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Thread: Reports of a Carbon Cub Rookie

  1. #1
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    Default Reports of a Carbon Cub Rookie

    Although Iím not active here, another member suggested I post this here in addition to the original forum, as there are always pilots that havenít had a chance to experience the CC, and in particular the FX/EX-3. pb
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    Reports of a Carbon Cub Rookie

    If youíve spent a bunch of time in J3ís and low powered SuperCubs in particular, and even traditional 150/160hp PA-18ís, youíll find that one flight in a CubCrafters Carbon Cub doesnít allow your brain to even come up to V1 speed. Itís not until you have spent some time, ....and I mean some meaningful time.... in the front seat of an SS, FX/EX or XCub, that you begin to actually understand them.
    .

    As an 18-95 driver, I was pretty comfortable trudging along with the door open at 85-90 mph on little 29ís and plopping in and out of all sorts of off-airport spots. But when you climb into a Carbon Cub for the third time, you begin to understand the knee-jerk reaction of wanting to slide the seat more forward. Although youíre already in the perfect position for stick, rudder, throttle and panel, youíve got space.

    Itís wide, itís long, and itís about to get your adrenaline on.
    .

    A SuperCub driver isnít used to having air space between them and the panel, or maybe I should say, the sheer volume of space around you. In a PA-18, typical leanback cushion-to-panel distance is about 30Ē, and width is 24-25Ē. As you strap into an EX/FX, youíll find a full 30Ē of elbow room and looking out over the slope of the curved top cowl youíll begin to see that this animal is not wearing the same color spots as the one youíre used to. Add in a little more headroom, and we are talking about some air volume again. If youíve ever thrown a leg up over a muscular horse that stood a few hands taller, or straddled a big harley loaded for the road, you begin to get a sense that this machine is maybe a little bit greater than you are, so are you a cowboy, or just a rider?

    This interior spaciousness, along with the 3x3 gear on 31ís contributes to the overall sense of this being a massive machine, as if the wingspan was perhaps longer, or fuselage behind you stretched out a few feet more. (Both of which are very similar to a PA-18)

    Turn the key and the CC363i doesnít slowly breathe to life, it snorts alive as if to turn itís head and say ďare you ready to go or what!?Ē.
    .

    This recent flight was in an particular FX3, known among social media circles as Red 1, and right behind me of the slapping hand of Cubcrafter dealer Mike Sasser trying to communicate his bronc riding Texas mindset to that of a Vermont Ethan Allen Boy. Once I determined just exactly which ďblue buttonĒ to push off (otherwise known as shut off the dang heater), we taxied out into the south lakeland sunshine and launched. In contrast to the delicious display of airmanship we witnessed the day before when Mark Patey rode Southern Cubs SS in Pro Rodeo form, Iím pretty sure Mr. Sasser was now wondering what sort of dog and pony show he was now complicit to. Needless to say, he couldnít see much past me anyhow, so unless there were more blue buttons to push, we were up and flying.
    .

    Youíve all seen the performance displays in the online videos, and as mentioned before, not until you get a good hour or two of flight time do you start catching up with the ability of this thoroughbred. Carbon Cubs just want to run. 2200 seems to be a nice easy rpm for basic cub maneuvers, so I pulled it back to there and started grinning again. Probably the undisclosed but widely known secret in Yakima, WA is that the G series ailerons was named for size of the grin it creates on pilots. The EX/FX 3 series has a stronger wing to allow a GW increase, and the CC363 offering ramps up the power, but itís the G that matters.

    And trust me, youíll like the G.
    .

    The G, like the lasting grin on your face, is what transforms an airplane derived from a Supercub into a flying machine. A little pedal, a little stick, and in the blink of an eye youíre suddenly rolling your own personal F-15 down towards the grassland. Like the automotive cliches ďas if itís on railsĒ, this baby rolls. As you try to suppress the giggle it evokes, you wonder how a cable driven rag wing airplane can do this. The control feel has the response of a push-tube controlled jet. Crisp. Precise. And then you remember the G. With the ailerons every so slightly thickened to protrude into the boundary layer, and the trailing edge chopped to a 3/16Ē flat to hold the air on the airfoil, at no point is the aileron not placing the wing where you want it.

    And place the wing it does. Itís not the unstable feeling of a Pitts, Christen Eagle, or other aerobatic ready to snap roll, this is the hard, fast and rock solid handling that the F-15 jockeyís talk about at the bar. Real controls, real flight control surfaces, no computer interfaces. You put it in, and the G puts it out. I banked and yanked, pulled it up and dropped it down, slow to fast with not a hint of any imprecision. How an owner stops short of basic aerobatic routines is a testament to the owners discipline as a pilot in an airplane thats not approved for spins or aerobatics. You need aileron control to help rudder behind the curve at high AOA? You got it. You need precise roll control on a windy blind approach, you got it. With a touch higher wing loading this thing is as stable as a Cub comes.
    .

    The G matters.
    .

    With my grin still large, I fumbled with more buttons on the G3X panel and set a quick 20 mile course for friendís ranch. Word was he had a section of driveway that was landable and he served lunch. Leaned it out a touch to conserve a bit of fuel and a quick cruise found the spot. With a light 13 mph wind the stability was T-6 solid due to that wing loading, but with a much faster response. The info was right, the road a bit rutted but even with two left feet the Acme Aero shocks stuck like Mr. Sasserís bubble gum and it was easy to keep it out of the ditch.

    A quick lunch with Southern Cubsís own Charles Kinberger and Mike climbed in the front to reaffirm how gently Iíd been treating his baby. The power of the CC363 leaps at the chance to run unleashed and Mike knows how to release the reins. Even in the back you have a sense of the massiveness of this maneuverable machine, and Red 1 proves itís worth. If youíve been around the Part 23 Certified XCub youíve learned about the increased stability from the dorsal fin. Like teaching in a J3, you can feel the sashay in the back seat of an FX with some wind, but itís totally eliminated in the front seat.

    And thatís where you want to be, at the center of the FX Machine.

    https://youtu.be/-mYzC43WQXw

  2. #2
    Senior Member cityrancher's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reports of a Carbon Cub Rookie

    Great write up. Thanks

  3. #3
    Senior Member John Whitish's Avatar
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    Default Re: Reports of a Carbon Cub Rookie

    Peter-

    It was great to meet you at SnF. Thanks for the kind words. Even now, we still struggle to describe a Carbon Cub experience to those new to the airplane. This will help.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Reports of a Carbon Cub Rookie

    You too John. Glad I could help keep Sasser out of your hair for a few minutes.

    Hope to run into you again.

    pb.

  5. #5
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    Smile Re: Reports of a Carbon Cub Rookie

    Quote Originally Posted by cityrancher View Post
    Great write up. Thanks
    Ken
    Pete is one of our gang who get together in the northeast to patrol the skies. A spot of bad luck has him shopping for a new patrol aircraft. I will be excited when he flies his new FX3 home from Yakima


    He hit the nail with his excellent story, I am enjoying my Carbon Cub more every day. Incredibly capable, one day on skis in Maine, 2 days later on the beach in FL

    Last week was take your CC to work day around here

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igEDe4bTyIM

    This past sunday my son Andy joined the unexplaiined grin club, his first landing

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TJow4WPEIQ


    Hope you are doing well

    jim

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