J. Cobb has worked at AOPA since 2004 and is an active flight instructor.

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