The S-LSA Useful Load Requirement The FAA sport pilot/light-sport aircraft regulations define a light-sport aircraft; however, those limitations aren’t the only requirements that manufacturers must abide by in producing special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA). Recall that the FAA empowered the industry and community through ASTM International to develop consensus standards to regulate the design, manufacture, and production of LSA rather than FAA-mandated standards such as Part 23. FAR 21.190 requires that the aircraft be designed and manufactured in accordance with the standard. A part of the design standard is a useful load requirement. Currently that requirement is 430 pounds for fixedwing airplanes (land). That number was arrived at by allowing 190 pounds for each seat occupant (380 pounds for two-seat S-LSA), and one-half the horsepower in pounds (for example: with a 100-hp engine add 50 pounds). Accordingly, any fixed-wing S-LSA that has an empty weight of more than 890 pounds (with all options added) is being manufactured and operated in violation of the ASTM standard.
Phone: (509) 248-9491Yakima, WA 98903 - USA
CubCrafters Debuts ‘Carbon Cub’ Proof Of Concept CubCrafters debuted its Carbon Cub proof-of-concept aircraft at the 2007 Alaska State Aviation Trade Show and Conference in early May. The company says the 220-hp aircraft is a platform for a host of new airframe construction materials, performance options, design improvements, and more powerful engine options. The aircraft does not currently meet light-sport aircraft certification requirements, but the company says the nearly 40 airframe parts made out of high-strength carbon fiber saved 250-300 pounds compared to a Super Cub with the same equipment. The project points toward several new aircraft possibilities for CubCrafters including a light-sport aircraft certificated as a factory-built airplane, a homebuilt kit plane, and/or a new FAA certificated airplane. For more information visit www.CubCrafters.com. Published in EAA Sport Pilot & Light Sport Aircraft Magazine
|Empty weight||825 pounds|
|Gross weight||1,320 pounds|
|Wing area||176 square feet|
|Wing loading||7.5 pounds/square foot|
|Cabin Interior||30 inches|
|Height||8.4 feet (tail down)|
|Fuel Capacity||12 gallons 1|
|Baggage area||130 pounds total 2|
|Notes:||1 24-gallon optional capacity, two tanks|
2 110 pounds behind copilot seat; 20 pounds in hat rack
|Standard engine||Continental O-200 1|
|Prop Diameter||two-blade wood, Sensenich 72x44|
|Power||100 hp at 2700 rpm|
|Power loading||13.2 pounds/hp|
|Cruise speed||91 knots/105 mph|
|Stall Speed (Flaps)||31 knots/36 mph|
|Never exceed speed||120 knots/138 mph|
|Rate of climb at gross||800 fpm|
|Takeoff distance at gross||250 feet|
|Landing distance at gross||200 feet|
|Range (powered)||550 miles, 6 hours (no reserve)|
|Fuel Consumption||about 4-5 gph 2|
|Notes:||1 Time between overhauls-1,800 hours|
2 See article for more consumption info.
Vintage Looks Mated With Modern Materials Take 25 years of experience with rebuilding Piper Cubs, add a new FAA regulation allowing more flexibility in designing and producing aircraft, spice the mixture with many design changes, and you get CubCrafters’ Sport Cub. The Yakima, Washington-based company has created an airplane that retains the vintage look of a J-3 Cub but embraces 21st century materials and technology. On a warm evening during the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida, I flew with CubCrafters’ pilot Clay Hammond. He identified company President Jim Richmond as the primary motivator behind the Sport Cub. Richmond has been rebuilding Cubs for 25 years, during which time he conceived many changes he wanted to try. Taking into consideration his height-he’s 6 feet 4 inches tall-he wanted to make all the improvements he’d envisioned for the venerable Cub, and he wanted the airplane to fit him. A Thoroughly Modern Cub CubCrafters took on the redesign of the 50-year-old airplane using modern materials and engineering software not available to Piper engineers when the J-3 was created.
Who in the Light-Sport Aircraft business wouldn’t like to log a sale to the President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes? CubCrafters made such a delivery yesterday when they presented a special Sport Cub S2 to Scott Carson. The 34-year Boeing veteran makes the big planes by day and can now fly his Light-Sport Aircraft on the weekends. He’ll also fly the colors of his alma mater of Washington State University (photo). To pick up his S2 Carson returned to Yakima where he grew up in the late 1940s. His dad worked for Lamson Aircraft, builder of the Air Tractor, a biplane crop duster. Carson’s father later joined Boeing as a test pilot. *** Todd Simmons of CubCrafters observed that his company and Boeing are the only two aircraft builders in Washington with a production certificate. “We’re Washington’s ‘other airplane manufacturer’,” Todd said. The Sport Cub builder offers two all-new, FAA-certified, ready-to-fly aircraft: the second generation Sport Cub S2 and Top Cub.
With one month to go before we evaluate all of 2007, here’s an early picture. In eleven months, industry added 499 fixed wing airplanes plus a healthy fleet of trikes and powered parachutes. I expect SLSA registrations to reach 544 airplanes for the year, nearly a doubling of the 565 we had last January after sales were tallied since beginning in April 2005. In its first 20 months, industry registered 29 airplanes a month on average. In 2007, that number will rise past 45 a month (up 56%). The entire airframe producer community should generate almost $60 million in sales. *** The top three remain unchanged as CTSW, SportStar, and Legend Cub held their lead even while 17 new models entered the marketplace. One of the most notable rising stars of 2007 has been CubCrafters. The Sport Cub maker started well down the January chart with only 15 registered airplanes.
October 2007 brought another top finish for Jabiru USA. FAA registrations of J-250 and J-170 led the industry for the second consecutive month contributing to their rise in the ranks. Czech Aircraft Works logged a good increase and moved up in the chart. And, CubCrafters continued their steady climb. *** In a fresh look, this month’s chart has more information. Included are the top 20 brands, counting all models by those companies (four manufacturers have multiple certifications). In addition to percentages, this month we also show the number of airplanes registered with FAA. But remember, FAA registrations do not precisely equal deliveries. Finally, due to questions about how their numbers are counted, we omitted weight shift and powered parachute LSA. *** A few observations may add to your own study of this chart. Cub replicas or redesigns from three companies added together would convincingly occupy the #2 slot with 181 registered.
Want to win a free Light-Sport Aircraft? You missed one chance but the other is still available. Organizations like EAA, AOPA, and Sporty’s have given away airplanes as incentives. Now, LSA have “arrived.” *** At the May 2008 Alaska Airmen event, CubCrafters supported the organizer’s fundraiser; a $50 ticket bought you a chance to win a $130,000 Sport Cub. This LSA was generously equipped and had a new red-over-white paint scheme (photo) plus the first pair of lightweight, Kevlar-reinforced, 26-inch tundra tires that are “perfect for Alaska pilots,” said CubCrafters VP Todd Simmons. *** The LSA you can still win is Sun ‘n Fun’s first-ever sweepstakes airplane: a Mountain Aircraft American Flyer, distributed nationally by Sportsplanes.com who donated the aircraft with support from others including Lockwood Aircraft Supply. The famous Florida airshow will announce the winner on opening day of their 2008 event (April 8-14).
FAA registration data through August show continued growth with another 58 SLSA listed for a total increase in 2007 of 557 aircraft (88%) in just eight months. The lone share change in the Top Twelve was CubCrafters rising another notch to 6th, pushing Fantasy Air down to 7th. CubCrafters has been rising steadily after their late entry, though they still significantly trail rival American Legend. *** Despite being a trike enthusiast, I’m amazed to observe the 15% share of all Special Light-Sport Aircraft that are weight shift control aircraft. France’s Air Creation and Australia’s AirBorne dominate the category with a registered 105 and 61 models respectively. Six trike models share the market. *** Powered parachutes have also done respectfully well in a few months with 5% of all SLSA registrations. Infinity (27 aircraft) and Powrachute (24) overshadow Summit (7).
I admit to being somewhat surprised at the success of the LSA Cubs. We have no less than three brands with SLSA approval: American Legend, Zlin Savage, and CubCrafters. Two of these (Legend and CubCrafters) are in the top ten of Light-Sport registrations and account for an astounding one in six LSA in the USA (by itself Legend represents about one in eight). Despite a tendency to lump them together, they are distinctly different offerings. The Zlin Savage is the only one using a Rotax 912 engine and it is still selling for the remarkably low price of $60,000. Legend is…well, already a legend and can be powered by Contentinal or Jabiru. Though CubCrafters earned certification later — despite being a Part 23 production facility — the Continental-powered Sport Cub is the most deluxe of the trio, and is priced to match (more than $100,000 with options).
Competition is definitely heating up for new ready-to-fly J-3 Cub replicas under LSA. American Legend earned S-LSA certification first and builds a sophisticated entry with all the right changes, and the North American Savage has a low price tag and may be substantially less costly to operate. Into this fray has jumped CubCrafters with its Sport Cub. Given the company’s 25-year history in rebuilding Super Cubs, it has a shot at a good share of the market. CubCrafters also makes a 180-hp Cub called the Top Cub; its Sport Cub brochure states, “We feel uniquely qualified to redesign the Cub for the next generation.” CubCrafters has not yet completed the S-LSA certification process, but it is presently the only company in LSA manufacturing that has demonstrated the ability to build to FAA Part 23 standards. That may not fairly assess those foreign builders who are participating in non-U.S. certification methods, some of which may be as demanding as U.S.
Their entry has taken longer than two preceding sellers of Cub replicas under the LSA rules, but CubCrafters has taken the time to get it just right. On Thursday September 21st, the Yakima, Washington-based builder of the Part 23-certified Top Cub delivered its first two CC11-100 Sport Cub SLSA to customers from opposite coasts and starkly different environments. One will go to Juneau, Alaska and the other to Brooklyn, New York. Company president Jim Richmond thanked customers and employees who “worked and waited with us so patiently while we completely redesigned the airplane.” The company announced that deliveries will now take place at the rate of one per week, increasing to two per week near the turn of the year. *** The other two suppliers of LSA Cub replicas are North American Sport Aviation and American Legend; the latter will host a homecoming for 100 customers and prospects in the third week of October.