Chuck and Ryan's Carbon Cub Build Blog


Order Placed

The GT is finished and the bathroom has been remodeled, so it is time for a new project. We have been contemplating building an airplane for some time. After several test flights, many hours researching and exploring options, we have decided to build a Carbon Cub.

This is a slick plane based on the Piper Super Cub, but vastly improved. It climbs at over 2000 FPM, empty weight of around 950 pounds, 180 HP engine, and qualifies as a Light Sport when completed. Great fun to fly.

During one of my most recent of countless visits to the Carbon Cub website I chanced upon the November 15, 2013 bulletin summarizing the 2014 updates and improvements. Among them was the following:

“CubCrafters has added a new kick-panel at the front of the cabin providing a cup/bottle holder for the pilot.”
This upgrade with the clincher. The next day I called Chris Cater, Great Lakes Cubs, Cadillac MI, and confronted him with a long list of questions, including whether the cup holder was rated for spins and rolls (it’s not). The order was placed the next day.

I look forward to the Cub EX landing in its 18 foot crate at my door step around March 1, 2014.

The next three months: so much to learn, so little time.

This project is a bit off topic for this forum, but if there is any interest I may continue to post progress posts in this section.



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Randy V

Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
Wings is the first name of this forum!!!
Interested??? I'll say I am!!!! :thumbsup:

You two master craftsmen will do great with this!
looking forward to watching this build also. Did you buy any parts for the bathroom from Michigan? Just got back from vacation in Michigan.


Cool, Chuck.

It appears from the picture Ryan is "all in"! :laugh:

Good luck on the build!


Snapped that pic of Ryan in September test flying a CC. He had a big grin on his face after landing, similar to the grin that results from a ride in the GT.


looking forward to watching this build also. Did you buy any parts for the bathroom from Michigan? Just got back from vacation in Michigan.

Yup. Sure did, but not what you were thinking. There is an Ikea store not far from where Ryan lives / works which is where the vanity came from. I would post pics but that might be just a bit too far afield for this forum. Oh, what the heck. Pic attached. Note the wall art.


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Pretty cool- a carbon version of an 80 year old (?) design! Are you going to fly it as LSA or will you get it certificated?

It will be built as Experimental Amateur Build (EAB) but the weight will be 1320 gross. Thus we can fly it as an LSA. It will have a legal payload of around 350 pounds. In reality it can carry 850 pounds.

The Carbon Cub has the look of a Piper Super Cub or Husky type plane, but under the skin it is a total redesign. Carbon fiber is used extensively to reduce weight. A large number of machined fittings are used.

The engine is based on a Lycoming, but is highly modified with electronic ignition ( no mags ), custom oil sump, stroked, etc. resulting in increased power and reduced weight.

The power to weight ratio is impressive, accounting for its 2000 + FPM climb rate. This the most powerful engine used in any LSA manufactured at this time.
A true STOL too. That thing can take off within 4 or 5 lengths of the airplane. I read somewhere that the stall speed is something around 30kts.




Having never built an airplane before our knowledge base is a bit low. Accordingly some homework was in order. So far it has been a three part process.

First, some general research. Although Tony Bingelis’ books have been around for a long time and include lots of information that has no direct relevance to the Carbon Cub, they are an excellent source of general information written in a witty manner. The books we reviewed include: a) The Sportplane Builder; b) Sportplane Construction Techniques; c) Firewall Forward Builder; and d) Tony Bingelis on Engines.

Then there are the hard core references, which have just a bit of information pertinent to our upcoming project and lots of theory that will cure insomnia: a) Airframe & Powerplant Mechanics Airframe Handbook, USDOT, FAA; and b) Aviation Maintenance Technician Handbook, USDOT, FAA. These books can be picked up used for not much cost on with nary a mark on them. I think I know why.

Second, the video. We ordered the eight DVD series from on a Saturday and it arrived on a Monday. By Thursday all eight had been viewed. These videos really helped put the project in perspective and made the manual easier to understand. Well worth the investment for anyone contemplating a Carbon Cub build. He makes it look so easy.

Third, the Cub Crafter Manuals for (1) the wings; (2) the fuselage (3) the finishing kit and (4) the firewall forward. We gained access to a website and downloaded the manuals after our deposit was sent. My critique of the manuals: The wing manual is a bit boring. All those ribs get rather repetitious. Took four cups of strong coffee to get through it. The fuselage manual had more variety; easier to wrap one’s brain around the process. Only one cup of coffee needed. The finishing manual was more like a Bruce Willis movie: lots of action with cool parts coming together. No coffee needed. The fire wall forward got into the details of installing the engine; the really hot stuff! If it were shown in public theaters it would be rated “R.”

Pictures are attached, except for the Cub Crafter’s manuals. Those manuals are a bit like Obama Care: as Nancy Pilosi pointed out, you won’t know what is in it until it is passed. You won’t know what is in the Cub Crafter’s manuals until you buy a plane. But there is one difference: the Cub Crafter manual is understandable and when fully implemented you have a product that works.

Next on the agenda is transforming the garage into a hanger, and finding temporary quarters for the GT 40 and the Mustang.


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As a airplane builder myself I applaud your decision! Nothing but good reports on the C.C.. Have fun. Good sources of info are aeroelectrics and vans air force. Enjoy!!


Poly Fiber Seminar

Sunday it was nearly sixty degrees at my home in Southern Illinois but thirteen degrees in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Who in their right mind would go to Oshkosh in late January?

But I had a good reason. Wanting to learn as much as possible before the Cub arrives, the two day EAA seminar on the Poly Fiber system for covering and finishing the plane seemed like a good idea. Jim and Dondi Miller did an excellent job demonstrating the system to 22 students working in the shadow of a B-17 and next to Waco and Swallow biplanes.

I had been leaning to the Stewart System, having taken their course a while back. The water based odor free system has a lot of appeal. The adhesive is forgiving and easy to use. But Cub Crafters recommends the Poly Fiber system and indeed the kit comes with its fabric. The aroma and toxicity of the Poly Fiber system products, which I wanted to see and smell first hand, is definitely a difference, but the use of latex gloves, good ventilation, and a proper mask when needed is really not a problem.

Not wanting to start a debate on the pros and cons of different paint systems, here is one other observation from a novice’s perspective. The course instruction for the Stewarts System paint emphasized the critical importance of precise measurement and weight of the paint mixture, filtering of the paint, determining paint viscosity, temperature control, humidity control, sprayer settings, substantial compressor capacity, etc. Any slight variation from the precise instructions can jeopardize the outcome. On the other hand the Poly Fiber Poly Tone paint requires appropriate preparation and care, but the capacity of the compressor need not be as great, thinning is straightforward, one does not have to use a specific air gun, adjustments can be made for humidity and temperature, etc. My impression is that one has a better chance of getting a good result with the later system.

During the seminar three wing sections were covered and stitched, but not painted. At the end of the class a half dozen students stood on the fabric between the ribs of each wing section without a single tear and the sag in the fabric disappeared as soon as the weight was removed. I wonder how many aluminum skinned kits could accomplish the same.

And best of all we got to crawl through the B-17.


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Randy V

Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
It sounds like a good bit of learning and experience..
I knew that a properly done rag-wing was strong, but WOW!!!!!

Love the pics!!