Completed Plane


Page 1 - The Cub Project
Page 2 - Fabric
Page 3 - Firewall Forward
Page 4 - Firewall Forward 2
Page 5 - O-320 Overhaul
Page 6 - Final Assembly (2010)
Page 7 - Final Assembly (2011 page 2)
Page 8 - Final Assembly  (page 3)


May 14, 2011 - Weight and balance day.  I leak checked the fuel system.  Did the fuel flow check and measured
a rate of 36 gph with the tanks nearly empty.  There are 2 gallons of unusable fuel in the aft collector tank.

This photo was taken during the Weight and Balance.  The empty weight came out at 1136#.  The CG is such
that there is no way I can possibly get this plane out of the CG range no matter how I load it with me flying solo
from either seat.  The same applies with both seats occupied.    Click here to see the W&B Work sheet.




Finished views.




I pulled the plane outside and fired up the engine.  It ran well... for about 45 seconds.  Then it ran out of fuel.
Apparently the float is sticking in the close position.  However, while it was running, I noted that all of the
gauges and systems appeared to function normally.  Unfortunately, tomorrow I'll be pulling the Carb off  to
see why the float shut off and stayed off.


My 15, 2011 - My mind tends to ruminate on problems while I sleep at night.  I woke up at 5:00 this morning
with an answer.  The carb has an inlet filter behind the inlet fitting.  Maybe some of the PTFE thread sealant
migrated into the inlet filter.  I went to the airport at 6:00 a.m., pulled the fuel line and inlet fitting off the carb
and found the inlet screen was completely packed full of junk.  A lot more than could have come from my fuel
system.  I pulled the inlet screen, washed and blew it out, reassembled, and took the plane out to taxi around
the airport.  The engine and all engine related systems performed flawlessly.  The oil pressure was only at 52 psi,
so I pulled the oil pressure relief spring and added 4 washers behind it.  It now produces 70 psi, which is perfect.  
Both magnetos run smoothly with a minimal mag differential drop.  The Grumman exhaust I installed on this plane
is quiet and the heat exchanger produces ample heat in the cockpit even taxiing around on the ground.

The wrecked Grumman Cheetah that this engine came from was apparently wrecked because the pilot ran it
out of gas.  With this morning's discovery, I strongly suspect it was wrecked due to the carb inlet filter being
completely packed with debris.  This stuff sure didn't come out of my fuel system.

OK, Now it's time to finish the paperwork and get this plane inspected and in the air.  First flight is expected to
be in late June due to the Los Alamos Airport closing for repaving until then.
  
 
May 20, 2011 - When my buddy in Tennessee that got me into this project saw that I was putting an O-320
on the Cub, he gave it the moniker of "Grizzly Cub".  Another good friend in Santa Fe is a graphic artist and 
volunteered to morph a Cub logo into a "Grizzly Cub" logo.  Yet another long time friend in Iowa has a vinyl
graphics business and will make this into a logo for the tail of the Cub.  I'm thinking this is a pretty awesome logo.  
Thanks for the contribution of ideas and work guys!  Where would I be without my buddies?

I am working my way through the post construction inspection.  Much of the inspection checklist is pretty easy as
I just write NEW and check off the item.  I did find that the plane had about 10 degrees too much down elevator
available, which was causing the back seat stick to drag against the back of the front seat with the stick in the full
forward position.  This was caused by a missing stop from the elevator and was remedied by installing a stop bolt
in the tail.  Otherwise, the inspection is going well.

May 31, 2011 - I also found that I had miswired the alternator charging lead bypassing the 60 amp breaker. I had
to dig the sealant out of the firewall and pull a new wire from the alternator to the breaker.


June 3, 2011 - Finally, I've got the Airworthiness Certificate.


June 4, 2011 - The winds were calm, so despite the heavy smoke from the wildfires, it was time to see if I couldn't teach this plane to fly.  Mouser Williams volunteered to do the photos of the first flight.  The pilot of the chase plane said he couldn't make it, so Mouser ended up shooting from the ground.  However, when I was ready for departure, Will Fox called in, then landed in his Questair Venture just after I was airborne.  He and Mouser jumped into Will's Pegazair to fly chase, so we got some air-to-air photos as well.


Shiny!




A little go juice for the flight.


Ready for departure on Runway 9 at Los Alamos.


There's Air under those tires!




I was horrified when I first saw this photo as I thought the side of the boot cowl had caved in and all the structure was showing through the fabric. That's not the case. What looks so odd, is actually all reflections off the shiny paint on the sides of the fuselage.  As you can see in the picture below, all is well with the boot cowl and fabric.


Air-to-Air from Will's Pegazair.




Here's a happy camper.  I'm so glad to have this flight behind me.


My analysis and results from the first flight.

June 4, 2011 - First Flight 1.0 hr. - 1 hr Total Time
This was probably the best of the first flights that I have done in that there was only one issue with the plane flying a bit heavy on the right wing. Measurements taken during assembly indicated that it would fly a bit wing heavy so I was expecting it. I began the take off roll very gently on the throttle, lifting the tail at ~25 mph indicated. At 35 mph I rocked the ailerons back and forth to confirm positive aileron control, then accellerated to 50 IAS before rotating and was off. Not knowing the actual stall speed of the aircraft, I accelerated to 60 mph before climbing and allowed the plane to climb at 70 - 80 mph. With a fresh overhaul on the engine, I wanted to run it full throttle and get lots of cooling air through the engine.  I maintained a steady climb to 9500' and flew a continuous orbit near the Los Alamos Airport. I maintained full power on the engine for the first 30 minutes. The CHT ran at 350F for the first 30 minutes, then slowly worked it's way down to 320F. The oil temp made it's way up to 188F for the first 30 minutes, then drifted down to 180F as the engine started to break in.  

The Aeronca style trim was very effective. Full throttle cruise was 95 mph IAS at 9500' and 2500 rpm. After I throttled back to 2400, cruise was 86 mph IAS.  I was a bit surpised at the slow flight characteristics, mostly in that it can fly slower than I expected. The book on the SuperCub says stall should occur at 45 mph IAS with flaps. I didn't touch the flaps during this first flight, nor did I stall the aircraft. However, the plane was quite content to fly at 1500 rpm and 35 mph IAS. I felt some slight buffeting at 33 mph, so chose not to explore slow flight any farther on this flight.  

For the latter half of the flight I had Will Fox in formation with me in his Pegazair, which is a superb STOL aircraft. While I was in slow flight with the Cub clean, I looked over at the Pegazar and noted that the aerodynamic slats had deployed and he was flying with the flaps extended. I can see that we'll have to have a slow flight show down some day soon. :o)

I terminated the flight after 1 hr flight time with a real greaser of a landing. Will asked me later if I wheeled it on or three pointed it. Heck, I don't know.  I just held it off in slow flight until it landed itself.  

Mouser and Will, Thanks for helping make a good day into a great day!

June 5, 2011 - Second flight series, 1.1 hr 2.1 Total Time
OK, I just had to play with the plane a bit.  I flew it over to Santa Fe for breakfast as there were some people that had to see it.  George in the tower knows my voice and expects me to come screaming into the pattern in the KR at 160kts or faster.  Instead, I came cruising in with the Cub at about 80.  In all fairness, I did call in as Experimental SuperCub 143W.   Totally jammed up the pattern as he cleared me to land miles out, so had planes turning 360s for spacing while I flew a painfully slow approach.

After breakfast, I went back out to confirm the data taken on the first flight.  The plane jumps off the ground quite crisply at 45 mph IAS with no flaps and climbs out at about 700 fpm at 60 mph.  Ok, 700 fpm isn't so hot until you realize this is at a density altitude of about 8500'.  The flaps haven't been tested in the air yet, so they are still off limits.  I flew back to my prefered test area over the valley northeast of Los Alamos and went back to recording data.  Oil temp and CHT matched the last flight.  Oil pressure went up to 85 psi, then dropped back to 75 psi as the temps came up.  I worked on slow flight a bit.  At 9500' MSL and 1500 RPM, the plane would hold altitude at 28 mph IAS.  The plane was wallowing at that speed and the controls were very sloppy, but there's just not much air moving over the controls at that speed.  

Now it was time to test the flaps.  At 60 mph IAS, I pulled in the first notch of flaps.  The flaps hardly moved and there was no noticeable effect.  I attempted to pull in the second notch of flaps.  I found the flap handle to be very stiff.  I had prepared for a worst case scenario where one flap cable fails leaving me flying with assymetrical flap deployment, so that was in the back of my mind.  As I pulled the flap handle down to the second notch, I heard a loud bang, the flap handle popped loose, and the engine dropped to idle.  Fly the plane first!  The plane is flying straight and level.  I turned my head and checked each flap.  Both were in the fully retracted position.  I noted that the throttle had closed as when the flap control broke, I hit the rear seat thrrottle with my elbow.  I throttled back up.  All was normal with the plane other than the flap handle hanging down, so I continued the flight.  I tested the nose up trim on the plane.  Hands off nose up trim would only trim up to 60 mph.  I also reconfirmed that the plane flies quite heavy on the right wing.  

Once back on the ground I started looking for the cause of the failure.  I found that the builder that started the project had fabricated a clevis fork to attach the flap cable to the flap handle.  It looked good, but I hadn't noticed that it was made from aluminum.  The ears had torn out of it.  I ordered a clevis fork from Aircraft Spruce that is rated at 2400#.  That weak link will be fixed.  I'll have to test the flaps again once the flap handle is re-attached to the flap cable.


The red arrow points at the clevis fork in the flap mechanism.  This was taken before it failed.  I should have
seen that it was the wrong material.


Failed home made clevis fork.

I added a 3 x 6 trim tab to the right aileron to correct the wing heavy condition.  I adjusted the elevator trim cable to provide more nose up trim.  I discovered that the engine is drooling oil somewhere at the front of the engine.  Although the source hasn't been confirmed, it appears to be either the front main seal or the plug that goes in the front of the crankshaft.  Either should be an easy fix as I have the parts on hand.  I had also noted a standing wave at certain speeds in the right aileron cable that runs up the back of the lift strut.  I adjusted the tension on the aileron cables.  I also filed the flap stops to align the flaps properly.  


Aileron Trim

June 8, 2011 - Third flight series, .4 hr, 2.5 Total Time.
Today was about testing the modifications I had made.  Note #1.  I still haven't done anything about the heater valve leaking hot air into the cockpit.  It's danged hot on a summer day even though I can clearly see that the heat valve is closed.  

Elevator trim test.  Full nose up trim now trims to 40 mph IAS hands off.  That is probably sufficient.

Aileron trim.  The success of the trim tab on the right aileron is hard to determine.  The slower one goes, the more the air flow seperates at the back of the air foil, so the less effective the ailerons are, and even less effective is the trim tab.  So, now the plane flies straight and level at cruise.  A little faster and it wants to add a slight roll to the left.  As I slow down, it adds a slight roll to the right.  Additionally, now the stick is offset to the left.  I'll have to adjust the aileron cables to pull the stick back to the center.

I only got in .4 hr as a wall of heavy smoke from the forest fires in AZ was moving in.  I saw the wall moving in from the south, so landed just ahead of it settling across the airport.  Touch down speed on this landing was 30 mph IAS.

June 9, 2011 - Fourth Flight series, .5 hr, 3.0 Total Time
No smoke tonight and the airport is closing tomorrow for repaving.  I went out just to enjoy the plane a bit and test the data taken during the short flight yesterday.  I'm happy with the trim tab on the right aileron.  The plane seems to fly straight and level.  I flew over to the Santa Fe area and did a couple of turns.  As I turned back towards the sun, I noticed a fine mist of oil on the windscreen.  While it was far from an emergency, I decided it was time to head back for home to see if the oil leak was sufficient enough to show itself.  I have been chasing an oil leak since the first flight and had it narrowed down the either the front main seal or the plug in the front of the crankshaft.  Now I know for sure that it is definately the plug in the front of the crankshaft.  There was oil coming out between the prop and the ring gear as well as between the prop and the prop cover plate, so there was an oil track the length of the front and back of both prop blades.  This is an easy fix and I have an extra plug in the hangar.  But I do have a fine mist of oil covering much of the front of the plane, so I have a bit of a clean up job to do.


Leaking just a bit of oil through the plug in the front of the crankshaft.  I lost maybe a cup of oil, but it was
everywhere on the plane.  It's a good day for a wash job.

June 11, 2011 - Airport is closed for repaving, so it's time for maintenance.  I pulled the prop and removed
the plug in the front of the crankshaft.  Cleaned and installed a new plug.  I dimpled this plug in much better.

June 11, 2011 - I added the Grizzly Cub logos to the tail and the cowl.  Thank you Steve for the name and
David for morphing the Cub logo into the Griz.  The printed vinyl logo and vinyl graphics are curtesy Cameron
at Ultra Industry.




June 23, 2011 - The airport is closed for repaving, so I decided this was a good time to add gap seals to the
Ailerons and Flaps on the Cub.  I bought several sheets of .020 2024-T3, then drove to Moriarty to visit a friend
that has a 4 foot shear and brake.  Here I'm fitting the top seals to the wings.


June 25, 2011 - Gap seals are painted and going back on for a final fit.  Why did I paint them black?  Well,
The plane already has black trim, so I think the black gap seals look nice.  Additionally, the black paint that
I have is much easier to shoot than the yellow and it covers much better than the yellow.  I decided to make
it easy on myself when it came to shooting the paint. :o)


June 26, 2011 - Lower half of the gap seals installed on the right wing.


View of the upper half of the gap seals.  Now the Cub doesn't really need gap seals, but the aluminum on the
trailing edge wasn't quite up to snuff which caused scalloping of the trailing edge when I shrank the fabric.  While
the gap seals should improve the effectiveness of the ailerons and flaps and should reduce drag which should
increase the climb performance.  The real reason for installing them was to hide the uneven scalloping of the trailing
edge.  It's a great way to hide the sins of the builder. ;o)   The airport is due to re-open this Friday, so hopefully
I can get started flight testing again.  Unfortunately, with only 3 hours time on the plane, I may not know it well
enough to recognize whether the gap seals make a significant improvement or not.

July 25, 2011 - 7 hours of testing on the tach now.  It seems like it has taken forever, but the reality is that the airport
was closed for 3 weeks for repaving.  In the middle of that, we had a jim-dandy forest fire that tried to take out the town
causing another couple of weeks of closure.  After 5 weeks, I finally got the Cub out, taxied to the run up pad, clamped
down on the brakes and felt the seat break.  Rats.  No flying that weekend either.  I taxied back to the hangar and
removed the front seat.  I found 3 broken welds and three cracked welds.  I have no idea what was used to weld this
seat, but when I heated the first weld, the whole weld slumped into a pool of molten metal without melting the steel.  It's
like it was brazed, but I don't see any brass in the joint.  Anyway, I wasn't happy with this seat in the first place, so wasn't
really unhappy about needing to rebuild it.  I raised the back up 1 1/2" to make the seat sit up in the plane a bit better, then
replaced all except for the frame of the seat back.  The everything got either doublers or bracing added to it.  It is much
stronger and much more comfortable to sit in.

This weekend I finally got to get serious about flying some time in the plane.  It was a blast to fly.  I had it at 14, 500' over
top of the TFR that covers much of the Los Alamos area and got a good look at the fire damage in the mountains.  Many
places are still smoldering.  

I do have a small squawk list to work on.  I had one piece of window trim behind the right window come loose.  It needed
a couple more rivets to be properly fastened.  I found that I had failed to put all the screws in the left upper wing root fairing,
so will add them sometime this week.  Then I need to remove the front seat again.  This time I need to gain access to the
master cylinders that are mounted under the front seat.  The left master cylinder keeps trapping air, so makes for a spongy
brake pedal.  The right master cylinder is failing to return all the way to the stop causing the right brake to drag a bit.  I'll add
external springs to the master cylinders to correct the dragging problem.  I'll also service both master cylinders and try to
get all the air bled out of them.


Morning departure from Los Alamos on July 24, 2011.  Now this is Cub flying with the windows and doors open!

Aug 8, 2011 - I'm half way through my test time now with 12.5 hours on on the tach.  Only a few squawks to work on:
  
I have a pesky oil seep somewhere near the front of the engine.  It doesn't leak a lot; just enough to make the bottom of
the cowl messy.  

The cheap Chinese vertical card compass does a continuous spin any time the engine is running.  The compass correction
card is easy to fill out.  All is need is stear + or - 180 degrees for every direction. :o)  I don't think it's electro/magnetic
interference as I can shut down all the electrical  loads and alternator and it continues to spin.  I think magnetism must work
a little differently in China. ;o)  That's what I get for buying cheap.  

The GPS power connector is being very finicky.  Every time I touch the GPS it loses power.  I eliminated an unreliable connector.
Problem fixed.

I need to put new markings on the Air Speed indicator.  Due to the longer wings, this plane flies very different numbers from
a stock SuperCub.  I initially marked the A/S indicator with the numbers out of the SuperCub book.  

The last problem is that some of the pulled rivets used to hold the plexi into the frames have popped the heads and had to be
replaced.  I may need to use a couple more rivets to hold them properly.

Testing Notes after completing the test flying.:
The oil pressure runs at 85 psi while the vernatherm is bypassing the oil cooler.  When the oil reaches temperature, the vernatherm
directs the oil through the oil cooler.  The resistance created by forcing the oil through the cooler before it gets to the engine is why
it drops to 75 psi once the engine is warm.  

The oil leak turned out to be the front main seal.  I removed the split seal, worked over the sealing surface on the crank with crocus
cloth as recommended in a Continental service bulletin, then installed a one piece seal.  End of problem.

The vertical card compass was replaced with a SIRS compass.  End of problem.

The power off stall speed was determined to be 30 mph IAS clean and 27 mph IAS with flaps.  Is the air speed accurate?  Probably not.
But that's what I'm reading when I fly the plane, which is what is important.  I can truthfully say that the stall on this plane is darned slow.

I've had a cronic problem with popping rivets out of the plexi on the side windows.  I added several more rivets, which fixed most of
the issues, but still find them missing out of the right side window on occasion.


July, 2011 - At 14,500' over the Valles Caldera checking out the burn area before the TFRs were lifted.

Oct 15, 2011 - I used the Cub for Young Eagles rides in Taos, NM.  For one ride we attached a Contour
Camera to the tail spring.  It's a nice flight out over the Rio Grande Gorge near Taos.  Come along for the ride
by clicking on the movie links below.

   Take off from Taos
    Flying South down the Rio Grande Gorge
    Flying North along the Gorge to the infamous Taos Gorge Bridge
    Landing back at Taos



Oct 22, 2011 - Copperstate Fly In.  That long wing makes great shade out in the Arizona sun.


The Judges apparently also liked the Cub.


I was presented a plaque for "Best Custom Built Replica".  Ron Wagner from the National EAA handed out
the plaques and congratulations.


Since I didn't get a good photo of the Cub at Copperstate, I took this one at St Johns, AZ on the way home.
I was plesantly surprised at the average speed of 95 mph for the trip.  I also found a real need to repack the
front seat with Tempur Foam.  After about an hour in the front seat, it gets pretty uncomfortable.  The most
impressive thing was the climb on departure from Casa Grande.  With Casa Grande at only 1500' MSL, even
with two people, baggage, and full fuel, the initial climb out just blew my socks off.  Wow!!!

Oh yes.  At this point in time, the plane now has 58 hours of flight time, with 55 hours in the last 3 months.  I'm
getting to be pretty good friends with this plane now. :o)

Dec 14, 2011 - The Cub is up to 68 hours now.  I've slowed down the flying to conserve some funding.  I have
put the plane on 8:50x6 tires now, have a rebuilt Scott 3200 Tailwheel ready to install this weekend, and have a
Firmin cargo pod on it's way for installation.  The front seat has now been repacked with Comfour Foam, which
makes it much more comfortable to fly.


Dec 10, 2011 - Cub on the larger tires parked at Jack Gallette's Fly In Ranch just outside of Santa Fe.  Jack's
place is a 1400' dirt strip at 6900' MSL.  Note I got the 8:50 x 6 mains mounted in place of the 7:00 x 6 tires.


Dec 18, 2011 - Installed Scott 3200 Tailwheel rebuilt with Alaskan Bush Wheel Parts.


Dec 24, 2011 - On the snowy ramp at Santa Fe for breakfast.  Notice the plane is now sitting on the 8:50x6
mains and the Scott 3200 tailwheel.  


Dec 26, 2011 - Installed Firmin Cargo Pod ordered through CubCrafters.




Dec 30, 2011 -Installed Vortex Generators from StolSpeed on the wings today.  I got in a quick test flight after
sunset this evening.  I didn't note any significant change in the stall speed, but what I did notice was how solid the
 plane feels climbing at 35 mph IAS.


August 11, 2012 - EAA Chapter 691 Annual High Altitude Dead Stick Spot Landing Contest.  Good view of the
Cub from underneath.  If one looks closely, you'll note a number of oddities about this plane as compared to a genuine
SuperCub.  Longer wings thanks to the squared off spars and droop tips.  Ailerons moved outboard 18".  18" wider
Flaps.  Swing out left window.   The closer you look, the more oddities you'll find.


Yeah, I can hit the mark, but the 300 foot bounce kind of did me in on the spot landing.  OK, so my landings in the
Cub still stink.

Page 1 - The Cub Project
Page 2 - Fabric
Page 3 - Firewall Forward
Page 4 - Firewall Forward 2
Page 5 - O-320 Overhaul
Page 6 - Final Assembly (2010)
Page 7 - Final Assembly (2011 page 2)
Page 8 - Final Assembly  (page 3)