As I have posted elsewhere my wife and I are in the process of moving to Tuscany. New adventure! Accommodation nearly sorted. Visas nearly sorted. Hangar and great airport for the Jetprop sorted.
Here in the UK we have a 1941 Piper Cub which I bought from a nieghbour for a song 10 years ago and which we use 30 to 50 hours a year just to putter around the local areas of England to enjoy the view. It is not practical to think of switching the cub over the to the Italian register and in any event I have started wondering what might be the perfect modern replacement for the cub. I know this question is likely to throw up a spirited exchange. That would be great and thank in advance.
This is my wishlist:
1. Only need two seats, more is OK, but only need two.
2. Useful load min 500 lbs. Two adults plus a little luggage
3. Great views, and shelter from the sun in flight – a high wing like the cub?
4. Range – only need two to three hours max – 250 NM.
5. Speed, would be nice to do little more than the Cub (which is 60 ktas on a good day!)
6. Very comfortable on grass runways – a tailwheel is just fine.
7. AND HERE IS THE BIG ONE – NOT an AVGAS BURNER. I want to be ready for a post leaded avgas world. So I guess that means Jet A powered or a rotax engine (Mogas – is that right?). I know the square root of SFA about small aircraft that burn these fuels. So education would be greatly appreciated.
Buckerfan, C152? Most of them I think could run on Mogas…
I haven’t kept up with changes in Italian regulations, but ULs used to hold a regulatory advantage for operating in Aviosuperfizie and Campi di Volo.
The neapolitan Tecnam P2008 may fit the bill, and can be in UL version. Presumably there is a home advantage in terms of maintenance support.
This forumite must have a wealth of knowledge on what is best for local bimbling.
Very valid points @RobertL18C .The other convenient regulatory advantage of operating a ULM may be self-declared airworthiness. Again, needs to be checked. And perhaps flying it on a PPL license. Both things have been recently introduced in Spain.
Italy is great for ULs. 600 kg, which will give you enough payload for most of them, and a easy going overall system. When in Rome, do as Romans do and so on. You got ICP and Tecnam there. They have several that will fit your description. The P92 mkII would fit your description perfect. The P2008 also (EASA VLA), but IMO that one is too heavy and underpowered for a 100 hp Rotax. But there are millions of others. Those Zlin Cubs are very good, but cannot beat the ICP Savannah in STOL/bush.
Cubcrafters is probably finished with their UL version by now, see here. It’s a real beast with 160 HP Rotax 916 and MTOW 600 kg. Larger than a full sized Cub, lighter than a full sized Cub, and 160 turbo HP, and it’s an UL (cheap and easy going). That one has no match as of today. And it looks great of course. But as I said, there are millions of others, and when going UL, why marry to one single aircraft? The market is completely different than for certified.
You can fly somewhere and go soaring whenever you fancy, so you have something to do once you arrive. Even side by side.
You can go to glider fields that allow for self launching
One of the most beautiful planes available
Near 1:50 glide ratio. You can get to Iceland within gliding distance to land.
The useful load might be an issue. It’s only administrative though, as the VTX variant has the same wing with extra load and lower top speed.
Maintenance is a nightmare unless you possess an arm with three elbows, a child sized hand with the gripping strength of a vise with a wrist capable of rotating 360 degrees.
All the issues you would expect when cramming so many contrary demands into a single airframe.
Shelter from the sun is a hat and sunglasses
Dr. Stemme is currently working on an electric or hybrid version with a new company, but this looks more and more like vapourware: https://elfin.aero/
Can’t decide to stop waiting and go for a used s10 or wait some more.
7. AND HERE IS THE BIG ONE – NOT an AVGAS BURNER. I want to be ready for a post leaded avgas world. So I guess that means Jet A powered or a rotax engine (Mogas – is that right?).
VERY stupid question: Can’t the Cub burn Mogas?
Because it pretty much fulfills everything else.
UL’s can be a payload problem.
Sometimes I am looking at this video wishing I was in the US :) That thing looks like real fun and would be great for many of the rather short UL and other airfields they have.
It does use a Rotax engine so it’s Mogas but it would be experimental.