View Full Version : Am I crazy or good idea ?

11-22-2004, 08:43 PM
After a long search looking for a Supercub to buy I was thinking of building. Is it feasible to buy a wide body fuselage and built a Supercub with the options I want. If I bought a SC I would start adding stuff to it anyway. I know it would have to be a Experimental. Different companies rebuild to like new I think but if I am going to spend that much it would be a great experience to build my own maybe a little less. Also could I do my own annuals then. Is there a disavantage to Experimental except cannot be used for hire ? Has anyone done this and was it cost prohibitive ? Any books or manuels available ?Am I out of my mind ?

11-22-2004, 09:13 PM
First, being out of your mind is almost a prerequisite for being involved in aviation in the first place. To turn a famous quote, "never have so many spent so much with so little return (financially, mind you)".

That being said I suggest you take a few days to peruse the site as there have been some fantastic discussions on point with much of your query. Then let us know what you think.

Steve Pierce
11-22-2004, 09:16 PM
Smith Cub would probably be the mot cost effective. You could buy a Univair or Airframes fuselage, Dakota Cub or Univair wings and build one but the small stuff will make it very expensive. Here is a thread on the Smith Cub:


11-22-2004, 10:14 PM
Steve is right about the small stuff. Even if you have a lot of tools and talent the brackets, pulleys, tubing, etc., gets quite spendy. I'm fortunate enough to have a certified cub handy that is already in pieces, so, getting patterns has been easy. We also have a great fraternity of folks in the area willing to donate, trade or barter for parts. I did not elect to build the front seat, so shelled out $500 or so for that, and the list goes on. I'm going homebuilt because I just don't feel like hassling with the Feds every time I want to make a change or improvement and I would rather do most of my own work. I have seen the Smith kit up close and feel it would be the way to go if you went homebuilt, however, I would use the Dakota Cub squared/slotted wings like mine.

Bill Ingerson
11-22-2004, 10:18 PM
Im voting for you going crazy for a Experimental Cub and Nuts for paying so much for a 50 year old certified Cub. Either way you cant win, how ever don't be discouraged. You will have a great time in your straight jacket. Its fun either way you go for the things you will learn and the people you will meet. I have in the last year seen two different Wag-aro SuperCubs with wheels, Floats and skis sell for $35,000. Both were ready to fly home. And its possible to find a certified SuperCub for $45,000 and up, but getting harder all the time. I can tell by your excitement about SuperCubs, that your gonna do it, just like all of us did. Glad you picked a great plane to spend Money on, its worth it. :drinking:

Sam Beckett
11-22-2004, 10:23 PM
I think your NUTTS!

11-22-2004, 11:46 PM

11-23-2004, 12:32 AM
I have been looking for 2 weeks aggressively all web sites and paper ads. I have found some but they are all over the country. traveled to see a couple after looking at pictures on internet. They were not even close to what was represented. Mostly they were being sold by a broker or a friend of owner. I was working on some from real cub owners but by the time I found them they were sold. But I always start doing mods and updates to everthing I buy. So I thought about Exper. so I could build just what I wanted from the start. It is harder for me to spend $ 100,000 plus for a cherry and I don't want to spend $65.000 for a SC that was supposed to be a cherry that is now 5-6 years old that I find out when I get home it really was a &#$* in a punch bowl. Then I end up with more in it that it is worth. So building at least I would start with $00.00 cost before I started buying new parts. I just received a call from a real SC owner in WY that sounds promising. If I found a truly nice airplane in $ 65,000 range I would buy it today then I would be flying tomorrow.

11-23-2004, 06:38 AM
You might want to take a look at Cubsunlimited. Nice birds and excellent craftsmanship. That plus they are certified.

Another option is to buy one of the junkers at a fair price and do a ground up restoration. Not for the faint of heart but very doable. At least you will have 90% of the parts you need!

11-23-2004, 11:31 AM

11-23-2004, 03:00 PM
From my experience you can buy the a/c you want cheaper than you can build it. Building always seems like a good idea until you start and then find out you'd rather be flying. Keep in mind that most of the quality kits have long waiting lists. No offense but if your already frustrated with shopping after two weeks you probably won't have the patience to complete a kit.
It took me 10 months of dedicated shopping to find the right a/c but I couldn't be happier. (although it might be for sale if my airline gets a pay cut approved and my kid gets excepted to Notre Dame).
I agree with dig, keep looking. Approach the process as an educational experience.

Bob D.

Mark Lund
11-23-2004, 03:22 PM
Building is neither quick nor does it save huge sums of money. I think the old advice to build because you enjoy building is good advice.

It will take you far longer to build a cub, even if you have all the parts in front of you when you start, than it will to find one to buy.
And if your not doing it because you enjoy working in the shop almost as much as flying, you'll probably be disappointed.

Good luck in your search.

Bill Ingerson
11-23-2004, 09:17 PM
SkyKing. Don't get disappointed so early in your search for a plane. You will miss a few and be very upset about some that you will look at, But thats a good thing. Everytime your learning more and more about them. It took me one year before I found a complete basket case that was all there and good shape. So far for me this is great fun to take my plane apart and work on it, getting it ready to bead blast the airframe myself, everything I can do myself will save me money. It only takes about 4-5 days to take the whole plane down to the last nut and bolt, bead blast the airframe and start going the other direction putting it together, its fun. True it takes about 2 years to complete it if your just working on it a few nights a week, but you will have a new plane when your done and when it breaks down you will know what to do about it. As far as saving money, probably not going to happen, but you most likely will not be able to buy a rebuilt plane in the same shape for what you will have into rebuilding your own. Try this guy, he was selling a PA-18 out of alaska about 6 months ago and no one was buying, he might make you a deal, it looked to be a good plane and just gone through. Let me know if it works out, I can send you the C.Ds on his plane. E-mail bdial@mtaonline.net

11-23-2004, 10:19 PM
TWO WEEKS? Holy guacamole, guy!! I call looking for an airplane an ordeal if it takes place over a period of more than six years. Even then, its worth looking around a bit prior to committing.

Talk about someone looking for instant gratification! Call Cub Crafters, they can fix you up this week. Or maybe next week. Well, okay, three months from now.

Sorry if I'm coming across as a little sarcastic, but spend some time at it. This is a big investment. Even if you are a gazillionaire, it's still a big investment, cause your narrow little heinie is going to go get airborne in this thing.

Do some checking around, and go fly some of these things, before you paint yourself in a corner where you own one. Chandler Air Service offers the perfect opportunity to visit scenic Phoenix, to fly a Cub, and see what they are about. Go there, or to Andover and get some experience in one first, then consider buying one.

There are a bunch of Cubs out there. Decide first if that's what you want, then figure out what you're willing to pay, then decide how best to get there.


11-24-2004, 11:36 AM
Skyking you're crazy :crazyeyes: you just don't know it yet.

I recommend from experience seperating the two in your mind (flying vs building). They have nothing in common. If you've got $65K burning a hole in your pocket and want to go flying just buy a nice one. If you start a homebuilt project by dumping a bunch of money into a kit and don't finish it........you've just pissed away a bunch of money, because virtually nobody wants some half finished airplane that a person with no credentials couldn't finish building.

You could also buy someone else's finished and flying experimental, do your own maintenence, and tell the FAA that you've never made any alterations/repairs or whatever since you bought it. Not legal, but don't tell me it doesn't happen.

After spending every evening after work, most Saturdays, and some Sundays holed up in the shop for a year or so you will find that you are ~600-700hrs into your "airplane". Both scratch-built and kit completion times are VERY optimisticaly estimated assuming a fully tooled shop staffed with experienced craftsmen. At that point the sheer time involved and having the social life of a hermit may become somewhat daunting, but who cares :drinking: you're crazy anyway. Don't forget to add in the cost of all the tools, heating bills for the shop extra time required for :morning: while you figure things out. Oh last of all don't let thoughts like "hey maybe I'll go blind right after I finish this and never get to fly it" drive you sane :puppydogeyes: while watching airplanes fly overhead.

11-24-2004, 01:53 PM
All the above said and mostly true, there is still no better feeling in the world than flying one you built yourself!

11-25-2004, 11:25 PM
Buy a Smith Kit Cub. Bribe him to get you a low delivery date. Then, when you get the kit, build it. There is a lot to do, but you can do it in a reasonable time. Smith Kits are GREAT Cubs, and you won't be sorry.'If you don't believe me, go up and look at them at the factory. Then you will certainly buy one.

just my 2 bits worth.

Mike in NC..........with a Smith Kit too.