First introduced in 2009, the original Carbon Cub had a power-to-weight ratio vastly superior to any previous backcountry aircraft in its class. This was in large part due to an innovative new lightweight 180 HP engine, the CC340, that was developed at CubCrafters. The power of that engine, in a sub-1000 lb. backcountry aircraft, gave pilots the previously unheard-of short takeoff and landing (STOL) performance that changed an industry and made CubCrafters a household name in aviation circles.
For the CC340, CubCrafters started with a standard Lycoming 0-320 engine chassis but reduced the engine's weight by more than 50 lbs. while increasing its output from 150 to 180 horsepower. That new engine proved to be game-changing for an entire class of light STOL-capable aircraft in the backcountry. It allowed pilots to pioneer new landing areas and go places that were shorter and smaller than ever before. Now copied by many other aircraft OEMs for its outstanding dependability and simplicity, the CC340 has been a proven winner in the market since first introduced by CubCrafters more than a decade ago.
The original CC340 features a fixed pitch propeller that is carbureted and has a high compression ratio to boost its horsepower. While innovative for its time, CubCrafters recognized there was still room for improvement with the CC340 and is now introducing a new lightweight engine for the Carbon Cub. The new engine is a fixed pitch version of the larger displacement 186 HP fuel injected constant speed prop engine first introduced by CubCrafters in 2017.
Called the CC363i F/P, this new engine offers several advantages over the CC340. It is fuel injected instead of carbureted, which allows for simpler operation overall and eliminates the safety concern of carburettor ice during low power operations. In addition, the fuel injection allows more of the waste heat from the engine to be directed to the aircraft’s cabin during cold weather operations.
Another advantage is that the new higher displacement lower compression ratio engine develops almost 5% more horsepower than the CC340, while also being able to use a wider range of fuels. The company expects that the new engine will be better able to tolerate Autogas and the next generation of aviation fuels than similar higher compression ratio engines.
In addition to the typical fixed pitch wood/composite propellers previously offered with the CC340, the new engine can optionally be fitted with newer ground adjustable propellers, such that pilots can quickly optimize the aircraft for climb or cruise missions without having to change to a completely different propeller. When equipped with the same propeller, the installed weight of the new CC363i F/P engine is only 7 lbs. heavier than the CC340.
Developed as part of a long-standing collaboration between CubCrafters and Lycoming, the new CC363i F/P engine is only available from CubCrafters and offered exclusively on the E/A-B Carbon Cub series of aircraft including the EX-2, EX-3, FX-2, and FX-3. The original Light Sport (LSA) Carbon Cub remains powered by the ASTM-certified CC340.
“It is exciting to be able to introduce this new engine to our customers,” says CubCrafters Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Brad Damm, who flew the first CC363i F/P equipped Carbon Cub from the company’s base in Washington State to EAA’s AirVenture trade show in Wisconsin several weeks ago. “This is an engine our customers have been specifically asking for, especially our kit aircraft customers. It’s simple to operate and has better overall performance than any of the other fixed pitch engines we offer. It’s smoother, more fuel efficient, and it cools better. Customers who choose this new engine are going to be pleased for sure.”
CubCrafters notes that the new CC363i F/P engine is still in the final phases of flight testing at its headquarters in Yakima. Following the completion of the flight test program, new engines should begin shipping to customers as soon as early October. Existing kit aircraft customers with a CC340 currently on order will be prioritized to upgrade to the new engine if they wish.
Founded in 1980 by Jim Richmond, CubCrafters’ roots are in the 80+ year history of classic grassroots aviation, but the company’s products and services are innovative and completely modern. CubCrafters designs and manufactures Experimental, LSA, and Part 23 Certified aircraft. The Carbon Cub family of aircraft redefined expectations for the backcountry flying experience with innovative design, modern materials, powerful engines, and breathtaking performance. The company’s flagship XCub aircraft is offered in both nosewheel and tailwheel configurations, and substantially expands the mission profile of sport utility aircraft with higher speed, longer range, and larger payload. The key to our success is our ability to create unique value in the experience of personal adventure aviation.