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Thread: Hand propping versus Horsepower options

  1. #41
    Bill Rusk's Avatar
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    Jan 2003
    Sandpoint, Idaho
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    Well, as someone who is pretty weight conscious, this should be interesting. First you have to really decide exactly what your mission is, because if you want to go camping, you need extended baggage, perhaps extra fuel, some beef ups here in there to handle turbulence, and the extra weight of camping gear and pax.
    If you just want to build a point A to point A airplane, that’s a different mission. with that mission you might be able to get it down to 900 pounds. To get below 1000 pounds, with a true backcountry airplane, it’s going to take some really really really serious work.
    Since you are experimental, you can go with a battery 2 1/2 pounds, starter 5 pounds, and a lightweight fly wheel 2 1/2 pounds. So you can save 10 pounds going no starter. If your mission ever includes floats, I think that would be a very good 10 pound investment. Trying to hand prop from outside the cockpit while you’re drifting down current, into the trees is pretty challenging.
    There are a lot of quite knowledgeable people on this site that can help you obtain your goals. And we would be very interested to follow your progress and learn ourselves.

    Very Blessed.
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  2. #42

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    May 2014
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    Actual numbers for a flapless 100HP Catto swinging wood-wing +3 gear 29" Airstreak-wearing Cub:

    Starter, ring gear, alternator, heavy gauge wiring, and assorted mounting hardware for an O235 weighs 48 pounds.

    EarthX saved another 10 pounds (from the firewall for me).

    My pig is a giant pain in the ass to hand prop some days. Even so, I will never bolt all of that extra crap on my Cub again. It simply flies better this way, and comes in very close to 900#.
    Likes Crash, Jr. liked this post

  3. #43
    Crash, Jr.'s Avatar
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    May 2015
    Anchorage, AK
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    900# is great for a PA-11 and especially with extended gear and 29's. Everything that weighs something has to carry it's own weight in some way. There are definitely some things that are worthwhile but IMO a starter just isn't one of them especially if it's a pretty dedicated wheel/ski plane. Floats...not sold on the concept yet. But again, some times things like a charging system (for GPS, radio, and LED lights) can be worth it's weight especially when you get caught out in the dark when you lose light fast in the fall. Baggage too, though I'm wrestling with that one. I could probably get by with just a standard baggage but since you're in there better to have the extra space than build without and regret later on.

    Like Bill said, is it an A to A plane or something to travel in? That alone can mean the difference between an 800lb Lil Cub copy or a useful 1050lb cub that you can live with.

  4. #44
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
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    Good information here. I agree with Bill and Crash regarding weights. I once flew a Super Cub (certified, not EX) that had an honest 970 pound empty weight. From inside that airplane, you could see the OUTside of the airplane, any direction you in NO interior. Seat was fabric covered, no cushion. "Baggage compartment" was a net. No electrics...did have a hand held radio and an external antenna....that was IT. Everything you could do without was gone....including the pulley on the flywheel. Stock gear, 8.50 tires. It had a strong o-320 and a Borer prop. I flew it around Kodiak and landed a few beaches. It was a great performer, but you really had to be careful what you poked where.

    Aktrap's figures for weight loss from metal to composite props on these fixed pitch props is waaaay high. You're only going to lose a few pounds there, but in this kind of game a few pounds is a big deal. But, you're not going to lose 30 pounds. I replaced a Hartzell CS prop with big blades AND a harmonic Damper (ten pounds itself) with an MT CS prop and saved 28 pounds, but that's CS and that damn damper assy.

    I seriously doubt you could get a "bush ready" 150 hp Cub down under 900 pounds, and in fact, getting one to 1000 pounds will require a pretty minimal aircraft.

    Likes Crash, Jr., DENNY liked this post

  5. #45

    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Thun Field, Washington
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    My Cub was weighed at 960# on 31s, but it has nothing but a little aluminum around where you sit. No electrical, no starter, Catto prop, O-320, handheld radio. It's fun, but in my experience unless there's a tape measure involved a couple hundred pounds doesn't make much difference. With light comes simplicity, in my opinion that's where the beauty is. In that case, my Cub is beautiful, but it's not.
    Happy Thanksgiving!
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  6. #46
    Doug Budd's Avatar
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    Feb 2015
    Crawford Nebraska
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    My cub weighs less than 800 but has a 0200 no electric of any kind no interior no back seat . It does have flaps and 27” tires catto prop. I could trim a little bit more weight changing out the coil over spring shock but it works good landing on rough ground without beating the airframe up. 99 percent of my landing are off airport.
    Likes motosix liked this post

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