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Thread: Buying a Super Cub (Mission, notes, specs included)

  1. #1

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    Buying a Super Cub (Mission, notes, specs included)

    Hi all,

    I'm just beginning my search for a Super Cub. I am hoping I can find the right one for me within 2-10 months. I just wanted to say what my goals with the plane are, and the specs of the plane I am looking for, and get your opinion on if I am looking for the right thing, or if there's something I should know about.

    Mission
    I have a few goals for what I want to do with my Super Cub, in order of importance.
    • Fly to my cottage all summer
    • Fly to very remote lakes/areas for weekend fishing/camping/hiking trips
    • Fly to hunting spots (either on bush wheels or floats)
    • Fly to my cottage in the winter and land on the lake with Skis


    Notes

    • I have a 75lb Golden Retriever
    • I would like to be able to have me (150lbs) in the front seat, a passenger (170 - 200lbs), and my dog (75lbs) in the plane
    • I will probably put about 100hrs a year on it
    • I have never flown a floatplane or a cub before


    Specs I am looking for

    • 160 hp - 180 hp
    • Float fittings


    Things I'm okay with buying after I buy the plane (but nice if the plane has them already)

    • Floats
    • Bush Wheels
    • VGs
    • Seaplane Prop
    • Skis


    Questions
    • Am on on the right track?
    • Will a 160hp engine get off the water with myself, a passenger, and a dog?
    • Can I even carry myself, a passenger, and a dog?
    • Do I need a special mod to the cargo area to put a dog back there?
    • Will I be able to carry any bags, or say, a tent?
    • What price range do you think I am looking at? (before and after with any mods I might have to make)
    • Would the weight/balance be messed up with a heavy passenger + 75lb dog behind the passenger seat?
    • Am I missing anything?
    • Do you have any advice for me?


    Thanks for the help!

    Andrew
    Last edited by Drewch; 03-08-2014 at 12:23 PM.

  2. #2
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    Sounds like it will be pretty darn tight in back. For stock gross weight you'll be right at, or maybe over, gross with passenger, dog, and full fuel (you said "remote") - and no "stuff".
    Gordon

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  3. #3

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    What part of the country are you flying in? You can get the 2000 lb STC to help with the weight. Belly pod will help to bring back all the wet/bloody stuff. Dog in the back is no problem just pull the stick (add stick cover) and fold the seat back down. A good cub with floats will cost about 100 grand. It is best to buy one with all the things you want instead of adding them latter. Keep the dash simple!!!
    DENNY

  4. #4

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    I'll be flying in Northern Ontario mostly.

    What about a dog and a person in the back? Will the 2000lb STC be enough to get out of the water? Will I even have space for camping equipment with a passenger and a dog? I've never actually seen a super cub so I don't know how tight it will be.

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  5. #5
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I think you would be happiest with 180 hp, gross weight increase to 2000 lbs and 3rd seat/180 lb baggage mod.
    Steve Pierce

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    Will Rogers

  6. #6
    L18C-95's Avatar
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    Some/most Super Cubs are limited to 50lbs in the baggage area? There may be an STC to increase this.

  7. #7
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    Wipair has the STC to increase the gross weight to 2000 lbs. http://www.wipaire.com/myaircraft/pi...ifications.php Most Super Cubs have an empty weight on wheels from 1000 to 1200lbs and then add floats with a GW of 1750 lbs. The Day & Night STC takes the standard baggage from 50 lbs to 180 lbs by welding an "X" in the floor.
    Steve Pierce

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  8. #8

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    Never seen a Supercub? Why are you focused on buying one? Are you a pilot? Any other small airplane experience?

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    I have 90 hours on a 172 - looking to buy a floatplane, after my research I've arrived at a super cub because it's in my price range and is often used for the stuff I want to do. The only thing throwing a wrench in my plan is the dog or passenger. I don't think a 172 on floats is that good of an idea, and a 180 is overkill.

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  10. #10

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    If you go looking for a good 180hp Supercub float plane with a gross weight increase you'll definitely be it he price range of a good C180 float plane. You may be wise to consider both models. Maybe add a Maule to the list as well. If you intend to insure you may want to compare costs to insure. Float plane insurance rates for a low time pilot will bring tears to your eyes.

  11. #11

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    If you have made the decision that you want a "cub-type" aircraft, take a look at a PA12. You would still have the cub setup but given the wider fuselage and the certification for 3 persons, you would have the room you want. Find one with extended baggage and have a bit more space. They also make great float planes and most are less expensive than PA18's.

  12. #12
    soyAnarchisto's Avatar
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    I think you want a 180 or a maule. 2 full-size adults and a 75 lb dog with camping gear - you are pushing 4-place territory. A PA12 might be a good compromise - or a hopped up 20/22.

    Like Windy says, "A PA12 - like a PA18 only better." Hers gots 180 ponies and gets up and goes.

  13. #13

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    With extended bagage and belly pod it is very easy to fit 2000 lbs in a cub. A 12 will have more space but buy the time you do the 180 and gross weight upgrade it will cost the same if not more than the cub. Then your going to want the big wings, with big flaps on floats. The cessna looks better every day. If you leave the dog at home you will not be so overweight. Fuel is another issue you will have aprox 4 hours at 90mph for your range with stock tanks. The cub is a great one person plane. My wife who is light and I go on flying trips all over the state but we only need about 100 extra lbs of camping gear and some extra fuel. When I hunt with a buddy we end up making more than one trip to campsite with the plane.
    DENNY

  14. #14

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    Dewch...

    You have to decide what you really want the airplane to do. Both the super cub and 180 Cessna are great airplanes.
    I live in upstate NY and for many years did a lot of float plane flying in Canada. For about 22 years I had a Cessna
    180j on floats. It had an 0470R for power and aerocet floats. If you want travel longer distances with heavy loads
    this combination is hard to beat. It was hard to believe what this 180 would pick out of the water, mostly due to the
    floats.
    I never left the rear seats in it. Many times I had a 190 lb. passenger, my 85lb. yellow lab and as much gear, groceries,
    etc. that you could get it in it. When trimmed out it cruised at 106 knots. on about 12 gallons an hour.
    I have a 150 horse super cub, a great airplane, 8-9 gallons per hour. On floats maybe 90 mph. You are limited as to
    how much you can get in it, and a slower speed for long trips.
    For many years I would make 10-12 trips a year to a club 100 miles west of Ottawa and at least one trip a year to the
    Schefferville area.
    There are trade offs in anything. The cub is cheaper to operate, but doesn't have the load capacity or the range of a
    180. Oddly enough a well equipped cub 160 horse can cost 100-130 thousand. By looking around you can find a 180
    for about that money. There is a very well equipped 180 in the Saranac Lake area of New York for about that money.
    I really like my cub, but like I said it all depends on what you want the plane to do.

    ADKCUB

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    When looking at a definate step up and you've got your options/ideas thought through give a good aviation insurance agent a call, maybe one that specializes in airplanes that get wet. You'll be surprised at the knowledge base. I purchased my super cub with no license and learned to fly in it, and then purchase my 180 when I needed something to go faster and both times I received great advise and steerage in ways to do it and to the pitfalls to avoid and believe me with a fresh landing oops in the cub happening mid-purchase of the 180 i put them to the test.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  16. #16
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    You mentioned operating in Northern Ontario. Not knowing exactly where you mean, I have heard folks refer to Timmins as Northern Ontario. It is not, it's only the jumping off point. The true north country will require a lot of fuel range for safety and comfort. Bear in mind that, with a float plane you often need to plan on the round trip fuel load, since your destination is on the other side of nowhere. A Super Cub on floats is slow. When you get a small head wind the Super Cub is really slow. Meaning that you will need lots of gas to carry your buddy and your dog along with your gear. You might be wise to figure your minimum load weight and range requirements before you decide on a particular type of plane.

    Do not discount a 160 or 180 hp Cessna 172 on the proper sized floats. EDO 2000s are too small for your purpose. A light 172 will have a useful load in the 700+ pound range. And, it gives good enough performance for your experience level. You, being experienced in the type, will only be adding the seaplane process to something which you are already familiar. An older 180 is also good in the same price range. The only drawback is it costs more at the fuel pump. But it may be a good trade off. When you figure the greater speed, the miles per gallon comes close.
    N1PA

  17. #17

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    You need to take a look at a Cub to see what you might be getting into. Trying to fit a dog, 2 people and baggage in a Super Cub (or PA12 for that matter), will not be all that comfortable. A Super Cub is not that easy to get in or out of, especially if you are tall and as was said, they are slow if you are traveling any distance. I am on floats in Northern Ontario, have had a Super Cub, flown PA12's, but finally settled on a Cessna Skywagon for my mission. Speed, two doors (easy to get in and out), plus comfortably carrying a load without cramming everything in, may make a Cessna 180, Stinson or something similar, a better choice for your application.

  18. #18

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    Thanks guys, you really help me put it in perspective. I think my goals and what I want to do with the plane are a little bit much, considering I'm a low time pilot with no float experience.

    A Cessna 180 or a decked out pa12 is like a dream plane, once I get that, I will never need to get another plane. I think what I should get right now Is a plane that I can learn on, and not be too expensive. Getting into all these mods for a super cub is great, and exactly what I want, but I don't think it's what I need now that I see all your comments. Most of the time I think I'll be flying alone or with my dog. Perhaps if I am doing a bigger trip I can just go back and forth twice.

    I'm willing to spend around 100k, my ideal cost is around 60-75k. I know I won't get any of the sub mods for that price, but maybe a 160hp cub with float fittings is all I need right now to learn to fly on.

    Thanks

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  19. #19

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    Also skywagon, you are correct, I should not have said northern Ontario.

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  20. #20
    Hardtailjohn's Avatar
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    You might take a look at a Stinson 108 series as well. A whole bunch less money and a great airplane.

  21. #21
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    I gather that you are a young fellow. Get something small which fits your budget and start learning. Take small trips. Learn the ropes. You will eventually start to see what will fit your purpose. Then you can expand your horizons. You don't need to start out in a Norseman on floats with enough range to go to Bathurst Inlet. But it would be fun.
    Last edited by skywagon8a; 03-09-2014 at 11:20 AM.
    N1PA

  22. #22
    soyAnarchisto's Avatar
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    buy a j3c and put it on floats - fly the crap out of it solo then pass it on to the next bloke when you are ready to step up 1/3rd to 1/4 the cost of the supercub.

    a lot can be said for buying your last plane first - but if the finances don't allow it - stick to the popular models which are easy to buy and sell

  23. #23

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    Yes skywagon I am 25. I think it's a good idea to buy a cheaper super cub or a j3 and just build time and experience, and worry about getting a lot of people at some other time.

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  24. #24
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Take a look at a Citabria 7GCBC. They have more room than a Cub and will also serve your purpose. And are a bit less money.
    N1PA

  25. #25

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    Low priced super cubs are cheap for a reason!! Look at a pacer now that is a great bang for the buck!! If you are buying a trainer plane (not a bad plan it is what I did) Then resist the urge to fix it up (I did not ) because any money you put into a plane will not come back out. Go hang out at the airport until you find an IA that will let you hang around and learn about planes. It took me six months of looking to find my first plane. Spend the money on pre buys and walk away if they are not good. Lots of good deals to be had for 30 grand. Fly the piss out of it for 3-4 years and you will be in a lot better situation to know what you want.
    DENNY

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    Now that you are thinking intermediate plane before your dream plane, buy a Pacer. There is no better bang for the buck out there and you can do quite a lot with it.

  27. #27
    soyAnarchisto's Avatar
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    for 100k you can get a very nice 180 or a damn-near-brand new maule - or buy both a stinson and a pacer - lol

  28. #28

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    Yup a Pacer or a 7GCBC I think would make great starter airplanes for you. You can get a decent Citabria with floats for $50-60k.

  29. #29
    Olibuilt's Avatar
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    Maybe this plane would fit your needs? Already in North West Ontario...

    Smith Cub with 2400 GW

    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://www.supercub.org/ppc/showprod...ow-pa-12&cat=6

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    I gather that you are a young fellow. Get something small which fits your budget and start learning. Take small trips. Learn the ropes. You will eventually start to see what will fit your purpose. Then you can expand your horizons. You don't need to start out in a Norseman on floats with enough range to go to Bathurst Inlet. But it would be fun.
    My PA-12 is really fast and has enough range to get to Bathurst Inlet non-stop in about 1 hour 20!

  31. #31

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    I went with an Amateur-built PA-12 type. I'm really enjoying the 'plane and I'm actually enjoying doing my own work on it. I can take my wife or a friend (hmm, that didn't come out right!) and plenty of camping gear, full fuel (60-gallons) and still get off the water.

    I think I've put enough money into it that I could have bought a 180. But I'm not complaining.

    I have to say, if you're the least bit handy and are willing to learn, go Experimental (amateur-built). That Smith Cub looks like what you "need".

  32. #32
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NunavutPA-12 View Post
    My PA-12 is really fast and has enough range to get to Bathurst Inlet non-stop in about 1 hour 20!
    We knew that you could make it easily.
    N1PA

  33. #33

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    That pa12 does seem like it's perfect, and it looks like it comes with floats and ski's, which is awesome. Someone mentioned that I'd cry when I saw what insurance would cost? Being a low time pilot, what is the ballpark that I'd be expecting? Assume that I am financing the airplane, which I think would mean that I need full coverage. I'm also a 90 hour pilot on wheels, and I'd do about 20 hours on floats before purchasing. My estimates were around 5k a year, is that too little or too much for an estimate? (Canadian)

  34. #34
    Olibuilt's Avatar
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    For 100K coverage, I would say around 3k, canadian pesos.

    First you buy a plane, you insure it, than you do your float training with a commercial pilot on floats.

  35. #35

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    Drewch,
    Check your private messages.

  36. #36
    Crash's Avatar
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    Look for a later model Piper PA-18 Super Cub that is fairly stock, 150 or 160hp engine, with float fittings. That is what you will be happiest with.

    Forget an O-360 Cub. All the "legal" prop options are JUNK! It'll be a nose heavy pig with the legal prop on it.

    PA-12's are all approaching 70 years old. Most of the fuselages are rust buckets when you sand blast them. It's what you can't see that you need to be afraid of.

    Take care,

    Crash
    Last edited by Crash; 03-12-2014 at 10:52 AM.

  37. #37
    scout88305's Avatar
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    A Scout on 2130's or 2300's; gross weight is #2150. A point and shoot floatplane if kept light. The 0360 Skyhawk on Baumann floats gets you #2550 gross, traveled in one heavy MN to Pickle Lake Ont. and many places in between. (Miniss RIver, FLindt River, Marchington, Bamaji) Alot of capability if you don't need to land in heavy snow for cabin checks, Bushwheels summer etc... Both of these $30000 cheaper than a Cub but then they are not a Cub a purist might say.

    “We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”

  38. #38
    soyAnarchisto's Avatar
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    Here's a good looking 90hp J3 on edos for $38.6k over in Okanagan.

    Solo it will do all you want for sure (well solo). Not affiliated in any way, just saw the posting on J3-cub.com.

    http://www.j3-cub.com/forum/f80/1946...-wheels-24846/

  39. #39

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    Don't underestimate the performance of a J3 on floats with a good strong-running C90. I will echo Nunavut PA-12's experience. I often take my wife, full tanks (25 gallons), and all the camp gear and supplies we need for a week in the bush. Take off and climb performance may not be spectacular, but still quite respectable.

    -And you get to experience the joys of flying a lightweight cub when going solo.

  40. #40
    Ursa Major's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob S View Post
    Don't underestimate the performance of a J3 on floats with a good strong-running C90. I will echo Nunavut PA-12's experience. I often take my wife, full tanks (25 gallons), and all the camp gear and supplies we need for a week in the bush. Take off and climb performance may not be spectacular, but still quite respectable.

    -And you get to experience the joys of flying a lightweight cub when going solo.
    Don't get me wrong, I like J-3s. Don't have a lot of time in them, but.... The last time I flew one on floats (w/ 100hp) with two slightly bigger than average size guys and half fuel, it took forever to get off the water. I was beginning to think the only reason we got airborne was that the lake had dropped away from us due to the curvature of the earth. We must have taken a couple of miles to unstick one float and coax it into the air. DA was around 2600 feet with no wind. On a cooler day with a little wind it performed much better, but I still would rather have my PA-18 - 160.

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