Aircraft Review

June 2009 Issue

CubCrafters LSA Cub: Stunning STOL

And with 180 HP, that’s no surprise. The innovative Super-Sport flies like a Cub, but has carbon fiber detailing more like an exotic experimental.

As applied to airplanes, the word "performance" has a multi-tiered meaning. We’d guess most pilots think of speed first, then payload or climb and then maybe short or rough field capability. The light sport segment bollixes up the usual logic because none of them are very fast, although they vary in payload and runway capability. On that last point, a new LSA offering from CubCrafters promises to reset the scale on what short takeoff and landing capability means, so much so that there are going to be some envious Super Cub pilots in Alaska drooling over this thing. The airplane is called the Super SportCub and it was unveiled just prior to Sun ‘n Fun. Had it not been for an item in the press announcement, we would have said that this airplane is simply another entry in what is turning out to be just way too many LSAs than the market will ever support. But that one thing was the engine: a 180-HP O-340 four-banger loosely based on Lycoming’s O-320, but stroked and modified as an experimental engine by Engine Components, Inc. But wait a minute…doesn’t the airplane still have to meet the 1320-pound LSA gross weight limit and can it do that with that big engine? It does and, evidently, it can.

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