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Rocketman
07-02-2005, 05:14 PM
I'm gathering opinions on which Supercub kit is the better choice: Smith or Dakota. What do you think and why?

cubunltd
07-02-2005, 06:27 PM
Smith is experimental. Dakota is certified. I prefer the Dakota wings to the Smith wings for several reasons. I'm not convinced the aluminum drag struts in the wing are going to hold up, versus the original style drag and anti drag wires. I don't care for the extended leading edge on the Smith kit. it's never been proven to be of any value what so ever. I don't know for sure , but i think the Dakota wings are lighter.
This is just my opinion.

John

Steve Pierce
07-02-2005, 09:46 PM
Availability of parts tends to lean me towards the Dakota Cub. I also like drag/anti-drag wires on the wing from a repairablity stand point. I think they are both fine products from all the ones I have seen. Called Dakota Thur. to check prices on some wing parts and got a nice note and written quote in the mail today.

Bill Rusk
07-02-2005, 11:40 PM
Smith will build the wings without the extended Leading edge. It saves 7pds 5.6 Oz Be sure you compare apples to apples. One may contain fuel tanks, the other not etc.

Bill

KelvinG
07-03-2005, 12:25 PM
I'm am building a Smith kit and so far I am quite impressed with their workmanship and commitment to their customers. I never really considered Dakota Cub because I need a REALLY good reason to pay PMA prices and stick it on an experimental.

Another reason I went with Smith is a lot of their parts are interchangeable with stock Piper parts. If you are in a bind and willing to pay the price a stock part will work, (flaps and ailerons are two that are not, hinge points are different).

One thing that did surprise me is they don?t have a builder?s manual. But the Piper manual and the FAA?s Acceptable Methods, Techniques, & Practices manual seems to cover it and liked I said, Nick Smith has always been VERY helpful when I have called. You should also know the Smith kits are not on the FAA's 51% list. This means the FAA needs to certify the aircraft meets the 51% rule on a kit-by-kit basis. Because a number of kits have all ready been certified by the FAA, as long as you do the work yourself, this shouldn?t be a problem.

No regrets with my decision here.

KelvinG

KOZ
07-03-2005, 02:31 PM
I have built 2 Smith kits this past year and am currently working on a 3rd. His product is outstanding and I enjoy talking with him about the planes. We have one on floats that is 2 years old and has over 200 hrs on it. It is very solid. Nick will be around for a long time and his airplanes will make him proud.

Koz

kase
07-03-2005, 03:25 PM
I would go with the Dakota/Airframes kit because if I ever dinged a wing or something on my certified plane I would have spare parts purchased at a discount. Or if I found a wrecked Super Cub later I would have some extra parts. My FSDO told me that building a exp cub this way would make the 51% rule. Also the majority of the kit is manufactured in my home state of SD so I wouldnt mind giving them the extra business.

tempdoug
07-03-2005, 05:18 PM
also look into the de aircraft wings, from the talk on this website sounds like there airfoil gives a little better lift over stock, sortve wished i would have looked into theres. doug

Rocketman
07-04-2005, 08:18 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. I'm feeling better educated already. I've talked to both Dakota and Smith.

I understand the value of certified major components. What still bothers me is that while Smith has delivered 92 complete kits (38 flying), Dakota has only sold components so far.

Also, Smith is willing to send an example of their builder's manual, but when I asked Dakota for the same thing, he said "no, it is proprietary information". That doesn't give me much assurance of good customer support from Dakota.

Crash
07-04-2005, 11:38 PM
Put a set of Dakota Cub wings and a set of Smith wings in Trade a Plane and see which ones sell the fastest and for the most money. Also do the same with an Airframes Inc and Smith fuselage. Hands down the certified parts will sell for more and sell faster. There are over 5,000 Cubs out there that are a market for the certified parts of the Airframes Inc / Dakota Cub kit.

Remember, these kit manufacturers sell dreams, not flying aircraft. Less then 25% of kit planes ever fly. Most guys that buy them and have no idea of how much work they are in for and give up. At least with an Airframes / Dakota kit you have some parts you can sell and recover most of your money. Besides, isn't Smith over a year behind in orders. You can get an Airframes Inc. kit now. Crash

Crash
07-04-2005, 11:49 PM
Thanks for all the feedback. I'm feeling better educated already. I've talked to both Dakota and Smith.

I understand the value of certified major components. What still bothers me is that while Smith has delivered 92 complete kits (38 flying), Dakota has only sold components so far.

Also, Smith is willing to send an example of their builder's manual, but when I asked Dakota for the same thing, he said "no, it is proprietary information". That doesn't give me much assurance of good customer support from Dakota.

Lee Buddi (Airframes Inc.) and Mark Erickson (Dakota Cub) were building certified parts for Super Cubs years before Nick Smith started building Cub kits. Last time I talked with Lee, he said he was pushing #200 on the number of fuselages built. These are the same fuselages a lot of the Cub Crafters $150K Cubs were built around. Also Dakota Cub is most likely way beyond 200 for number of wings and rib kits they have built. Lee was the one that came up with the 4" wider fuselage and called it the "widebody". Smiths just copied him.

The good new is they are both good options. Myself, I would go with the Airframes Inc. / Dakota Cub kit. The FAA is always looking over their shoulder and inspecting them to keep their PMA's. Crash

Bugs66
07-05-2005, 12:41 AM
Geez Crash, way to go making us homebuilder's get depressed. I plan to be in the 25% though!

On the Smith builder manual - I wouldn't expect much there. It's not really a step-by-step thing. More like the L-21 manual + some extra goodies. I received a copy from Nick a while ago.

Steve Pierce
07-05-2005, 06:33 AM
Isn't the Smith Co. up for sale?

Bill Rusk
07-05-2005, 12:51 PM
At one point he was in negotiations to sell the Co but I think it fell through and I also believe he has backed off trying to sell. The big problem seems to be finding good welders. Nick will not send out an airframe that does not meet his standards and I know he has tried a number of welders and let them go because they were not good enough, so he and his son were doing all the welding. Unfortunately this leads to 80 hr weeks and it gets tiring. My understanding is that he has managed to get 3 or 4 good welders on staff now and things are looking up.
The wing builders have moved into larger and nicer quarters and are looking at expanding.
I think things are going well and hope he stays around for a long while.

There are advantages and disadvantages to either certified or experimental and you must decide which best meets "your" needs.

I'm sure both are fine options. I am personally doing a Smith Kit and so far have been VERY impressed with the product and support I have received. I like the drag system in the Smith wing myself. It is straight and can't change unless you deform or destroy it. It is a no brainer. The Hatz I am building has drag/anti drag wires and it is a pain to trammel and true the wings. Again, I'm sure they are both viable options, if one were clearly better in every respect, they would all be made one way, but as usual, there are multiple ways to accomplish the same goal, each with advantages and disadvantages.

There is not a 1 year wait on wings. If you order a Smith Kit your wings will probably be ready several months before your fuselage. You can rivet up a set of wings much quicker than you can weld up a fuselage. No matter what you do you can only push a bead so fast. That is why most GA aircraft went to all metal construction. It is cheap and fast to manufacture. It is amazing how fast they can put out a RV kit, not so a welded up steel tube fuselage. That requires skilled labor and it is somewhat of an art also. Not everyone can do great welding, some have it, some don't. Those of you who have spent some time welding will probably agree that you can get faster in set up, jigging, and fitting but in the end there is a limit to how fast you can push that bead. It just takes time to weld.

Just some thoughts

Bill

gdafoe
07-05-2005, 02:03 PM
I ordered the Smith Kit the middle of May. I pick up the wings and surfaces in August. So they are not far behind on the wings. The rest ready in April 06. I got kit number 160 so they've got quite a few out. They are installing a CNC set up to speed up the cutting of the tubing. Wouldn't that be nice all the ends cut to prefection.

Rocketman
07-05-2005, 10:11 PM
OK, Crash. Let's say you've convinced me that the Dakota Cub is the way to go. I pay my money and get an airframe, wings, and SOME of the hundreds of small parts. The hardware may be the best in the world, but what good is it if I can't put it together? Do you think Dakota will provide good instructions and assist me by answering questions when I get stuck? I don't want to end up as one of the 75% that never finishes the project. (I'm not an A&P but I perform all the maintenance on my Cessna 206 that the regs allow.)

I will be talking to the Dakota guys this weekend at EAA's Arlington, WA fly-in. Hopefully, they can convince me that it doesn't take a tube and fabric expert to figure out and assemble one of their kits. Unfortunately, because they have yet to sell a kit, there are no satisfied customers out there to tell me how they did it.

Steve Pierce
07-05-2005, 10:31 PM
It's a Super Cub not rocket science. :lol: Sorry I couldn't resist. Really though the SC is a simple airplane and I don't think it would be to difficult especially with the erection and maintenance manual, the Northland CD and an accasional SC to look at which ever way you go. Does the Dakota Cub come with cowling and stuff like that?

sharp
07-05-2005, 11:02 PM
When you get ready to cover, send me a note. I'll be free help to see how some of this is done. Only fabric experience is a wingtip patch. :oops: There are some things on my 'wish' list that will require recover...
Sharp

RPURCELL
07-05-2005, 11:30 PM
Here in Alaska, Dakota sells assembled wings or all the parts, whichever you prefer. I was talking to them last year and their price for the assembly was very reasonable and the workmanship is very good.

T.J.
07-05-2005, 11:41 PM
Dang Sharp, all the guys up here want to get paid to help me. If you work free, I may have a job for you.
I would not be a real skin flint though. I will provide free meals, (moose meat, salmon steaks, halibut fillets and all the Coors Light you can drink..your sleeping accomidations would be dry, an old Army mummy bag, a dead bear hide for a mattess on the floor in the garage. I've slept in worse places.
Oh I almost forgot, Ol Bear Dog sleeps there also. He has a slight flatulence problem, but it's not to bad after a few Coors Lights.

(sorry folks, hard day today and I just couldn't resist!)

cubunltd
07-06-2005, 01:46 PM
Hey TJ, could you change that to MGD regular??

John

kase
07-06-2005, 01:46 PM
Unfortunately, because they have yet to sell a kit, there are no satisfied customers out there to tell me how they did it.

I think they have sold alot of kits they just have never been marketed to the homebuilt guys. If you look at Warrens widebody cub its basicaly a kit, even Crashs rebuilt cub could be considered a kit since he purchased a Airframes fuselage and Dakota Cub wings.

Rocketman
07-06-2005, 09:52 PM
It's a Super Cub not rocket science. Sorry I couldn't resist. ....... Does the Dakota Cub come with cowling and stuff like that?

Steve,
If it was rocket science, I'd be more comfortable. I do that stuff for a living.

I don't know if Dakota has all the parts to make it a complete kit. On the phone, he they said that the airframe and wings were certified, most of the smaller components and parts are not. Completeness of the kit is one of my first questions when I talk to them in Arlington on Saturday.

Rocketman
07-06-2005, 09:56 PM
When you get ready to cover, send me a note. I'll be free help to see how some of this is done. Only fabric experience is a wingtip patch. :oops: There are some things on my 'wish' list that will require recover...
Sharp

Sharp,

If you have a SC in Katy, I'd love to see it. My Cessna is hangered at Pearland (LVJ) south of Houston. There is only one SC on the field and it isn't out of it's hanger very often.

Rocketman
07-06-2005, 10:14 PM
I don't think it would be to difficult especially with the erection and maintenance manual, the Northland CD....

Steve,

Can you tell me where to get these?

Bill Rusk
07-07-2005, 07:51 AM
I am not sure of the Dakota Kit but the Smith Kit is very complete. It does not include AN hardware but all the hard stuff is there. The wings have flaps, ailerons, fuel tanks, pulleys are installed etc. All you need for the wings are your strobes, landing lights and pitot tube.
The fuselage has tail feathers, tail brace wires, seats, cowling, windshield, control cables, boot cowl, new Scott tail wheel, wheels and brakes etc. If this is not included in the other kit it will add to the cost fast. Be sure you compare apples to apples.
Quality is outstanding as is the integrity, honesty and helpfulness of the Smiths.

Just some thoughts

Bill

tempdoug
07-08-2005, 06:44 PM
WINGS---www.de-aircraft.com

Chuck E.
07-18-2005, 05:31 AM
Hi Gang:

I'm new to this site and I also am building a Cub Clone.

I have started with a Super Cub airframe that needed about 30% of the tubing replaced, which I have done.

With regard to wings I have looked into several sources that are listed here and I will go to Florida and have a look at their wings before I make my decision.

What I'm planning on building will be a PA11 Clone with with amphibious floats powered by a Rotec Radial.

At present I am doing flying training and airdisplay flying in Europe, but should get back to Canada in a couple of months.

Once I'm home I plan on working full time on my project.

I am completing the circle from my first job in aviation flying a Cub Crop duster to retirement flying a Cub for fun, and also doing some training for those who would like to learn about float flying.

Any suggestions regarding where to look for wings?

Thanks.

Chuck E.

Crash
09-05-2005, 03:25 PM
FYI...I was in Reeves the other day and noticed a front counter display full of sealed plastic bags of nuts, bolts and washers labeled... "PA-18 tail group hardware", "PA-18 landing gear hardware", "PA-18 jury strut hardware", "PA-18 wing attach hardware" etc. etc.. All the bolts are AN, the right length with the proper washers and nuts. The prices were not that bad either. Crash

Crash
09-05-2005, 03:34 PM
Chuck, I don't think a PA-11 on amphibs with that little radial engine will be much of a performer. Amphibs are heavy and need lots of power ot get them in the air. They really suck the performance out of a Cub. I'd go with a proven engine like a Lycoming O-360 or O-320. Why a PA-11 when you are starting with a PA-18 fuselage? I wouldn't trade flaps for anything. Crash

Yard Dart
09-05-2005, 06:04 PM
Chuck. I think Crash is correct 160- 180 hp is what you would be your best bet. Yard Dart

kase
09-05-2005, 09:03 PM
Theres a cub in LWT thats exp with a 4 in Airframes fuselage and Dakota Cub wings with a IO360 10.1 CR. If I can get a picture of it one of these days I will post them.