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Thread: Baumann / Aerocet Comparison on Carbon Cubs

  1. #1
    Senior Member chipallen's Avatar
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    Default Baumann / Aerocet Comparison on Carbon Cubs

    Last month, the CubCrafters Service Center in West Palm Beach, FL installed a pair of Aerocet Floats on Carbon Cub #340.The install went very well and the post-installation test flights demonstrated a very nice handling airplane on both water and land.

    I thought readers of this forum might be interested in a comparison gained by a couple of Carbon Cub owners who flew the airplane and were kind enough to provide pilot reports on their experience. It should be noted that both of these owners have Carbon Cubs on Baumann 1500A amphibious floats, so this is a very real comparison. <Gary> is Gary Lickle and <Chuck> is Chuck Kinberger, both from the West Palm Beach, FL area.

    <Gary> Let the challenge begin!!

    <Gary> On May30, 2015, at 6:30 PM, Gary Lickle <gary@gdlickle.com> wrote:

    Here is my PIREP:

    1) Overall the Aerocets are excellent amphibs and comparable to the Baumanns with some pluses and minuses as follows:

    2) The larger rear tires and brakes together with the easier swiveling front gear offers easier ground handling on Aerocets.

    3) Aerocets in water taxi and turning seems more responsive and despite smaller rudders it turns well both with and without rudders and I would say has an edge on the Baumanns but think it’s because there is no ventral fin on the aft fuselage with the Aerocets; I was able to turn the plane in 15kts with rudders to the right; a full 360 but not left

    4) Take-off and landing distances felt comparable but since I will be back on Baumanns next week we plan a side by side fly off. That said I did not notice any dramatic difference but Chuck may have a different opinion hence the fly- off needed.

    5) I did not prefer the gear system on the Aerocets as it takes 7-8 pumps to deploy or retract vs Baumann direct quick Johnson bar. You also know with Baumann immediately if it works or not. The Aerocet gear audio warning was too quiet but suspect it can be louder. Simply the whole system is much more complicated for the Aerocet so Bauman wins there.

    6) Aerocets float a bit higher but nothing dramatic to say “wow! feels like more float.”

    Time will tell re how the carbon fiber holds up vs aluminum and assume corrosion issues with the floats themselves that carbon fiber wins. The gear (wheels, brakes, etc.) and systems corrosion will have to be monitored to see which is better over time.

    I like them very much and great to be able to fly them. I did not test airspeed loss or gain so tbd.

    <Chuck>On May30, 2015, at 10:08 PM, Chuck <pa11890ck@gmail.com> wrote:

    The Aerocets are very nice floats. They are attractive, and the attention to detail is there; the quality of the float I feel is superb!

    Very nice in the air; just like the Baumanns, you almost don't even know you’re on floats unless you look out the window.

    I think Carbon Fiber a plus for sure.

    I don't care for the gear system. It's almost like work to cycle the gear; twice I had to pump quite a few times when it got air bubbles (probably owing to being a new system). Gear warning volume is way too soft. I tried to find a way to turn up volume but no luck. Mirrors on the wing don't work at all. I took Karen for a ride and she couldn't see the gear in mirror at all either. You can see the tip of the front wheels when they are up out the window other than that there no visual to know where the gear is except for the lights on dash. If the micro-switch goes out, you’re on your own. Overall, just too complicated compared to the Baumann manual system.

    Water Rudders work excellent but I always thought mine did too, so I'm neutral on that.

    Performance off the water; I feel these are pretty sticky, just doesn't seem to get off the water as fast at all. I haven't flown mine on floats in 8 months but that's not how I remember the performance at all.

    Ground handling on Aerocets is way better than the Baumann’s. You’re not fighting/riding the brakes the whole time your taxiing.

    Performance on the step was great!

    It seems to want to porpoise a little when you land unless you dump the flaps; they seem to want to stay on top and not settle in the water. Almost like it was pushing the nose down a little. It would settle instantly when you got rid of the flaps.

    It has a funny bump in the stick from the elevator when you’re on final with 2 notches of flap; must be getting some dirty air in that configuration - it did it every time.

    Stalled clean in all configurations when you can actually get it to stall.

    Floatation seems considerably better - I always felt Baumanns were a little weak there.

    There was no water in storage compartment and the water wasn't going over the top of the float when taxiing. I liked that.��

    Suspension seems a lot stiffer, but seems to be quite a bit heavier duty from what I looked at so I like that too. Thought Baumann gear was just little on the weak side.

    I think from my memory that airplane on Aerocets is a little slower. I think these speeds are close to mine with my prop and Gary can run off and leave me but he would know more about the speeds. @2600 RPM it was indicating 122mph

    <Gary> I got to fly the Aerocets again yesterday and this time winds were calm and the floats were definitely more sticky than the Baumann’s and had to horse them off to break adhesion , I suspect I did not experience that on first round as winds were 15 and a nice chop. Rest of my comments remain the same.

    In the end, the Baumann and Aerocet Floats were declared equal by both pilots. Their “ideal”float would be the Aerocets with the Baumann gear retraction system.

    Since these Pilot Reports were written, Gary and Chuck did,indeed, have an opportunity to fly the two Carbon Cubs (one with Aerocets andone with Baumanns) in a side-by-side comparison. It was a little “lopsided”, due to differences in pilot weight, fuel load, and the fact that the two airplanes are propped differently.After spending the afternoon with each pilot having an opportunity to fly both airplanes, the final decision was in fact a “tie”.
    Last edited by chipallen; 06-11-2015 at 09:06 AM.
    Chip Allen
    SWT Aviation, Inc.
    Cubcrafters Southeast Sales Center
    Marietta, GA
    www.swtaviation.com

  2. #2
    Senior Member Springloaded's Avatar
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    Default Re: Baumann / Aerocet Comparison on Carbon Cubs

    Well after putting a few more hours on them they are equal in performance . Only down fall at all is the hydraulic gear system and if you've never flown Baumans you wouldn't complain about it at all it's really not bad just different from what we're use the too. Gary and I did a fly off side by side 3 times switched plane did 3 more and there is no performance difference. (We were getting off the water in 5 seconds) I would recommend them to anyone and give them a 9 1/2. Great set of Floats!
    Chuck
    Last edited by Springloaded; 06-11-2015 at 05:59 PM.
    Chuck Kinberger
    Southern Cubs
    Florida Cubcrafter Sales
    Jupiter Fl.
    Pa11890ck@gmail.com
    You can sit at home & hear the News or get out there & be the News

  3. #3
    Senior Member Warren Aircraft LLC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Baumann / Aerocet Comparison on Carbon Cubs

    Good report.... my only baumann time was sitting behind Richmond... Hard to evaluate from there... Other than he got if off the water quick for being right at the 1420......
    Scot Warren - Member / President
    Warren Aircraft™ LLC
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    Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, & Louisiana

  4. #4
    Senior Member Clay Hammond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Baumann / Aerocet Comparison on Carbon Cubs

    Delivered new Carbon Cub on Aerocets to customer in Maryland a week ago. Head and shoulders above Baumanns and the Meads. Loads of freeboard, no tendency to submarine/bury the float on outside of idle turns, quick onto step. Plenty stable in step taxis with turns left and right. In smooth to very light chop it can hold on a little before popping off the water in takeoff. I think this might be somewhat due to perfect smooth composite undersides. Maybe some turbulators on the hulls, just forward of the step could help alleviate this?

    Airborne she flies like any other. That is to say GREAT! I don't mind the hydraulic gear system, although it takes 20 pumps or so to extend/retract. In the amphib Caravans I fly company rule is confirm gear is in landing config fives mile prior to LZ, I am adopting this for our Aerocet Cubs too so as not to get caught close in trying to put gear down for a runway landing. It takes several seconds of pumping and takes your concentration away from other things. Five miles out confirm water or runway landing and then configure as needed. That way you are not pumping while needing to do other things and/or keep eyes outside.

    I flew both the straight and amphib Baumann's back at the beginning of the program. Liked them, but the aluminum skins seemed awfully thin and they would "tin can" easily. I was always worried about landing in dirty water and or coming up to a bank onto anything other than sand or silt. Worried that they would tear too easily on an obstruction. Not a problem with the Aerocets, seem much tougher.

    Upon picking up the Cub in YKM and heading east with it, I had a bunch of the bilge pump plugs pop out repeatedly. After second or third fuel stop of shoving them back in I got a slightly soapy wet paper towel from bathroom and wiped off each rubber plug. No more problems. I think some of the mold release agent was still present on the plug and allowing them to slip out. Contributing factor may have been some positive pressure from the float compartments at altitude (which is a good thing, means they are sealed up tight).

    One last note...you can put the entire land gear for your cub in the extended baggage of the Carbon Cub and keep the rear seat in. Two gear legs jig-saw into the back. Cabane vee and shock struts slide in back underneath. Tailwheel too. Two 26" Airstreaks deflated by pulling the cores fit in main baggage area. All without removing the seat so you can put your overnight bag in the seat...or whatever else you want to carry. CC is super nice about wrapping the gear parts in foam and bubble wrap to protect them AND airplane. Cut up some cardboard and put on floorboard to protect. W & B up to the pilot to determine. Letting the air out of the tires helps... ;-)

    One last gear swing confirming operation and no leaks before heading out of YKM:

    2015-06-01 11.59.38.jpg
    Last edited by Clay Hammond; 06-15-2015 at 07:23 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Baumann / Aerocet Comparison on Carbon Cubs

    Clay when your landings get smoother the plugs will stay put

    Glenn

  6. #6
    Senior Member Clay Hammond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Baumann / Aerocet Comparison on Carbon Cubs

    Hah! What was driving me crazy was after takeoff I would watch them...nothing. Take my eyes off for one second though and one would pop out.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Baumann / Aerocet Comparison on Carbon Cubs

    Clay that's BIG news that the gear fits in the extended baggage for ferrying with Amphibs! Wow never thought of that one good to know best Gary

  8. #8
    Senior Member N867SP's Avatar
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    Default Re: Baumann / Aerocet Comparison on Carbon Cubs

    Wow, I'd love to know which one of my fellow Marylanders needs to become my new best friend. Would love to get my SES in a CarbonCub!


    Pete
    CCK-1865-0078
    ️N9PW
    Severna Park, MD
    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    Pete
    ✈️CCK-1865-0078 N9PW
    Severna Park, MD W18

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