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jwalters
08-31-2010, 03:26 PM
Hello SC!

Long time listener first time caller. I'm a private pilot who would like to get into a bush plane. At 6'8" and wide in the shoulders (former BIGTEN football player) I am having a heck of a time flying anything but C172/182's.

I've come to the conclusion that any aircraft I buy, I will have to make modifications to the cockpit to fit comfortably. So to my question:

Among the various Piper Cub lines and replicas, what would you recommend as a starting point for a guy like me? In other words, what would make the best platform for a big and tall pilot? Taking into account shoulder, leg and head room.

Husky, Cub Crafters w/ 4 inch wider body, Scout, PA-12, PA-18, C180, Piper Bushmaster, etc?

A little background, first off there is a big difference between a 6'4" pilot and a 6'8" pilot. My instructor was a few inches shorter than me, and he could fit in pretty much anything. But unfortunately, those extra 4 inches were great for football but not so much for flying!

My friends Cessna 195 is quite cramped and the yoke position didn't allow for even-close-to full deflection.

I've tried the Cessna 180's but they are an inch narrower than a 172 and 3 inches narrower than a Cessna 182. Believe it or not, 1 inch width makes a BIG difference when you are already crammed in there! I haven't sat in a C185 yet, I hear they are a bit wider, but they don't give them away either! :D
There's a Max Holste Broussard that fits pretty well, but well, just a bit large for my needs right now. :D

I sat in a Cub Crafters's Carbon Cub. After I wiped the droll off my mouth, the owner let me sit in it. It wasn't too bad, with some custom runners, I think I could probably make it work. Is the Top Cub any larger in the cabin than the Carbon Cub (sport plane)?

Suggestions? I am not married to any particular aircraft, I just want to see what else is out there other than the typical C172/C182 for tall/wide pilots.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!
Jesse

Bugs66
08-31-2010, 03:52 PM
Hey Jesse, welcome!

I don't think you can do any mods to a certified airplane without an STC. So you would need to find a plane that has some kind of "tall man" STC. Others might chime in for help. A couple planes you should check out are the Cessna L-19 Birdog or an Stinson L-5 Sentinal. A Top Cub is just a copy (dimension wise) of a standard Super Cub.

Are you into building stuff? You might want to consider an experimental homebuilt. I am 6'2 and added an extra couple inches for front seat to slide back and this helps a lot. Also how much your instrument panel extends down into the knee/leg area makes a big difference too. I made sure my panel did not extend below into this area.

With experimental you have the flexibility to improve your creature comforts among other things. As long as it is safe.
A wide body Cub or you might want to consder the Bearhawk or Patrol.

Good luck!

wheat
08-31-2010, 03:57 PM
With the price of Beaver's now, you can probably buy one for the price of a Carbon Cub.

jwalters
08-31-2010, 04:03 PM
Thanks for the feedback Bugs! The birddog is high on my list of aircraft I want to try out. I've never considered the L-5, but I'll keep my eye out for one around my area, and see if I can finagle a owner to let me hangar fly it for a few minutes!
thanks again for the feedback.
Jesse


Hey Jesse, welcome!

I don't think you can do any mods to a certified airplane without an STC. So you would need to find a plane that has some kind of "tall man" STC. Others might chime in for help. A couple planes you should check out are the Cessna L-19 Birdog or an Stinson L-5 Sentinal. A Top Cub is just a copy (dimension wise) of a standard Super Cub.

Are you into building stuff? You might want to consider an experimental homebuilt. I am 6'2 and added an extra couple inches for front seat to slide back and this helps a lot. Also how much your instrument panel extends down into the knee/leg area makes a big difference too. I made sure my panel did not extend below into this area.

With experimental you have the flexibility to improve your creature comforts among other things. As long as it is safe.
A wide body Cub or you might want to consder the Bearhawk or Patrol.

Good luck!

Grant
08-31-2010, 04:14 PM
DELETE

Christina Young
08-31-2010, 06:31 PM
:usa

Patrol Guy
08-31-2010, 07:10 PM
Jesse,

I am only 6-5, but have shorter legs then most my size. So from the butt up, I sit like a guy 6-8.

Look at a Scout, much more room then the standard PA18 and Husky. I never sat in the wide body cubs, but always thought that maybe that would be my way into a cub again??

Patrol Guy
08-31-2010, 07:13 PM
yes on the L19, I have a friend who has let me fly his. Tons of room, just that 14 gallons per hour fuel burn.

Scouter
08-31-2010, 07:20 PM
Im 6-1 and have a Scout. With my seat all the way back, my left knee still hits on the prop control. I suspect at 6-8 your legs are gonna be longer than mine. Steve Noyes in Newburyport MA just finished up a local bird dog that will make you cry all night if you could see it. Those have a ton of room, and the Lyc 540 and three blade prop really make it sing. Our own JP Russell has extensive time in the dog. Jeff?

JIm

cstolaircraft
08-31-2010, 08:24 PM
take a look at the helio courier. It might work. And it will fly the load of a 206 but use only a little more room than a super cub!
I think that fuel burn is about 12 gph @ 75% power 220hp

Reuben

King Brown
08-31-2010, 08:35 PM
Bushmaster is too tight.

lancef53
08-31-2010, 09:00 PM
A 185 is the same width as a 180, about three inches narrower than a post-63 182.

I am 6'4", and getting into a cub isn't much much fun. It isn't the width, it is the legroom. The seat should be back about 6" :D

Lippy
08-31-2010, 09:02 PM
Sikorsky S62A. I'm 6'2" and have atleast another foot or two vertical. It has the most room then anything I've ever been in. Then again it's not an airplane.

Lippy

185 Bushbird
08-31-2010, 09:42 PM
Jesse - Are you set on a taildragger? I am a bit smaller at 6-4 260# and have flown most all of them. I have a 185,180,172's & Scub. I have instructed with alot bigger guys than me, my recomendation is L19 for T dragger or a big engine C182 with large nose fork 7.00-6 to 8.00-6 nose tire and 8.50-6 or 8.50-10 or 29"-10 main tires. I had one for a year and a great plane, i know of a L19 with floats and hydraulic skis , flys very nice and would fit you. I also have a nice 182 that would work well for your mission, If you want a cub i know of a custom built backcountry cub built for a very tall guy with about 220hp engine and is on amphibs with very few hours on it. You can pm me if any interest.

wacodriver
09-01-2010, 02:13 AM
Considered an open cockpit? Being 6'4" I felt kind of lost in the cockpit of my WACO UPF-7. Wide enough and with the seat in down position very compfy even for tall pilots.
Thore

Aussie Scout
09-01-2010, 02:16 AM
I am 6'4" and have owned a 206, a 172 and currently own a Scout. The Scout has heaps more room than a 172 and I have plenty of leg room. Not sure how another 4 inches will go with the legs but there is a heap of room above my head as well, it's worth a try out. Mine is 2000, I think the later ones have a deeper panel which would make things a bit worse on the legs.

jwalters
09-01-2010, 04:39 PM
Thanks everyone for the replies! Loaded with all this information, I am going to keep trying on new airplanes for the next few months! Thanks again!

marcusofcotton
09-01-2010, 08:26 PM
See David Weber (6'6, 290#) comments and fit in a Bearhawk (very short video):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAM5VN6nztE

Mark J

courierguy
09-01-2010, 10:01 PM
delete

Ursa Major
09-01-2010, 10:29 PM
An L-19 came into the shop today and I got a chance to try out the seats. The front seat was plenty wide, but the leg room was a little short. I'm 6-4 with fairly long legs and I could have used a little more leg room. This particular seat was the old military metal pan set up for a seat parachute, so it probably could be replaced with another seat if necessary. Still, I'm not sure it would be all that comfortable for someone 6-8.

The rear seat had lots of room, but the airplane is placarded for solo flight from the front seat only. Have you thought about a C-206, not a taildragger, but a dandy bush plane?

Richard Deblack
09-02-2010, 11:23 AM
I have a PA-12 with all the bells and whistles. The front seat is on Cessna Tracks and it can go back pretty far. I'm 5'11" and keep the seat as far forward as it'll go. Would consider selling if you fit and were interested.

Bugs66
09-02-2010, 01:08 PM
I thought L-19 seats were on tracks also? No adjustment?

Patrol Guy
09-02-2010, 01:27 PM
My friend would trade his L19 for a C-180, 185??

Ursa Major
09-02-2010, 02:27 PM
I thought L-19 seats were on tracks also? No adjustment?

Yep, the seat is on tracks and is pushed all the way back. My knees bump into the throttle Quadrant and with my feet on the rudders I don't have full stick travel to the left. Sort of like the issue with a stock cub flap handle trapping your knee between the stick and raised flap handle.

This L-19 is fairly original so one that is modified may be a better fit. Don't get me wrong, it is a much bigger cockpit than a cub, but it could still use a bit more leg room.

StewartB
09-02-2010, 02:35 PM
An honest pirep...

At 6'2" and 230# I find a 180 plenty roomy. An articulating pilot's seat allows me to crank the seat up and down and tilt forward and back to find my favorite seated posture. The seat moves back far enough to accommodate the longest of legs. I prefer my seat lifted to maximize my view over the nose and in doing so my head was contacting the headliner. The solution was to remove the speaker pod and headliner and now I've gained significantly in useful cabin height. As for width, bubble windows make a very big improvement in shoulder room. If you plan to fly regularly with another big guy sitting next to you, you may feel cramped. Solo or with an average sized right seat passenger you shouldn't have a problem until you reach down to release the seat track lock. That maneuver will make you close friends with anyone in the next seat no matter how big they are. I've spent a good bit of time in Cessnas with a friend who's a couple inches taller than me and about 50# heavier and we've managed it easily.

My -12 requires my use of a helmet since my head is nestled in the overhead tubes when I'm sitting up straight. Any turbulence would knock me silly if not for head protection. I can't imagine a 6'8" guy being able to get in and out of my -12, let alone sit comfortably.

SB

rgjacob
09-02-2010, 04:12 PM
I have a friend who is 6'6'' and has owend two pa 12's that he installed a pa 18 seat. It gives the leg room he needs. Ray

WSH
09-02-2010, 06:39 PM
You didn't really say where you are and what your mission is.

If all you want to do is hop from one gravel bar to another, then get an experimental wide-body SC and modify it until your comfortable. Modifying certified airplanes is expensive and sometimes impossible with the FAA. Going experimental, you do basically what you want, need to do.

If you want to do any serious XC, then 180/185 is the only real sensible solution, IMO.

Super Cubs are great at what they do, they just don't do it very fast. You'll get tired of going 85-90 mph on XC's, with no wind! Look around here, guys are buying 180/185 left and right. There's a reason for that!

I'm 6'4" 275 and have a Pa-12 with a stock interior/seats. With the seat cushions out and sitting in just the seat slings for maximum leg room, I can do a couple hour legs, max. And then after about 3 of those legs, I'm done for the day. With the cushions in, my knees are in the dash, forget it.

At 6'8", I doubt you'd even fit in my airplane, well, for any length of time anyway. Had any knee surgery's, good luck? :o

Also have a 182. I can sit there for 5-6+ hours legs, no problem, all day long, and do, often. 12-1400 nm days are no a problem in that airplane, at normal speeds.

Bubble windows can help with extra shoulder and elbow room and custom seat cushions will help with head room.

If you don't have to have a tail dragger, you can put big tires on a post '62 182 after they widened them and go just about most everywhere a 180/185 can, and for a lot less if you shop around. If you dig flying tail draggers, I get it! :lol:

Personally, at your size, I would buy the best 185 you can find, add bubble windows and thinner custom seat cushions if necessary and never look back. It's incredibly expensive to keep trading up airplanes. Might as well buy what you need now, and you'll save a bunch money in the long run. I wish I had taken that advice years ago!

Seaworthy
09-02-2010, 09:03 PM
By comparison I am a midget compared to most of you guys, 5'10" 185 lbs. My 12 has plenty of room. I fly a 18 in the spring/autumn (fire spotter) I find it confining and in the event of significant crosswinds on landing----terribly disconcerting as I find that I don't get full aileron throw. How do you folks do it? If I were the size of you guys 6'4" and up I wouldn't even dream of attempting to get in and out of an 18 let alone fly one. I was in the service with a guy who was 6'6" who flew A-4's ( turbine powered coffin) and flew his own Mooney another plane with no room. If I was spending big bucks on a plane---I'd make damn sure I was comfortable (fun or no fun) and able to get out of it in a big hurry if need be.

centmont
09-02-2010, 09:27 PM
Asside from the much larger door, wider cabin, adjustable seats, and panel set forward as they come from the factory, Carbon Cubs have some other tricks with the peddals which can allow for more room. Jim Richmond is a very big man and the Cubcrafters dealer staff looks like a defesive line....That airplane is built and flown by big guys....not any quite as big as you...but close. I'm not sure you can find more room in anything without building it yourself. (How about a J-3 with no front seat :lol: R

skukum12
09-18-2010, 06:56 PM
I'm 6'8" and have flown my twelve for twelve years now. Stocker seat. My knees just rest against the inner sides of the fuselage. No issue with flap handle, or any flight controls. I slump just a bit when seated, so crossbrace clearence isn't a problem, even in turbulence.

My 180 took a little getting used to being side by side. But you can stagger the front seats fore and aft if your pass is a widebody. Look closely at the seat rails in a 180. I noticed that there are ten holes for adjustment in the passenger side and only eight on the pilot's side. A little birdie might just tell you to fix that problem, two extra leg inches made the plane completely comfortable for me. Full flight control use, no problem.

Jwalters, Where are you located?

skukum12
09-18-2010, 06:59 PM
How bout a Wilga? Fit was good too. First plane I flew front seat was an Arctic Tern, not bad either. I think the gcbc have room too.

Tom Jones
09-18-2010, 07:40 PM
Since you fit in a 182, Todd Petersen's 260SE and Katmai Cessna 182s are pretty slick. Canards, 8.50 nosewheels and even Bushwheels for the adventurous. You won't get in where a Super Cub can go, but you'll be closer than you'd imagine.

http://www.katmai-260se.com
And, you can set your lunch or favorite post flight, prop stopping adult beverage on the canard without it rolling off onto the dirt! :drinking: :drinking: :drinking:

Tom

cstolaircraft
09-18-2010, 07:56 PM
Ever think about a huskey?

Reuben

skukum12
09-26-2010, 01:06 PM
Ever think about a huskey?

Reuben

Unless the newest version is vastly changed, not even possible to get into it, much less fly it.

Steve Pierce
09-27-2010, 06:54 AM
They made the forward door opening on the Husky bigger. Jim Taylor, the Texas Husky dealer, is a big guy and removes the seat back cushion to fly them. He said was really hurting when he got here in s Super Cub.

Skylab
09-28-2010, 01:08 PM
I am 6í6Ē and have a P-18 105 Special, what is called the Tango cub. The seat is about 2 inches lower and has toe brakes. The front seat was moved back 1 inch and I donít have any problems flying. Getting in and out is adventure, but it works. I tried on several cubs and didnít fit as the panels were too large and my legs could not fit under them. My height is in my legs. Good luck in your search.

AntiCub
09-28-2010, 04:27 PM
I know it was mentioned before, but definitly check out a Scout or Citabria. They have more leg, shoulder and head room than a Cub, and excellent visibility. I personally find them easier to get in an out of, but I'm ONLY 6'. They don't have the take-off or landing performance of a Cub, but nothing commonly available does. The Scout/Citabria line are also known for being really tough aircraft.

And if you're interested in building, the Bearhawk Patrol is available as a kit now, and has even more cabin space than the Scouts, take-off and landing performance comparable to a Super Cub, and cruise performance closer to a Cessna.

Phil