CubCrafters Reinvents Aviation History
By James Grahame
The Piper PA-18 Super Cub was a little two-seat utility airplane introduced in 1949. It became known for its distinctive yellow paint scheme and incredible short take-off and landing capabilities. Over 9,000 were made over the next forty years or so, but rising fuel prices and advancing technology pushed it into the history books.
CubCrafters was started in 1980 by Jim Richmond. He initially rebuilt old Cubs, often modifying them to the point where they were basically new airplanes. By 2004, the company had evolved to the point where they began to manufacture their own line of aircraft, including the Top Cub and the beautiful Super Cub S2 that I have my eye on.
The $119,500 Super Cub includes 2nd-generation AmSafe Airbags for the pilot and passenger, Continental 0-200 100 HP engine, Sensenich wood composite prop, classic yellow paint scheme with black lightning bolt, composite reinforced fuselage and chunky tires. The panel is equipped with standard instruments including a Garmin SL40 VHF comm transceiver.
The performance of this little bush plane can be summed up as "classic." It has a top speed of 122 mph (103 mph cruise), a 790 fpm climb rate and a 450 mile range. Its landing ground roll is a mere 245 ft, although you'll need 415 ft to get off the ground again.The relatively frugal Continental powerplant consumes 4-5 gal/hr, meaning that it'll cost about $23 per hour to run at current 100 LL fuel prices.