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Thread: Zlin Aviation Outback Shock Cub

  1. #1

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    Zlin Aviation Outback Shock Cub

    Hey y’all,

    I wanted to get a few thoughts on an airplane I’ve been very excited about the past couple of weeks. I really feel like the Shock Cub could be a very special performer with the Rotax 915 iS!

    The factory currently has a 915 installed on a Shock Cub and is awaiting its first test flight. I reckon that will happen any day now as the new valves are apparently available. (Trent Palmer is flying again).

    I’m pretty much brand new to full scale aviation but have a deep passion for STOL and turbine flight. I’ve spent the last 800 hours behind Rotax and have to come to really appreciate and love their engines. I wanted to post here and gather some thoughts from those who have possibly flown this aircraft before. I know there have been some negative dealings that some of you have experienced, but I’m looking to facilitate a discussion about two of their models in particular to see if anybody else is as interested about these airplanes as I am.

    Trent Palmer has been flying his Kitfox STi with the Rotax 915 iS for a few months now and the performance has been extremely impressive. His airplane weighs 932 lbs empty and can climb 1,800-2,000ft per minute starting at 5,000 ft MSL with a fixed pitch prop. He’s leaving Kevin Quinn’s Carbon Cub in the dust at high altitude elevations!

    With that said, there’s about 22 sq. Ft more wing area to work with, not to mention leading edge slats, double slotted fowler flaps, vortex generators everywhere you can put them, and monster shock gear used on the SuperSTOL on this model. With 146 HP up to 15,000 ft, this bird should be able to land almost anywhere! This thing could takeoff at 12,000 ft. MSL I’d bet with relative ease! Once you’ve climbed out like a home sick angel, pull the power back and sip 4 GPH of 91 octane Mogas thanks to FADEC multi-port fuel injection.

    My Dad is living in Boise, Idaho and is looking for the best SLSA backcountry aircraft to use here. He doesn’t need to carry a whole lot, just an occasional passenger with light camping and fishing gear.

    With the new model Zlin announced last year in the Shock Ultra, he is looking hard at it. This is a lightened version of the Shock Cub with Rotax 912 ULS or 914 UL turbo options. The 912 ULS version weighed in at 660 lbs empty! I presume a 914 option will be in the neighborhood of 750 lbs empty. The stall speed solo is listed at 17 MPH! The Shock Cub with a 914 is around 850 lbs empty.

    What do y’all think about the Shock Cub with a 915 iS option? I know many of you may not prefer Rotax, but I think you’re getting a pretty sweet airframe and engine combination here. In fact, I’d love to see a Rotax 915 on one of Darin’s Legend Cub HP models! I’d have money on the Rotax version above 6,000ft MSL.

    Sorry for the long winded and sporadic post. Here is the Shock Ultra with a Rotax 914 turbo (115 HP). https://youtu.be/odrEgUMBHq0

    Drew
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    Drew, probably the Shock Cub is a good aircraft. It’s constructed basically like others, namely in materials and even similar in design. Lots of proven materials and engineering are incorporated into the Shock Cub as near as I can tell.
    The engine? The Rotax 912 ULS is a great engine, fills a niche perfectly, they own the light aircraft engine market including most, if not all, of the Gyro market. The 915is performance, as you referenced, is amazing. Reliability remains a little in question just because it’s so new. However, I will say this; the 915is has the potential to be one of the best all around light aircraft engine ever built. Maybe even the best. Lots of good proven technology from a recognized company, they’ve been at it for a good while. The really question is; this new engine is going to add at least 70-80 lbs on the nose.
    Operating at sea level, is the extra wt and cost (huge price difference) worth it verses a 912. Not sure. Maybe. (Simcot would have a good answer). Nailing down a delivery time frame from Zlin could be a challenge. They would have legit reasons, as would others, for being off on a delivery date, however, I’d need some sort of certainty (whatever that would be, money in trust or escrow??) prior to plunking down some serous bucks. You’d want to check that out close when sending chunks of money overseas. Kinda scary but it’s done often.
    Good luck and keep us posted!
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    tptailwheel's Avatar
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    Drew, I think you are a very thinly veiled rep for this company, good luck. Oh and why is Trent grounded right now ?
    SUPERCUB.ORG the only reason I own a computer.
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    There was a thread about this very plane here about 2-3 years ago. If memory serves me well - the price tag with the Titan engine was around 180k? Again - this was 3 years ago and not a lot of news since then.. So what is the price tag with the 915?
    The plane is a direct competitor for Just Aircraft SuperStol...I think once you cross 170-180k mark - you start competing against Legend or even Cubcrafters products that fly much faster, have direct drive engines people love and have reputation.. But if Zlin shows up in OSH with this plane for less than 120k and available immidiately - that would be very promising. It would be in Kitfox/Aerotrek price zone with much more interesting product. just IMHO.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tptailwheel View Post
    Drew, I think you are a very thinly veiled rep for this company, good luck. Oh and why is Trent grounded right now ?
    What do you mean? Rotax had a recall on their sodium filled exhaust valves. The fix is out and he’s been flying his Kitfox quite a bit the past couple of days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tptailwheel View Post
    Drew, I think you are a very thinly veiled rep for this company, good luck. Oh and why is Trent grounded right now ?
    You skimmed the original post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoddyM View Post
    You skimmed the original post.
    Got a problem with an aircraft sales rep?

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    Quote Originally Posted by RoddyM View Post
    Got a problem with an aircraft sales rep?
    Haha I just discovered Zlin Aviation a week ago. No affiliation with any company, just a big fan of STOL aircraft and Rotax engines. Thank you for your replies y’all, I really appreciate it! It should be interesting to see what kind of performance numbers they will attain with the 915. This bird should just about be perfect for a Sport Pilot living in Idaho.
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    aktango58's Avatar
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    Am I having Dejavu?
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    tptailwheel's Avatar
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    Azdave

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    flyrite's Avatar
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    Have watched the videos of the plane and it’s performance is outstanding. The ultralight version is also killer. But, like all the current offerings out there , They are crazy expensive.
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrite View Post
    Have watched the videos of the plane and it’s performance is outstanding. The ultralight version is also killer. But, like all the current offerings out there , They are crazy expensive.
    Isnt it? It’s crazy how slow they can fly! Especially the Ultra. It’s amazing. But you’re right, that’s the issue. Price seems fuzzy and hard to nail down exactly and seems to vary greatly from European spec sheets to the U.S. I’m guessing at least over $200K for a Shock Cub with the 915 and around $150K for the Ultra with a 914.


    RoddyM-I agree, the 915 really does have great potential to be the best light aircraft engine ever produced. Only time will tell! It does weigh 40-50 lbs more installed over the 914 though, but up at altitude that extra 30 HP should be well appreciated and justify the extra weight. Where I think it’ll really come in handy as it pertains to the Shock Cub is when at gross trying to get out of a tight strip.
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    I can vouch for how slow they can fly. They are an amazing and fun machine. We have one here in Australia with the 912, it has the benefit of being very light and sips fuel.

    Prices in the USA do seem a little variable, I was quoted 150k USD a year ago for the 912 version. There is currently about a year lead time and this also seems a little rubbery.

    Sadly, ours is up for sale now (it’s on Barnstormers’s). It was our first introduction to off airport flying, which has changed us forever. Now my daughter is flying it with me, so combined with a couple of enthusiastic passengers, it’s a bit hard to squeeze 4 in it , so the mission has changed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by damiens View Post
    I can vouch for how slow they can fly. They are an amazing and fun machine. We have one here in Australia with the 912, it has the benefit of being very light and sips fuel.

    Prices in the USA do seem a little variable, I was quoted 150k USD a year ago for the 912 version. There is currently about a year lead time and this also seems a little rubbery.

    Sadly, ours is up for sale now (it’s on Barnstormers’s). It was our first introduction to off airport flying, which has changed us forever. Now my daughter is flying it with me, so combined with a couple of enthusiastic passengers, it’s a bit hard to squeeze 4 in it , so the mission has changed.
    That is great to hear. How did you like the overall build quality and fit and finish? How were the handling characteristics? With the 912 ULS, do you happen to remember what your empty weight is?

    I totally understand how the misssion defines the airplane, but that’s great it introduced y’all to off airport landings. I’m hoping it’ll do the same! I’ve seen videos of yours online, beautiful bird! That’s a great price as well.

    Have you had the chance to fly the Shock Cub with a 914? What do you think about the 915 option? Sorry for all of the questions. ��

  15. #15
    Southern Aero's Avatar
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    There was a Shock Cub demo on a salvage sight not long ago that had been on its back. I forget the N number but was the black and silver one in the magazines. It has the 340 in it. I bid on it but didnt get it. It ended up about 20 miles north of me near Carrollton GA. If he gets it going I gotta see if I can get some time in it.
    ......... It doesn't cost any more to go first class! You just can't stay as long.
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    RoddyM-I agree, the 915 really does have great potential to be the best light aircraft engine ever produced. Only time will tell! It does weigh 40-50 lbs more installed over the 914 though, but up at altitude that extra 30 HP should be well appreciated and justify the extra weight. Where I think it’ll really come in handy as it pertains to the Shock Cub is when at gross trying to get out of a tight strip.[/QUOTE]

    All that extra weight won't help diddly getting INTO that tight strip. Your best bang for your Rotax performance, STOL buck is a regular old 912S, with a BigBore kit that will be LIGHTER (3 lbs) then the stock engine, while increasing horsepower and torque. Getting out of an off airport site is usually the easy part, (at least if you land uphill) and you don't need uber horsepower (and cost/complexity/more weight/less range/less payload) for that. Keep it simple and light, as often has been said before here. That's all I'm going to say, other sites and forums are more attuned to Rotax gossip then this site, I get that and try and severely limit anything Rotax related when here, just because Zlin used the term "cub" in their name doesn't mean many here are interested.

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    [QUOTE=courierguy That's all I'm going to say, other sites and forums are more attuned to Rotax gossip then this site, I get that and try and severely limit anything Rotax related when here, just because Zlin used the term "cub" in their name doesn't mean many here are interested.[/QUOTE]

    Being a member of the competition aerobatics community, I thought my aerobatic buddies were the worst type AAA alpha males with opinions to match. Till I joined this forum!
    Just read the “Heel brake vs Toe brake” thread!
    Last edited by flyrite; 02-03-2019 at 02:51 PM.
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    Courierguy; I own an S-7S and it’s a great machine. However, you’re writings defending a 912 and “keeping it light” just helps ensure that my next plane will be anything but a 912 RANS.

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    ? I don't understand, though I certainly respect and have zero issues with your future airframe/ engine combo's. What did I ever say that led you to make that assertion? Heavier engines help landing short not at all was my point.

    Or....are you just yanking my chain? I'm sometimes slow on the uptake but I always get there eventually!
    Last edited by courierguy; 02-03-2019 at 04:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetcat11 View Post
    That is great to hear. How did you like the overall build quality and fit and finish? How were the handling characteristics? With the 912 ULS, do you happen to remember what your empty weight is?

    I totally understand how the misssion defines the airplane, but that’s great it introduced y’all to off airport landings. I’m hoping it’ll do the same! I’ve seen videos of yours online, beautiful bird! That’s a great price as well.

    Have you had the chance to fly the Shock Cub with a 914? What do you think about the 915 option? Sorry for all of the questions. ��
    No problems with the questions I could write all day about the shock cub.
    BEW was 858lb, before we put the dual caliper Beringer brakes on it (they are a bit lighter, but not light on the pocket). We have the 105ltr long range tanks, which in Australia is fairly handy.

    The low speed handling is awesome, plenty of authority right down to the stall. Of all of the cubs types I have flown it was the easiest to pin it to a spot. A novice will be pulling it up in under 120m, measured from an obstacle such as a fence. Now that I know what I am doing, it is a lot shorter than that. The landing speed is so slow, brakes are rarely required (except for ground handling) and with any headwind you are pulling up in a few plane lengths. It's so much fun. It is as you would imagine fairly draggy, with big-ish wheels and a thicker wing, so you won't break any speed records. About 75 knots sipping 18 litres per hour. I rarely used third stage of flaps, it just wasn't necessary for the spots we were landing.

    Finish was good, it all still looks new and nothing has given us problems. The big wheels, TK1 shocks and TK1 baby bush wheel tail takes a lot of the roughness out.

    I was new to Rotax, I have no complaints at all. They are so quiet by comparison, starts with ease and uses next to no oil. More than I can say for the continental that I otherwise get around in.

    Never flown the Shock cub with a 914 or 915, I do think weight might be a bit of a problem with 915. The Titan 180hp would be a very different aircraft, never flown one, not sure what to think about that one.

    Hope this helps.
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    Well I appreciate it! Dang, that’s pretty light. Gary’s in Alaska with the 914 is 852 lbs but he has a very minimal panel. Haha that is so cool, sounds like a blast! I appreciate the feedback as it seems not many have flown the Shock.

    How did you like the baby bushweel? Aren’t Rotax’s great? Different for sure but once you get used to them they are pretty painless!

    And that’s what I’m thinking about the 915. When you consider the cost, weight, and that’s its a brand new entry, it seems a 914 for high altitude operations might be the way to go.

    The Shock Ultra the company unveiled last year topped the scales at 660 lbs with the same wing and tail powered by a 912 ULS. With a 914 and 26” Airstreaks they are saying around 750 lbs empty. I think at that weight coupled with the 914 you’d have an extremely impressive performer up to altitude. You have to sacrifice the shocks on the tail but you can still use the T3 suspension which I think would be more than adequate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jetcat11 View Post
    Well I appreciate it! Dang, that’s pretty light. Gary’s in Alaska with the 914 is 852 lbs but he has a very minimal panel. Haha that is so cool, sounds like a blast! I appreciate the feedback as it seems not many have flown the Shock.

    How did you like the baby bushweel? Aren’t Rotax’s great? Different for sure but once you get used to them they are pretty painless!

    And that’s what I’m thinking about the 915. When you consider the cost, weight, and that’s its a brand new entry, it seems a 914 for high altitude operations might be the way to go.

    The Shock Ultra the company unveiled last year topped the scales at 660 lbs with the same wing and tail powered by a 912 ULS. With a 914 and 26” Airstreaks they are saying around 750 lbs empty. I think at that weight coupled with the 914 you’d have an extremely impressive performer up to altitude. You have to sacrifice the shocks on the tail but you can still use the T3 suspension which I think would be more than adequate.
    Baby bush wheel is great, it's a completely free castering tail wheel, which i like. It's not that uncommon to touch the tail wheel fractionally before the mains. I would say that landing gear seems a fraction further forward and makes the tail a little heavier than the average cub. Keeps it nicely planted on the ground though once it drops and limits nosing over. I reckon that any turbo is great once you start talking high altitude. By all accounts the T3 is pretty good.

  23. #23
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damiens View Post
    Baby bush wheel is great, it's a completely free castering tail wheel, which i like. It's not that uncommon to touch the tail wheel fractionally before the mains. I would say that landing gear seems a fraction further forward and makes the tail a little heavier than the average cub. Keeps it nicely planted on the ground though once it drops and limits nosing over. I reckon that any turbo is great once you start talking high altitude. By all accounts the T3 is pretty good.
    Pictures please!! Love to see where you are flying and what you are flying
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    Quote Originally Posted by damiens View Post
    Baby bush wheel is great, it's a completely free castering tail wheel, which i like. It's not that uncommon to touch the tail wheel fractionally before the mains. I would say that landing gear seems a fraction further forward and makes the tail a little heavier than the average cub. Keeps it nicely planted on the ground though once it drops and limits nosing over. I reckon that any turbo is great once you start talking high altitude. By all accounts the T3 is pretty good.
    Yes pictures would be great! That’s what I’ve heard so I’d imagine the baby bush wheel would help a great deal with landings. Yes, interested to see how a 914 Ultra will perform out in Idaho. Should be a nice combination of lightness and enough power where you need it up high.

    Here’s a new Shock Cub that was just delivered to South Africa on 31” Bushwheels and a 914 turbo up front.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    flyrite's Avatar
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    To COOL !

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    does that work with no prop?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    does that work with no prop?
    It does, just won’t get you very far. 😝 Supposed to be putting the prop on it tomorrow and test flying her.

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    Photos as requested. All the actual flying footage is in un-edited video, you would die of boredom before you got to the good bits

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    Hello Everyone, Declaimer! We are the US distributor for Savage Aircraft.
    For the Forum monitor this is not an advertisement or a sales pitch.
    However because of much confusion about I want to add an official statement to clarify the apparent issue our aircraft prices.

    We offer the Shock Ultra with a 100hp 912ULS, slats, fences, Fowler-slotted flaps, electric trim, 21" tires, 54" Acme side shocks, 24 gallon tanks, cabin heat, door lock, left shooter window, 12v outlet, Garmin VHF and Garmin Transponder for $122,000 Ready to fly. Yes some of our customers have loaded the aircraft with so many options and special paint selections that increased the cost but we are ready to commit this standard price for the next 5 planes until we receive the 2019 price increases from the factory. If you have any specific questions please contact me off line at my email address: bill@sportair.aero or our website www.savage.aero. Thanks, Bill


    Fly Safe! Fly Fun!
    Bill
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetcat11 View Post
    Yes pictures would be great! That’s what I’ve heard so I’d imagine the baby bush wheel would help a great deal with landings. Yes, interested to see how a 914 Ultra will perform out in Idaho. Should be a nice combination of lightness and enough power where you need it up high.

    Here’s a new Shock Cub that was just delivered to South Africa on 31” Bushwheels and a 914 turbo up front.

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    Those may be desser tires but they are not 31 inch Bushwheels.
    "Always looking up"

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    Quote Originally Posted by skukum12 View Post
    Those may be desser tires but they are not 31 inch Bushwheels.
    For years, any front end loader around here was called a “pay loader.” That name stuck no matter who the manufacture was. Bushwheels are so popular, any big fat tire is getting the same quick logo, you know what they mean, however, may or may not be the “real Bushwheel”. Those ones look like Desser 31s” because that wheel is way bigger then a 6” rim. (Probably a 10” (?)
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoddyM View Post
    For years, any front end loader around here was called a “pay loader.” That name stuck no matter who the manufacture was. Bushwheels are so popular, any big fat tire is getting the same quick logo, you know what they mean, however, may or may not be the “real Bushwheel”. Those ones look like Desser 31s” because that wheel is way bigger then a 6” rim. (Probably a 10” (?)
    31” Aero Classic’s on 10” Beringer rims powered by the 914 turbo spinning a 1.93M Kiev three blade propeller.
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    21 FEB 19 As an important update on pr we have been working with the Savage factory and are now offering the plane, including VHF radio and XPDR for $112,700USD. This price is limited and includes all shipping and registration. If you have any specific questions please contact me off line at my email address: bill@sportair.aero or our website www.savage.aero. Thanks, Fly Safe! Fly Fun! Bill
    Fly Safe! Fly Fun!
    Bill
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    Just something to throw into the discussion. As a Shock Cub/Outback shock owner, I would generally (acknowledging my bias) lean toward the shock cub over the Ultra. The Outback Shock has a MTOW of 650kg (tested a little higher than that) and it's greatest appeal is its ruggedness and strength. When you look closely at the fuselage and landing gear, it is made for back country flying that contains the occasional mishap. The Ultra is made to be light (and to suit the European Ultra light standard) and has a MTOW of 600kg. Don't get me wrong, it is an awesome machine in it's own right, designed and built by the same people, but I think they each have a slightly different mission. The Ultra would probably land a little shorter, but seriously with the shock cub stalling out at 18knots indicated, I could never envisage needing to land any shorter than I do now. It feels like you touch down at a fast walk. Hope this helps. Cheers Damien

  35. #35
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    Zlin Aviation Outback Shock Cub

    To the original post:

    As a Rotax owner I would not touch that 915 for at least 5 years. Let the UAV guys work all the bugs out of them. When you get that many electronics, turbo, gear box, new MAP settings every week, etc., all in one place, in all kinds of different airframes each with their own quirks, cooling issues, etc., there’s going to be a steep curve.

    But that’s just me. Just not that adventurous here in the land of tires over very cold water. To each their own.

    On a 650# airframe that’s cub-like, I’d wonder what structure has been sacrificed to get there. Also, that sumbitch is gonna ride rougher than a cob in the turbulence. The 752# S7S is about the top of my threshold for pain in that regard.

    Again, maybe I’m just getting old
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    The reference to 650 and 600 in this thread are concerning Kilograms, not pounds. That's 1430 and 1320 pounds, respectively.
    Jim Parker
    '65 Champion 7ECA - Flying
    ?? Bearhawk Patrol - Building

  37. #37
    gbflyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimParker256 View Post
    The reference to 650 and 600 in this thread are concerning Kilograms, not pounds. That's 1430 and 1320 pounds, respectively.
    The OP I read states “The 912ULS version weighed in at 660 lbs. empty...” in the third to the last paragraph. That’s all I know.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbflyer View Post
    To the original post:

    As a Rotax owner I would not touch that 915 for at least 5 years. Let the UAV guys work all the bugs out of them. When you get that many electronics, turbo, gear box, new MAP settings every week, etc., all in one place, in all kinds of different airframes each with their own quirks, cooling issues, etc., there’s going to be a steep curve.

    But that’s just me. Just not that adventurous here in the land of tires over very cold water. To each their own.

    On a 650# airframe that’s cub-like, I’d wonder what structure has been sacrificed to get there. Also, that sumbitch is gonna ride rougher than a cob in the turbulence. The 752# S7S is about the top of my threshold for pain in that regard.

    Again, maybe I’m just getting old
    I own a short tail S-7 and am in 100% agreement with everything you are saying! I looked at the engine at Oshkosh and being an old hot rodder, that engine is a nightmare with all the electronics, boxes, lines, etc. Sure wouldn't want to have an issue somewhere off the beaten path. I already have issues with trying to find someone local that can diagnos issues with my current Rotax 912. Having just removed the engine to get at the ignition/stator assembly is more involved than it should be. I could only imagine the nightmare if one had an issue with the 915!!

    Also have the same feelings about turbulence and these light wing loaded airplanes. I have had plenty of experience of battling severe turbulence in it and if it isn't fairly decent weather, I'll take the good old 172! The S-7 can be quite a bucking bronco in turbulant conditions. I'm getting too old for it also!! It is a blast the rest of the time!!
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    It's all relevant, coming up from ultralights, I'm always pleased the way my S7-S handles the bumps! I'm sure a Citation X pilot would have a different opinion. An inescapable aspect of the great low speed handling, and not doing it with gobs of horsepower but doing it with the wing. Nothing unusual about the S-7 in this respect, a Kitfox may be a bit different but guess what, it has a smaller wing and doesn't land as short or slow as the 7. I don't recall my T-Craft being much different in bumps, any light wing loaded plane will be effected more, but I just relaz and go with it, kinda fun.....and I have plenty of control authority. My Prius handles and feels differently then my 1 ton flatbed, same deal. 15 MPG versus 55 MPG though. Airplane wise, I consider it the price I pay for sub 4 GPM burn rates and the ability to land anywhere, and takeoff again. But right now I'm sitting on my ass at my desk, ask me again after crawling out of the plane all beat up, my attitude may differ.
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    [QUOTE=WWhunter;741149]I own a short tail S-7 and am in 100% agreement with everything you are saying! I looked at the engine at Oshkosh and being an old hot rodder, that engine is a nightmare with all the electronics, boxes, lines, etc. Sure wouldn't want to have an issue somewhere off the beaten path. I already have issues with trying to find someone local that can diagnos issues with my current Rotax 912. Having just removed the engine to get at the ignition/stator assembly is more involved than it should be. I could only imagine the nightmare if one had an issue with the 915!!

    This is pretty funny timing as a couple of days ago I would have strongly disagreed with both of y’all because of my fascination with the latest and greatest. I’ve been obsessed with the 915 iS for the past year and finally had my chance to get behind it and operate the beast at full tilt. I flew the engine behind the new Sling TSi and was impressed as that engine has turned this airplane into a monster.

    The first flight I rode in the back and was amazed at how powerful the engine was taking three of us adults, 40 gallons of fuel, and a ton of stuff in the back at over 1200 FPM doing 90 knots. This airplane was running the Airmaster constant speed hub behind a 72” three blade Airmaster prop. After easily climbing to 7,500ft my buddy and I saw true airspeed over 150 knots burning 6.7 GPH which was really impressive.

    When we got back and landed I got to try the airplane out and get a good sense for the engine. On our way back, wouldn’t you know it, Lane B lights up. After the demo pilot tried recycling the lane a few times both Lane A and Lane B lit up. My first thought was, “Really Rotax?” We were on a long final over a never ending sea of houses so I climbed and made sure we came in a bit high just in case. The lights eventually went off but I left that day disappointed and was hoping after 7 years of the 912 iS they’d have these issues wrapped up.

    A few more impressions of the 914 vs 915.

    The 914 starts smoother, the 915 really kicks and judders when you start it. There’s a lot more to do to get the 915 ready to start as well. After you pushed a bunch of switches you have to keep the throttle at half for cold starts which is unnerving.

    There was no apparent difference in smoothness between either engine. Throttle response is the same on both. But, the 915 is a monster! It is extremely powerful and should turn the Shock Cub into an amazing performer, but after that flight, I think my favorite Rotax is still the 914 until they fix their lane issues. Who knows how long that’ll be! I came away a bit let down in the end and definitely agree it needs time to mature.

    I really think SportairUSA will have a winner in the Shock Ultra and 914 combo. From studying the landings of both models I think there’s more angle of attack to work with and it should just be a stellar performer for the backcountry.
    Last edited by jetcat11; 02-24-2019 at 01:02 PM.
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