CubCrafters Unveils New Carbon Cub

by HPA · December 13, 2017

CubCrafters Unveils New Carbon Cub

CubCrafters is introducing two new variants of the company’s hugely successful Carbon Cub model, the Carbon Cub EX-3 and FX-3. The Carbon Cub EX-3 is an experimental amateur built (E-AB) kit, and the Carbon Cub FX-3 is the company’s FX (Factory eXperimental) builder assist version. Both feature CubCrafters’ new, more powerful, fuel-injected engine, constant-speed propeller, and higher 2,000 lb. gross weight limit.

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“With more than 500 Carbon Cubs flying, we are pleased to announce another meaningful step in the evolution of this aircraft”, said Randy Lervold, president of CubCrafters. “The Carbon Cub has a well-earned reputation as the performance leader among adventure aircraft, and now, with the introduction of the new EX-3 and FX-3 models, we are raising the performance bar even higher”.

The new airframes are quite similar in appearance and dimension to existing Carbon Cubs, but the new fuselage and wings are designed and tested for increased gross weight (2,000 lb.), and higher speed (130+ mph cruise). The EX-3 and FX-3 sport a composite Trailblazer constant-speed prop and spinner from Hartzell, plus the aerodynamic carbon cowl from CubCrafters’ flagship, the XCub. Hidden beneath the cowl’s distinctive cooling fins turns an entirely new fuel-injected power plant created by the combined design resources at Superior Air Parts, Aero Sport Power, and CubCrafters. Together, these upgrades define a Carbon Cub that fills a logical position between the existing Carbon Cub EX-2/FX-2 models and the XCub.

Exclusive New CC363i Engine

Providing power for the EX-3 and FX-3 is the new CC363i power plant. Developed in partnership with Superior Air Parts and Aero Sport Power, the CC363i is a lightweight four-cylinder engine with fuel injection from Precision Airmotive and electronic ignition by Lightspeed Engineering. Unique to the CC363i is CubCrafters’ ultra-lightweight cold air induction system. The company’s engineering group employed computational fluid design tools and considerable testing to optimize airflow within this exclusive carbon fiber manifold. Like previous Carbon Cub engines, the CC363i also features a very light aluminum oil sump fabricated entirely by CubCrafters. The CC363i produces 186+ horsepower and has a 9.0:1 compression ratio for extended service life.

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Core engine components provided by Superior Air Parts include tapered barrel Millennium cylinders, roller tappets, and a counterweighted crankshaft. CubCrafters’ long-time engine partner, Aero Sport Power, provides assembly and testing of the CC363i using the Superior components, Precision Airmotive Silver Hawk EX fuel injection, Lightspeed dual electronic ignition, and CubCrafters’ new proprietary induction system and oil sump.

Hartzell Trailblazer Composite Constant-Speed Propeller

Like CubCrafters’ top-of-the line XCub, the Carbon Cub EX-3 and FX-3 are fitted with Hartzell’s lightweight Trailblazer constant-speed prop. The company offers an 80-inch Trailblazer as standard, and an 83-inch is available as an optional upgrade. Compared to the fixed-pitch prop available on current Carbon Cubs, the Trailblazer yields appreciably higher thrust for takeoff and climb, higher speed, and greater range for the EX-3/FX-3.

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Increased 2,000 lb Gross Weight Limit

The construction of the Carbon Cub EX-3/FX-3 allows an increased useful load of up to 977 lbs, which is greater than any previous Carbon Cub. The new fuselage and wings feature even more robust design and execution compared to previous Carbon Cub models. The new 3×3 landing gear was originally designed for the XCub and features strengthened fuselage attach points. The wings’ rear spar and attachments have been bolstered, the leading edge uses thicker aluminum, and the new struts resemble those from the XCub. Despite the Experimental certification basis for the EX-3/FX-3, the entire airframe has endured structural, systems, and flight testing that is similar to that of our FAA Part 23 certified aircraft.

 

As suggested above, the new Carbon Cub EX-3 and FX-3 share a number of design advancements developed for the company’s top model, the XCub. CubCrafters’ exclusive G-Series ailerons and flaps, aerodynamic carbon composite cowl with cooling louvers, and composite engine cooling baffles are all included on the new variants. Particularly welcome is the adaptation of the XCub control stick with improved positioning and multifunction grip, and a high-output triple-zone cabin heater with windshield defrost.

“Pilots who have flown the new prototype universally report that it climbs aggressively, handles beautifully, and is even more refined than the current models”, says Lervold. “In fact, the thrust generated by the new aircraft is 20% higher than any previous Carbon Cub!”

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Carbon Cub EX-3 kits and FX-3 aircraft are already being delivered to customers. For more information about the new airplanes, visit cubcrafters.com/carboncub. You may also contact CubCrafters or your local Certified Sales Center.

How it Started

One of my best friends in high school, (Doug Gray) was a private pilot. He offered to take me up for a flight in a 1967 Cessna 150, N6228S. We took off from Calhoun, Georgia, and he took me on a scenic tour of the area, I was hooked. I later found out that my English teacher, (Jan Haluska) was also a flight instructor and the school was offering a ground school course the next year, which he taught, along with flight training with the goal of becoming a private pilot. I managed to talk my dad into funding the training, at the time the total cost was right around $500. Cessna 150 rental rates where $12 an hour, and the 172 we used for cross country was $15 an hour including fuel.

Training Begins

It started August of 1977. The fall semester rolls around, and I am enrolled in ground school, and if memory serves me, we met twice a week. First came the paperwork for my student pilot certificate, which at the time was included with the 3rd class medical. I loved ground school, especially learning navigation, plotting courses on the sectional, again this was before iPads and GPS, so we did a lot of dead reckoning and VOR navigation for cross countries. At the end of the course, I made an 83% on the Private Pilot written exam, remember this was before we had the question-and-answer books that on future test I would consume before taking a written.

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Flying

The fun really began on August 22, 1977, it was my first flight. To my surprise we used the same Cessna 150, N6228S that my friend Doug Gray had taken me for a ride in. The Cessna 150 had a standard VFR instrument panel, with one NAV/COM, and one VOR CDI. No intercom, so no headset, at the time I didn’t know what I was missing. I didn’t get my first headset until I started my instrument training in 2003. I was a big guy, I was 6’ 4” and weighed 245 lbs. but I do not remember being uncomfortable in the 150 even with the instructor in the right seat.

First flight lasted .8 hours, and we accomplished orentation, shallow turns, stability, and effects of flight controls. Over the next few months we added steep 720’s, slow flight, stalls, turns around a point, S-turns, emergencies, landings, (short field, soft field and normal).

Learning

At this point I want to talk about a training experience that still stands out. We were close to solo and were practicing takeoffs and landings. Turning base to final Jan got very upset at the way I was cross controlling the aircraft. Cross control is when you are in, say a left turn, and use opposite rudder to line the nose up with the runway. So, he had me depart the pattern and head east to the practice area, and climbing up to 5500 feet MSL, he had me slow down to just above stalling speed, start a left shallow turn and add right rudder. As the airplane stalled I had the strangest sensation, no roller coaster has ever come close, instead of blue sky in the windscreen I was looking at brown ground, and as far as I could tell we were upside down, through the terror of the moment Jan talked me out of the spin, controls neutral, oposite rudder, pull slowly out of the dive. As we leveled off he asked me what altitude we were at, as I remember it was around 2,800 feet MSL. Then he asked me what would happen if I experenced this on base to final in the traffic pattern. The answer was obvious, I would be a pile of wreckage off the end of the runway with a very short-lived aviation career. Needless to say this cured my cross-control tendencies.

Another training event the sticks out in my mind was the first time we did takeoffs and landings at the High School runway. The runway was 1,500 feet long, not sure of the width, but it seems like we had about 5 feet on each side of the wheels when on the center line of the runway. Landing from the south you also had to go between a cutout in the trees to be able to stop in time on the runway. After getting confortable landing here every runway since seemed huge. I remember landing at Chattanooga (KCHA) on a night cross country and commenting to Jan, that I felt like I could of landed sideways on the runway, it felt that large.

Very soon after this I started wearing old shirts to all my flight lessons, the reason for this occurred on February 8, 1978. The lesson that day was stalls, takeoffs and Landing. As we were taxing back in Jan told me it was time for my first solo. I was very excited, and after some last minute advice from Jan, including watch for floating on landing the plane will be light with him not in the right seat, complete 3 takeoffs and landings to a full stop. It was a blast, and at the end of my shirt was shorter in the back because Jan cut the tail out of it signed and dated my solo [an aviation tradition]. Total flight time accumulated on the day of my solo was 18.1 hours. I was now officially a pilot with solo priveleges.

In my next article I start cross country training, when Jan decided that it would be best accomplished this in the 172. Checking out in N5970R was like moving into a 747, this started a love affair with one of my faviriote planes to date. Since this time I have flown over 900 hours in many different models of the 172 and feel like I am stepping into an old friend every time.

More about Randy here: https://www.flyhpa.com/team/randy-delong/

 

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