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Thread: Potential 95 Super Cub Empty Weight?

  1. #1

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    Potential 95 Super Cub Empty Weight?

    Hey everyone!

    I'm looking at buying 95 Super Cub for a restoration. As it will be torn down and built back up I wanna go semi overboard on keeping it light. Mission for it would be giving rides and one person and gear for camping in vfr day conditions. On to smoothish terrain over 400' If I could be competitive in a stol comp all the better but not required. So my question is with the following ideas do you think a sub 800 possibly 750 pound empty weight is possible.

    Weight Savings:
    No Electric - No starter - No generator - No lights - No Radio (will have a handheld)
    Carbon Floorboards
    13 rib wings
    1 18 gallon Tank
    Oratex Fabric for outer covering and interior (no extended baggage)
    Airframes Alaska Lightweight Struts
    Standard original 4 instrument dash
    If legal, thinner glass or plexi
    No flaps
    Carbon fiber ground adjustable prop
    Magnesium wheels
    Other small tricks here and there.

    Weight adding:
    X brace, H Brace, Float Fittings
    3" Extended Gear
    29" Airstreaks
    Safety Cables
    Safety Harnesses
    VGs

    With the Above what do you think it might weigh empty?

    Is there anything else i could do to lighten? Anything you would recommend adding either for safety or something ill truly regret not having?

    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2

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    Last edited by tempdoug; 08-11-2022 at 02:55 PM.
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  3. #3
    TurboBeaver's Avatar
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    With 29" Airstreaks 860/70 is certainly possible.
    Best of Luck
    E
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  4. #4
    Steve Pierce's Avatar
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    I see no reason for extended gear on 29" Airstreaks and a C90. that is 5 plus lbs right there.
    Steve Pierce

    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.
    Will Rogers
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  5. #5

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    Doug, Do have pics of what you did? would a 24 gallon in only one wing throw off lateral balance?

  6. #6
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Winters (see Wings & Wheels) make airspeed and altimeters that are much lighter than the originals styles.

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    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Winters (see Wings & Wheels) make airspeed and altimeters that are much lighter than the originals styles.
    They are designed for gliders. How well do they stand up to airplane engine vibration? I had to have my Winter 2.25 inch glider instruments rebuilt and I suspect the failures were caused by trailering on rough roads.
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  8. #8
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    I've installed box loads of them in the last twenty or so years (all powered aircraft). Only one I had problems with was the one I dropped on the floor.

    Web
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric84 View Post
    Doug, Do have pics of what you did? would a 24 gallon in only one wing throw off lateral balance?
    no it does not. i can let go of the stick with darn near empty or full and i cant notice the difference. once in awhile i thought maybe but then the wind could have been different. i very seldom run it full but there when i need it.
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  10. #10
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric84 View Post
    Doug, Do have pics of what you did? would a 24 gallon in only one wing throw off lateral balance?
    The original PA18-95's only had a left fuel tank.

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  11. #11

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    scott tailwheels are good but theres lighter if you dont need something as robust as the scott. do you want hydrosorbs? and then i keep thinking if i would have done what your thinking but put a 160 on the front. also theres some options for the rear seat, how comfortable should the passenger be? look at atlee dodges safari rear seat or bill rusks, which i really like. post #528 in his build.
    Last edited by tempdoug; 08-11-2022 at 08:56 PM.
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  12. #12

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    Thanks for the rear seat advice! Roughest thing I plan on is smooth Eastern USA River bars so Probly don’t need a big tailwheel.

    what are hydrosorbs?
    Last edited by Eric84; 08-11-2022 at 07:12 PM.

  13. #13

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    Good to know!

  14. #14

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    the little continentals are good motors. good oil pump housing with crank and rod bearings, cam main bearings and lifter bores in spec and they will run forever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    I've installed box loads of them in the last twenty or so years (all powered aircraft). Only one I had problems with was the one I dropped on the floor.
    2.25 or 3.125? I got the impression the larger instruments were far more robust. I had to use 2.25 because of very small panel area.

  16. #16
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Almost exclusively the 2 1/4" instruments. They are my go to items for shrinking an instrument panel.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.

  17. #17
    frequent_flyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    Almost exclusively the 2 1/4" instruments.
    Maybe I was just unlucky then. No problems after the overhaul by Winter.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric84 View Post
    Thanks for the rear seat advice! Roughest thing I plan on is smooth Eastern USA River bars so Probly don’t need a big tailwheel.

    what are hydrosorbs?
    shock absorbers combined with the landing gear bungees, i have them and have never landed a cub without them, but with the big low pressure tires and smooth landing spots, not sure if there needed??? if using the right bungees. nothing out there that im aware of,thats lighter than bungees by themselves.
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  19. #19

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    Ti firewall, carbon tank lid. No accessories and a plastic prop will help as much as anything I bet
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinJ View Post
    Ti firewall, carbon tank lid. No accessories and a plastic prop will help as much as anything I bet
    Do you know where these items are sold and if they are able to be put on a certified supercub?

  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric84 View Post
    Hey everyone!

    I'm looking at buying 95 Super Cub for a restoration. As it will be torn down and built back up I wanna go semi overboard on keeping it light. Mission for it would be giving rides and one person and gear for camping in vfr day conditions. On to smoothish terrain over 400' If I could be competitive in a stol comp all the better but not required. So my question is with the following ideas do you think a sub 800 possibly 750 pound empty weight is possible.

    Weight Savings:
    No Electric - No starter - No generator - No lights - No Radio (will have a handheld)
    Carbon Floorboards
    13 rib wings
    1 18 gallon Tank
    Oratex Fabric for outer covering and interior (no extended baggage)
    Airframes Alaska Lightweight Struts
    Standard original 4 instrument dash
    If legal, thinner glass or plexi
    No flaps
    Carbon fiber ground adjustable prop
    Magnesium wheels
    Other small tricks here and there.

    Weight adding:
    X brace, H Brace, Float Fittings
    3" Extended Gear
    29" Airstreaks
    Safety Cables
    Safety Harnesses
    VGs

    With the Above what do you think it might weigh empty?

    Is there anything else i could do to lighten? Anything you would recommend adding either for safety or something ill truly regret not having?

    Thanks everyone!
    Potential Modification to the Above list:
    Remove from add list:
    H Brace
    3" extended Change to normal heavy duty gear no safety cables

    Add:
    removable back seat rail
    Possibly Add Flaps (probly not but its still a thought)
    Last edited by Eric84; 08-12-2022 at 12:25 PM.

  22. #22
    RaisedByWolves's Avatar
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    I often wonder if a 90 with pstol flaps would be fun. I'd imagine you'd lack the takeoff power.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric84 View Post
    Potential Modification to the Above list:
    Remove from add list:
    H Brace
    3" extended Change to normal heavy duty gear no safety cables

    Add:
    removable back seat rail
    Add Flaps
    personal opinion, but i think i would put the H brace in the tail and while back there weld a bushing in where the tailwheel bolt goes. ti firewall can be done yourself, order material and use original as a pattern, gas tank cover- make everything so a cover can be installed but cover with fabric to start with??? just a thought.
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  24. #24

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    My opinion, so take it for what it's worth. Unless you're buying the 95hp super cub ridiculously cheap, if you want a super lightweight C90 powered super cub, you'll be better off building an experimental. You'll have more options without having to adhere to the limitations of building a certified plane.

    If you do rebuild the plane you're looking at, I wouldn't use the HD gear legs. I think that woukd be overkill, and i think it would be better to bend an axle rather than bend a longeron at the gear fitting.

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by RaisedByWolves View Post
    I often wonder if a 90 with pstol flaps would be fun. I'd imagine you'd lack the takeoff power.
    While i understand they are wonderful flaps I think they are significantly heavier that traditional flaps. and with the low horse hp im looking at bang for the buck. So those have never been in at least my consideration.

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    The original PA18-95's only had a left fuel tank.

    Web
    Yes I believe the one I'm looking at only has the one wing tank I was curious if the additional weight further out in the wing would do anything additional. what do you see for fuel burn with your 95? whats your endurance with the 23 Gallon? My plan is withonly an 18 is if i need extra fuel carry some fuel bags land after 3 Hours to stretch answer the call, and fuel up. Im in Ohio so the likelihood ill need more than a 3 hour range over unfriendly terrain is unlikely.

  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1934A View Post
    My opinion, so take it for what it's worth. Unless you're buying the 95hp super cub ridiculously cheap, if you want a super lightweight C90 powered super cub, you'll be better off building an experimental. You'll have more options without having to adhere to the limitations of building a certified plane.

    If you do rebuild the plane you're looking at, I wouldn't use the HD gear legs. I think that would be overkill, and i think it would be better to bend an axle rather than bend a longeron at the gear fitting.
    I Understand the experimental vs certified debate and would not mind a EXP, However I like the idea of a resto, I not exactly sure of the price im going to get yet. This will also be a project for me and my dad so I like the rebuild.

    Thanks for the advise on the gear, I've actually been surprised at the number of people that have told bme here and in other places that for a light cub the various additional form stock types and not needed which if they arnt works for me.

    I reconsidered the flaps because if im saving weight in the gear dept i could kinda convice myself to put it in the flaps. Also I have a high likelyhood of putting her on floats at some point and i understand thats where you really want them.
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  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric84 View Post
    Yes I believe the one I'm looking at only has the one wing tank I was curious if the additional weight further out in the wing would do anything additional. what do you see for fuel burn with your 95? whats your endurance with the 23 Gallon? My plan is with only an 18 is if i need extra fuel carry some fuel bags land after 3 Hours to stretch answer the call, and fuel up. Im in Ohio so the likelihood ill need more than a 3 hour range over unfriendly terrain is unlikely.
    I could feel the difference in fuel levels between the two 18 gallon tanks in my 150 hp Super Cub, I personally would not like a single 23 gallon on one side only, especially as you lose the ability to trim by changing tanks. If you're really chasing weight, the 23 gallon tank is going to add quite some weight; there is the larger tank panel as well. Dakota make nice stuff, what's a bet they use heavier gauge sheet to make those tanks.......


    On the flaps, if you're certified, I think you need to put the balanced tail feathers on. Steve Pierce knows the answer to that one I think. They are considerably heavier than the stock PA-18-95 tail. Bigger, but also the elevator spar tube is heavier wall thickness on the balanced elevators.

    The lightness thing is simple if you can get your head around it. Resist the urge to add things.

  29. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by MainlandCub View Post
    I could feel the difference in fuel levels between the two 18 gallon tanks in my 150 hp Super Cub, I personally would not like a single 23 gallon on one side only, especially as you lose the ability to trim by changing tanks. If you're really chasing weight, the 23 gallon tank is going to add quite some weight; there is the larger tank panel as well. Dakota make nice stuff, what's a bet they use heavier gauge sheet to make those tanks.......


    On the flaps, if you're certified, I think you need to put the balanced tail feathers on. Steve Pierce knows the answer to that one I think. They are considerably heavier than the stock PA-18-95 tail. Bigger, but also the elevator spar tube is heavier wall thickness on the balanced elevators.

    The lightness thing is simple if you can get your head around it. Resist the urge to add things.
    Thanks for the input Mainlandcub yea about the only thing i waffle on is the flaps but im leaning toward not light to an almost extreme. I was watching Hal Stockman and thought hey if that guy who is the poster child for weight savings has flaps, maybe its ok lol but I have the number of sub 800 pound empty in my head and I think im do everything reasonably i can to get there. plus its more added expense, and time to a rebuild to add them.

    I kinda like being the underdog

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric84 View Post
    Thanks for the input Mainlandcub yea about the only thing i waffle on is the flaps but im leaning toward not light to an almost extreme. I was watching Hal Stockman and thought hey if that guy who is the poster child for weight savings has flaps, maybe its ok lol but I have the number of sub 800 pound empty in my head and I think im do everything reasonably i can to get there. plus its more added expense, and time to a rebuild to add them.

    I kinda like being the underdog
    If it were me, and building experimental, I'd add the flaps. But if it's a certified PA-18-95 I'd leave it as it is.

    There's lots of little Cub guys on here who will say they're unnecessary.....
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  31. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by MainlandCub View Post
    There's lots of little Cub guys on here who will say they're unnecessary.....
    Yes.. I've been reading that, that debate has been raging here for 20 years although the preponderance of voices agree don't screw with a light 95.

    The keep it light guy in my head even says to cut out all the tabs and such that were put in at the factory on the frame for the flaps If i don't have flaps I don't need the weight of the tabs.
    Last edited by Eric84; 08-12-2022 at 03:00 PM.

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric84 View Post
    The keep it light guy in my head even says to cut out all the tabs and such that were put in at the factory on the frame for the flaps If i don't have flaps I don't need the weight of the tabs.
    I nearly wrote that, but thought it might be viewed as subversive.....

  33. #33
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    I recall adding about 20# when installing flaps on a PA-11. They work on landing, but don't add much on takeoff until you're almost airborne. There's simply not enough thrust from a C-90 to blast air over them on takeoff for more lift. Anything more than 12* and they'd slow the takeoff on floats until water speed was gained.

    Gary
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  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    I recall adding about 20# when installing flaps on a PA-11. They work on landing, but don't add much on takeoff until you're almost airborne. There's simply not enough thrust from a C-90 to blast air over them on takeoff for more lift. Anything more than 12* and they'd slow the takeoff on floats until water speed was gained.

    Gary
    Gary, thanks so much for the input . could you explain the anything more than 12* than ?

    Edit: I now assume you meant 12 degrees..

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    Go ahead and be subversive!

  36. #36
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric84 View Post
    Gary, thanks so much for the input . could you explain the anything more than 12* than ?

    Edit: I now assume you meant 12 degrees..
    Yes flaps half way to their first setting which is at about 25 deg. If I lowered them progressively to 25 while accelerating (mainly on floats which takes longer) their initial drag could be felt. So I used half of that until 35-40 then 25 deg for takeoff. Today I'd leave the wing as Piper intended and only add VG's unless I had more power than 90, then add flaps.

    Gary
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  37. #37
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    ... gas tank cover- make everything so a cover can be installed but cover with fabric to start with??? just a thought.
    An unsupported section of fabric the size of a gas tank on top of the wing could be excessive. There should be one or two fixed ribs on top of the tank to hold the fabric down. Particularly in the propwash area. I watched the fabric peel off the top of a wing once. The airplane became uncontrollable and fortunately for the pilot he was wearing a parachute, which he used.

    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    ..... but don't add much on takeoff until you're almost airborne. There's simply not enough thrust from a C-90 to blast air over them on takeoff for more lift. Anything more than 12* and they'd slow the takeoff on floats until water speed was gained.

    Gary
    Flaps on a low horsepower seaplane add aerodynamic drag unless there is considerable wind blowing. The initial getting on the step phase is strictly powering through the water, forcing the "boat" hulls through the water and up on the step. Lift on the wings is negligible initially (unless the wind is blowing). 10 or 12 degrees does sound like a maximum useful setting for lift over drag.
    N1PA
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  38. #38
    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    On another note, the PA-11 had extended wings with droop tips (CC style) when I bought it. More wing area. I liked the lift on floats and assumed that installing flaps on the wings we had converted back to rounded factory style tips would result in the same. On floats I felt I had lost takeoff performance after that restoration to factory wing area.

    Gary
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