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Trans-atlantic in cub?

Lasater

Registered User
Texas
During lunch, I started thinking about flying a cub around the world. I know a couple of guys circumnavigated the globe in a pair of PA-12's in the 50's or 60's.

Has anybody here done the north Atlantic routing in a cub recently? How much fuel would it take? If you could build a PA-18 for the trip, how would configure it?

The Pacific route seems to long for a cub unless you go from Russia to Alaska.

I am daydreaming right now, but who knows?
 
I look forward to the feedback from others here. I made my first cross continent flight two weekend ago, and buy was it thrilling... It was a Madrid- Melilla via Castellon... but it was Europe to Africa. Like you, I too am looking for an epic flight with my cub... I'm dreaming on to reach Cape Town.

I know that there was a couple that had a huge tank (something like 90 gals) that came from a spraying rig, but for me, I would never expect to fly more than 4 hr on the cub... I would add extra gas for safety, but other than adding the extended baggage and fuel/cargo pod, that is as far as I would go.

I am looking into getting my cub to 160hp but my engine is at 400H after overhaul, so it just does not make sense to spend the $$$ for this.
 
I have a 68G sorenson belly tank. Add that to 50G Dakota or 60G Univair tanks, at 8 GPH should get you part of the way? Don
 
transatlantic cub trip

It looks like you need a 2300 lb gross airplane:

1300 lb empty weight
720 lbs of fuel
220 lbs of pilot (my fat rear)
= 2020 lbs before survival suit, raft, and other gear.

I think 120 gallons would be enough for hops from Canada to Greenland to Iceland and then over, depending on the winds.

I would think that you would want 180 hp and a constant speed prop depending on weight.
 
Longest leg on the Atlantic trip would be from Narsarsuaq (BGBW), Greenland to Reykjavik (BIRK), Iceland..... approximately 700 nm as I recall. I can figure it exactly if you like. Lots of SE aircraft fly this route every year. Just takes guts, gas and cold water survival gear.

I'm familiar with the NoPac route also if you really want to figure this out. You would be spending a lot of time in Russian airspace. I think it would be difficult for a permit to fly a low altitude aircraft, especially along their Pacific coastline... possible, but surely difficult. Not easy to transit China either, especially low altitude. Asia is very expensive for aircraft operations.
 
I remember a Super Cub at Sentimental Journey in 05 that had done it. I think it was a late model 18
 
Who in their right mind would want to sit in a cub over the open water for that long for no real reason? Talk about monkey butt in the making.
 
Bob and Diane Dempster flew their PA18 "Howdy" around the world back in the early 90's. They are now involved with building a replica of the Douglas World Cruiser (search google).

The excentric Brit Maurice Kirk flew his L4 from England down to Australia / NZ then back up to Japan attempting a circumnavigation. I remember that Russia would not give him permission due to no avgas available.

He was about to try Japan - Adak when he crashed in Japan. It probably saved his life.

John Scott
 
I have crossed the Atlantic several times in a 6-engine airplane, and I have arrived on the other side with as few as 2 good engines. I don't even want to think what it would be like in a Cub, with 2/3 of the engines out! :cry:
 
A pa11 or pa18/95 C90 with modern slick mags at 5 gal an hour and a cruise prop on 1500 aqua floats doing the take off on a dolly at a airport with 5 or 6 thousand feet of runway and using the floats as the gas tank, sigh me up I'm in :eek:

Glenn
 
Around the world

I can shed some light on that trip that Bob and Diane Dempster made.
I bought there airplane, a 1993 PA-18 SuperCub called "Howdy"

I do not know alot about the adventure they took on, but I would think twice about taking it on. Alot of people tried rowing across the Alantic in Row Boats and never made it or seen again.

Diane will ( I hope ) write a book about this travel called "Dream Like You Mean It " They told me the trip in 1993 cost them around $250,000. they also had to hire a company to clear the way for them as they traveled to get permission to enter the country. They mentioned that they had two 30 gallon wing tanks, one 90 gallon belly tank and I think a 50 gallon tank under the back seat that had both a electric and wobble pump. It took two years to make the trip and they had to take off the wings at some point to ship the plane to Austrailia. Sometimes they had to hanger the plane in the winter and fly home on the jet, then come back in the spring and go some more. I don't think it was alot of fun at all and I am sure they had some problem's getting in and out of country's.
I hope they finish the book, I myself would like to know about there adventures. Point of interest, they said the fuel weighed more than the plane did.

Bill
 
atlantic crossing

Recently flew my favorite, N7878D, from a strip near Rome, Italy to Little Gransden, England. Food and scenery was unbelievable, but the trip was fraught with fog, rain, winds, and 70 MPH average ground speed. The plane is about to go into a container and head for Graham. As I sat looking out the window of the 767 mid Atlantic, all thoughts of a west bound ferry trip evaporated. Let's see, 85 knots minus prevailing 35K headwind is 50 knots ground speed. 700 miles, or a mere 14 hours, maybe about 119 gallons plus reserve. In case the volcano blows up again, or its socked in, the closest alternate is what, Scottish Isles a few hundred miles away? Awfully lonely out there, and no flight following, Flight Service, or private strips. Leave it to Lindbergh. They call it an "epic flight" for a reason. I prefer to worry whether it'll be a glass of French wine or a pint of best English Bitter at a pub, day's end. (For our British friends, I prefer Theakstons Old Peculiar from Yorkshire, but its hard to find nowadays. For Spain Cub I commend the cider at Sabadell) Incidentally, N7878D left the US from NY in 1958, went to the Naval Flying club in Morocco, then to South Africa, then to Australia, then to Yorkshire UK, and now is coming home. I guess the little Cub had more fun than a lot of us. Hmm.. Morocco is just a short flight from Gibralta across the Mediterranean.
 
trans-atlantic

"Who in their right mind would want to sit in a cub over the open water for that long for no real reason? Talk about monkey butt in the making"

Although I agree with the monkey butt comment, I not sure that many people have a "real reason" to fly a cub other than they want to. Flying to the other side of the world sure seems like a great adventure. There is no better way to see changes in geography than out of a window of a cub.

That being said, I have no desire to die for the sake of adventure.

Crossing the north Atlantic looks hard, but the regulatory hassle of airspace in Europe doesn't look any easier. Getting through China or Russia looks unrealistic, so the adventure would have to end in Australia.

I would like to read about "Howdy".
 
(I can only talk about the Atlantic part, that i flew.)

With the Turtlepack, it is now easy to install as much fuel as you think you need. Legs are not so terrible, maximum 340 miles for the longest if i remember. Around 250 miles longest over water. XM radio weather would be great. ( I had access to web weather trough iridium coverage). Plan not to fly on Sunday's in Greenland. I don't remember why, but i remember having to do some "social" work to clear a strong fine because i landed on a Sunday. I was lucky the village had only one sewing machine, that was out of order, and that repairing them is my field of expertise. So i worked on the machine until it could sew trough the straps of dogs sled. They were so happy they remove the fine.

You need a special flight permit if you connect the Turtlepack on the fuel system. You could also go with a belly tank, already covered by STC. Not that you need so much fuel, just in case you want to turn back. But many airport and option are available along the coast of Greenland, and iceland, for emergency situation to wait until the weather improve. A Satt phone would give you weather so you don't have any surprise.

Louis

coudre.jpg
coudre2.jpg


Kulusuk airport, with the village

kulusuk.jpg
 
Ruidoso Ron said:
I have crossed the Atlantic several times in a 6-engine airplane, and I have arrived on the other side with as few as 2 good engines. I don't even want to think what it would be like in a Cub, with 2/3 of the engines out! :cry:

6 engines? What was it, a B-47?
 
Ruidoso Ron said:
I have crossed the Atlantic several times in a 6-engine airplane, and I have arrived on the other side with as few as 2 good engines. I don't even want to think what it would be like in a Cub, with 2/3 of the engines out! :cry:


How many of them were 'good' to begin with :p
 
trans-atlantic in a cub

I don't think my buddy could get a sanity clearance: flying 13 hours fish-spotting, so stiff on return he exits by rolling out of his seat.

Doing it on a daily basis, to put money on the plate, , these guys wouldn't consider an Atlantic hop all that much of a feat.
 
skywagon8a said:
Ruidoso Ron said:
I have crossed the Atlantic several times in a 6-engine airplane, and I have arrived on the other side with as few as 2 good engines. I don't even want to think what it would be like in a Cub, with 2/3 of the engines out! :cry:

6 engines? What was it, a B-47?[/quote

KC-97L. 4 R-4360's and 2 J47's. Just those engines, alone, should strike fear into your heart. Not to mention, the North Atlantic!
 
I thought you needed an IFR rating and IFR equipped plane before the authorities would let you attempt the north Atlantic route????
 
We have a couple of fish spotters here in Plymouth , MA. Citabrias with belly tanks. About 12 hours of fuel. They regularly go one way out to George's Bank, two hundred and fifty mile one way, auger around for hours then come home. Usually a ten hour day. Been doing it for years. Can think of only one guy who was killed and that was because he dropped a wing into the water and cartwheeled. You should see the water and grub they bring for the ride. Water, candy bars and Twinkies! Quite the setup on the aircraft.

Maurice Kirk dumped his cub into the Caribean and was rescued by the USCG (besides crashing in Japan) . Oddly enough, the rescue swimmer who jumped in to rescue him had a connection to Kirk. The mother of the rescue swimmer had gone to second form ( high school) with Kirk in England! If you Google search Kirk his website may be up. Interesting pictures.

A woman I know has circumnavigated twice in her Mooney. She said that most governments were very accommodating. The only real problems and dangers are the countries of the middle east. Carolann Garrett. She has a website as well.
 
trans-atlantic in a cub

In the tiny passenger area of the Ayr, Scotland, airport in the late 50's I couldn't help but overhear an argument between a gray-haired woman of a certain age and the male clerk of a rent-a-car company.

There was no way the woman was going to rent a car until she said something to the effect, "I want to get this from you clearly: you're telling me I'm not trustworthy in a car when I just flew that Comanche out there across the Atlantic."

It was a single-engine in plain sight not 100 metres from the ivy-bordered window.
 
OK gang, I'm going to throw this out there: Many years ago, I read in a popular flying magazine that two guys in cubs(J3's, I think) added many fuel tanks to their wings and some HF radios, and attempted to circumnavigate the world. One flier developed some engine trouble(??!!) and turned back before leaving New England, but the other made it all the way to the Bering Sea, (from Japan) where the CG vectored him to a Japanese fishing factory ship, where he ditched, just before running out of fuel. The coast guard eventually got a ship there, which broke his plane in half while attempting to lift it clear of the water...it sank.
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Now, did this really happen, or was it the April First issue???? :-?
 
trans-atlantic flight

It is interesting that his longest leg was 850 nm. In a cub, 120 gallons should be enough for everything but the Pacific route. It looks like his Pacific problems all had to do with permits for Russia.

Does anybody know the Stearman's tas and gph (he had a 450 hp engine)?
 
My dream has been to ship my cub to Europe and then fly it to the tip of
South Africa sell it or give it away and come home on the tube. Anybody up for the adventure? :D
 
Trans-Atlantic

I am in as soon as I can convince my wife that I need to get IO-390 powered cub with an MT prop, 120 gallons of fuel, and L-21 glass built for me to fly across the pond to meet you in Europe. I also need to convince her that my three young kids will not be too hard to take care of during my absence.

On second thought, have fun without me. I am a few years away from that adventure.
 
Jerry Gaston said:
My dream has been to ship my cub to Europe and then fly it to the tip of
South Africa sell it or give it away and come home on the tube. Anybody up for the adventure? :D

Me too, but there is a lot of trouble between Greece and SE part of Africa. Got any ideas about how to actually do it? Furthest I've been in the Cub is Ireland to Albania, and Reggio-Calabria in southern Italy by Sicily.
 
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