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Thread: Super Cub general questions

  1. #1
    tgarrison's Avatar
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    Super Cub general questions

    Hi guys,

    I rent a PA-18A-150 from a local flight school. It does not have stock wings--The appear to be clipped some, and the tips are squared. I've searched the net and haven't been able to find anything about them. Does anyone know anythingf about these wings and how they affect the planes flying characteristics?

    This is the only Super Cub i've ever flown, so i dont really have anything to compare it to. Most of my time is in J-3's, and there really is almost no comparison between the two planes.

    Also, the ailerons seem very sluggish at lower speeds (60-65 mph), like during my approaches. Like when i am slipping it on final, it often takes full opposite aileron to come out of the slip, and it seems like the wing still takes forever to come back up. I guess "mushy" describes it best. Is this a normal characteristic of Super Cubs, or does it have something to do with the wing? or perhaps the pilot? I know the J-3's ailerons still are very affective even at low speeds. Maybe i've just spent too much time in little biplanes.

    I hope i dont make a fool out of my self by asking this stuff, but i really am curious.

    Thanks for your help,
    thomas

  2. #2
    Alex Clark's Avatar
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    Are the wings shorter than the J-3 you have been flying???

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    tgarrison's Avatar
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    yeah, they're definitely shorter, but that may be because they are squared and dont have the wing tip bows. I will count the ribs and measure the spacing next time im at the airport.

    thomas

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    No such thing as too much time in little biplanes

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Read what Supercubber just wrote, read it again, and then memorize it.

    The rudder is your primary control, at high angles of attack, even in a J-3. The rudder will get you out of almost anything.

    The ailerons, on the other hand, will get you into some things that only the rudder will get you out of, hopefully before the earth stops the manuever.

    Rudder is your best friend in any of these airplanes. Lead with it, and coordinate with aileron, not the other way around.

    Wing drops, pick it up with rudder, not aileron.

    In extended wing cubs, with stock ailerons, the rudder is the best bank control you've got.

    MTV

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    Anybody else notice a vast difference in roll between the two? I have no experience with clip wings, but a stock super cub seems to roll and slip a lot like a J-3 to me. It's pitch that I don't understand - light and responsive on the J-3, and absolutely needs trim on the 150 hp cub. To roll out of a slip I just ease up on the rudder, and use the ailerons to keep the wings where I want them. Rolling out is for me a very slow and smooth maneuver.

  7. #7
    JP's Avatar
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    150 ponies up front is a heck of a weight compared to 65 ponies and all things that "balance" increase in pitch sensitivity with weight.

    MV and Supercubber have the perfect mantra re the rudder. Read it, heed it. Even when you put the VGs on, don't give up the mantra. Rudder, rudder, rudder.

    It sure is fun to demonstrate stalls to pilots new to the Cub. Full stall with stick all the way back and your feet are the only thing that will keep you level. You might as well just take the ailerons off and leave them at home for wall decorations or kid whappers.

    Another thing we've noted is the amount of nose attitude it takes to get in trouble in a full slip (i.e. controls completely crossed--full ailerons and full opposite rudder). Try it sometime with plenty of altitude. In a J-3 and -11 you've really got to get the nose high and leave it there before she finally says enough and quits on you. Knowing what that feels like is money in the bank and why I'm an advocate of stall and spin training.

    On approach is not a good place to discover what that feels like. Knowing what the airplane feels like is great insurance. In fact, the tendency in a slip will be to allow too much airspeed. It doesn't do any good to get into that small field in a full slip and then come roaring out of the slip and go floating down the runway for a scary while....

    ...and boy oh boy will a Cub float.
    JP Russell--The Cub Therapist
    1947 PA-11 Cub Special
    www.bloomerrussellbeaupain.com

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    cubunltd's Avatar
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    All the above is true, however it is very possible that the aileron cables are not at proper tension. They should be set at 30-40 lbs. If they are too loose you lose a lot of aileron effectiveness at all speeds. At proper tension the ailerons should be pretty effective at 60-65 mph.

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    Steve's Aircraft (Steve)'s Avatar
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    The Super's "heavy" elevator feel is caused by those lousy "balance" springs back there. Fly one without them once and you will know what I mean.

    Steve

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    cubunltd's Avatar
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    There should only be one balance spring on the elevator of a supercub. The lower one was removed years ago by a SB from Piper. With only the top spring installed the elevator feel is not that heavy.

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    Tell me more about removing those springs. I know it is not legal, but I have heard that it works great, and I have heard that it seriously and negatively affects handling. Any of you anymouses out there who have experience?

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    cubunltd's Avatar
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    Removing the lower spring is legal. Removing the top spring is not. Remove the lower spring and try it. it'll work great.

  13. #13
    SuperCub MD's Avatar
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    I've "heard" that the elevator may have better feel without the top spring installed in a well balanced Cub..........If you want it "legally" installed, I've also "heard" you could stretch the bejesus out of it so that is isn't really pulling anything..... Some Cubs are nose heavy, and actually need the spring, depends on the plane.

  14. #14
    T.J.'s Avatar
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    The bungee spring broke on my PA 11 once. I could not get enough nose up trim. I kept throwing stuff from the rear seat into the baggage compartment to get it in trim. The tail weight is 60#.
    I put a new spring on and it was fine.
    I know a guy who has been flying a CUb for several years without the spring. I have not heard him complain. Like Mark says, it depends on the plane I guess.

  15. #15
    SuperCub MD's Avatar
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    TJ, curious to know if you had the stock or balanced tail? The 18-90 with a stock tail seems to be like that too.

  16. #16
    T.J.'s Avatar
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    Mark:
    It has the stock tail. You may be onto something there.

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    He said PA-11 - I didn't even know they had springs! I had heard the feds made piper put them in to counteract some noseover tendency at redline plus twenty or something. If the J-3 had undergone the same testing, it too would probably have springs. My Decathlon has a stall warning horn! Works great, but with headsets and earplugs I can ignore it! Do they put the springs in the experimentals?

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    Smith's kits do

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