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‘Mother Of All Cubs’ adds performance, power‘Mother Of All Cubs’ adds performance, power

American Legend boosts backcountry capability of modern variant of Piper Super CubAmerican Legend boosts backcountry capability of modern variant of Piper Super Cub

American Legend Aircraft Co. announced a more powerful and more capable three-seat backcountry version of the Legend Cub called the "Mother Of All Cubs," or MOAC, that is rooted in the Piper Super Cub—a fully cowled refinement of the open-cylinder Piper J–3 Cub originally introduced in the late 1930s as a simple and slow tandem taildragger trainer.

American Legend Aircraft announced a more powerful, three-seat backcountry version of the Legend Cub called the Mother Of All Cubs, or MOAC. Photo courtesy of Jim Wilson, American Legend Aircraft.

American Legend President Darin Hart said the new MOAC improves “an 80-year Piper history” of Cubs by adding considerably more horsepower and performance-enhancing features to allow the aircraft to withstand rugged operations and to further improve the versatility of the Legend Cub introduced by the Texas kitplane manufacturer in 2005.

The MOAC has 40 gallons of usable fuel, can be certified to a gross weight up to 2,000 pounds, and can accommodate either a third seat or space for 180 pounds of baggage. The improvements significantly change the load-carrying capability over the Super Cub’s 36 gallons of fuel and 1,750-pound certification weight.

Hart said the MOAC can produce “remarkable takeoff and landing performance” with Titan engines from Continental Aerospace Technologies that are available with “up to 208 horsepower” for short bursts of time and 187 to 195 hp continuous. The powerplants can be matched to Cato fixed pitch, Whirlwind ground adjustable, or Hartzell constant-speed propellers.

A strengthened airframe combined with leading edge slats, wing root-to-aileron flaps, balanced ailerons, aerodynamic square wing tips, and tweaks to the tailplane contribute to significant performance gains.

A beefy Shock Monster nitrogen-charged air/oil shock assembly gleaned from TK1 Racing smooths out ground handling with 12 to 14 inches of wheel travel. A “dual shock setup delivers the security of redundancy, unbelievable cushioning and, best of all, zero bounce back,” a news release noted.

Additional updates throughout the airframe help transform the latest in a den of Cubs into a more versatile utility player. Dual doors provide access from both sides of the aircraft; a turtle deck opening and hatch gives access to extended aft fuselage storage that can accommodate bulky items including a stretcher; cargo doors and a folding rear seat allow storage in the mid-fuselage area; and a skylight and extended rear windows further open up the view. Avionics include Garmin’s G3X touch panel and G5 electronic flight instrument, USB power ports, LED lighting, and lithium-ion batteries.

According to book values, a Piper Super Cub needs 350 feet of runway for landing and takeoff, figures that are significantly bested by American Legend’s fleet, which has verified numbers between 145 and 210 feet for takeoff and between 205 and 260 feet for landing.

The popularity of backcountry aircraft has soared in recent years, coinciding with short takeoff and landing events that highlight their performance, versatility, and utilitarian role.

The MOAC drew praise from aviation enthusiasts during the 2019 AOPA Frederick Fly-In who viewed its stellar performance during STOL demos. The manufacturer suggests that the MOAC “can take off in its own length,” which is about 22 feet, but the claim wasn’t specifically verified during the popular STOL event at Frederick Municipal Airport in Maryland.

“It’s all about the perfect conditions and how heavy the aircraft is,” said Hart.” If you have 10-15 mph on the nose it’s easy to get that out of the aircraft. If not, 50 to 100 feet is about normal. It’s all about practice, practice, practice.”

Hart said there are seven builder-assisted MOAC versions of the company’s Super Legend aircraft flying and the price varies between $215,000 and $260,000 depending on the options such as autopilots, additional glass panel avionics, seating surfaces, and other performance features. The non-MOAC Super Legend AL18 begins at $174,900.

American Legend Aircraft announced a more powerful and more capable three-seat backcountry version of the Legend Cub called the Mother Of All Cubs. Photo courtesy of Jim Wilson, American Legend Aircraft. American Legend Aircraft announced a more powerful, three-seat backcountry version of the Legend Cub called the Mother Of All Cubs, or MOAC. Photo courtesy of Jim Wilson, American Legend Aircraft. John Wisdom, Brett Hussong, and Lauren Hussong occupy the three seats of an American Legend Aircraft Mother of all Cubs (MOAC), a new version of the Legend Aircraft Cub. Photo courtesy of American Legend Aircraft. American Legend Aircraft announced a three-seat backcountry version of the Legend Cub called the Mother Of All Cubs, or MOAC. Photo courtesy of Jim Wilson, American Legend Aircraft.
David Tulis

David Tulis

Associate Editor Web/ePilot
AOPA Associate Editor Web/ePilot David Tulis joined AOPA in 2015 and is a seaplane-rated private pilot who enjoys vintage aircraft, aerobatic flying, and photography.
Topics: Experimental, Taildragger, Backcountry

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