This is the September image in my 2010 Calendar, but I have not shared it on the blog. Mike and I were shuttling hunters and gear off of a strip nearby. The hunters had gotten both a sheep and a bear, the strip is usable only in one direction and the 10 mph wind was on our tail during takeoff. We looked at these factors and decided to take 4 light trips to a longer strip with favorable winds rather than risk a heavy tail-wind takeoff off a marginal strip.
We operate so near the margins that even though I knew the Super Cub would have gotten airborne with the given wind and weight, what if……? What if, I had a mag failure, what if I caught a gust of wind on take off, what if I had mis-judged the weight. “IF” any of those things would have happened I would have ended up out in the pucker-brush spending the entire seasons profits rebuilding because I gambled an “IF”. Once you push the envelope a couple of times and scare the crap out of yourself, you realize this needs to be a game of maximizing your margins.
You can see the beautiful Sheep that was taken it’s sitting by my right tire. It was an old Ram that had some good mass to it, but I forget the dimensions, very nice. I had landed and back-taxied into this position so Mike could have the entire strip for landing and I shot this image as he flew over just seconds before he landed. I really like this picture because it makes you do a double-take.
I want to point out a couple of differences between our two airplanes. They are very similar but the main difference is our wings. You can see Mike has squared off wings with drooped tips. His Cub stalls slower than mine because of the added surface area on the wing and it is very stable when the winds are calm. When the winds start to blow my Cub is more comfortable because it is more controllable. Mike has extra wing with no extra aileron. Super Cubs are known for poor aileron control to begin with so to add more square footage of wing with no added control has a rather negative effect. Mike does not particularly like the droopys, but he is so used to flying them he will not take them off. You can also see that Mikes flaps go all the way to fuselage while mine are held back about 4.5 inches. This too allows Mike to fly a bit slower, but it also reduces the amount of air getting to his tail section, which is an arguable disadvantage. All mods have a trade off. We have always thought that it is not the Super Cub modifications, but the pilots proficiency level that leads to success. You can see too that Mike is running the old style of hydra-sorb shock system that is just a simple bungee while I have the new Alpha Omega system. I actually bought my Cub from Mike so they are set up very similarly. I fly both of these cubs and it is interesting to feel the differences. Mine is a 1962 model with about 10,000 hours on it Mikes is a 1965 with 19,000 hours on it. Mike actually has documented something like 17,000 hours of flight time in that serial number Super Cub … now that is awesome ! When he starts talking “Cub” people listen. Oh ya’ and our landing lights are in different positions. Other than that our two planes are very similar, and we have a lot of fun comparing, competing, and talking smack.
For all you hunter folk I thought you would like this picture.